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Professor, Head of Department in the Department of Engineering+44 (0) 191 33 42504


Personal webpage

Charles Augarde is Head of Department and Professor of Civil Engineering in the Department of Engineering. 

After graduating in Engineering from Lancaster University in 1986 he spent six years in industry, working for Manchester City Engineer's Dept on road, bridge and sewer design and construction, achieving Chartered Engineer (CEng) status in 1992. He then studied for an MSc in Structural Engineering at Heriot-Watt University (1993) and a DPhil (=PhD) at Oxford University (1997), where he was also a College Lecturer at Keble College. After his DPhil, and a brief period as a lecturer in structural engineering at the University of Westminster, he returned to Oxford as a Departmental Lecturer in Engineering Science (1997-2001) and a College Lecturer at St Anne's College. Charles joined Durham in 2001 as a Lecturer, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2007, Reader in 2011 and Professor in 2013. he took over as Head of Department in August 2022.

Research and Teaching

Charles's main research interest is numerical modelling of geotechnical and structural engineering problems using finite element, meshless and scaled boundary methods, examining ways to improve efficiency and accuracy including novel solution methods. Charles is also interested in unsaturated soil mechanics particularly as applied to sustainable earthen construction materials, such as "rammed earth", both for new build and for the conservation of heritage earth structures. 

Charles is currently on the editorial boards for the international journals Acta GeotechnicaTheoretical & Applied Fracture Mechanics, Underground Space, Computers and Structures, and and is a former member of the editorial boards of Geotechnique, Geotechnique Letters and Computers and Geotechnics. Charles was President of the UK Association for Computational Mechanics (UKACM) 2016-2019, and is a member of committees TC103 and TC301 of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). He is also a Chartered Civil Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. For more information, go to his personal webpage.

In the Department Charles currently (2023-4) teaches 4th Year/MSc non-linear solid mechanics and contributes to 3rd year Civil Design. Charles has held many admin roles at Durham including Deputy Head (Postgraduate) of the Science Faculty, and in Engineering, Deputy Head of Department, Chair of the Board of Examiners, REF Impact Officer, Undergraduate Admissions Tutor and Director of Postgraduate Research.

Research interests

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Meshless Methods
  • Finite Elements
  • Computational Fracture
  • Earthen Construction
  • Unsaturated Soil Mechanics


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