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Mr Ted O'Hare

Research Postgraduate

MEng (Hons)

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Research Postgraduate in the Department of Engineering  


Ted (he/they) is a PhD student in computational mechanics in the Department of Engineering. He graduated with an MEng degree in Civil Engineering from Durham in 2021 before continuing his studies into a PhD with a departmental/EPSRC studentship. His undergraduate final year project, completed under the supervision of Professor Charles Augarde, focused on developing an engineer's guide on the Virtual Element Method, a recently-developed computational technique for polytopal meshes.

Ted has held a number of posts as Organ Scholar during his time at Durham, and in 2020 he founded Durham University Keyboard Instrument Society. He has also worked with Professor David Baker of Plymouth Marjon University, with whom he has published editions of organ sheet music and worked in the field of Library and Information Studies. As Chair of its Young Members' Group, Ted also sits on the Northern Counties Committee of the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Research Project

Classical continuum mechanics formulations are unable to capture localised material failure. This is because they do not include any information about the length scale (such as information on the crystalline structure or grain size) of a material. Therefore when modelling problems involving localised failure (such as concentrated shear failure which is typical in failure of geotechnical structures, such as landslide events) using numerical analysis techniques, such as the finite element method, the failure zone does not converge to a finite size with mesh refinement. This means that the failure load is pathologically dependent on the mesh size and alignment and it will not converge towards a steady value. To overcome this problem, higher-order or non-local continuum theories such as micropolar (or Cosserat) theory may be used, which utilise information about the material length scale.

Ted's research project, which is supervised by Professor Will Coombs, Professor Augarde and Dr Panos Gourgiotis, therefore seeks to implement existing numerical techniques for micropolar continua. By extending Durham-developed Material Point Method (MPM) theory and code, which is ideally suited to problems involving large deformations, Ted hopes to realistically model challenging localisation problems in geotechnics. This is a new and exciting area of research that will open the door to the MPM being used to understand the true nature of failure in geotechnical structures.

Research interests

  • Computational solid mechanics
  • Continuum mechanics

Related Links


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets and Databases

  • Baker, D. & O'Hare, T. (2020). John Varley Roberts: Nine Miscellaneous Organ Pieces. Fitzjohn Music Publications.
  • Baker, D. & O'Hare, T. (2020). John Varley Roberts: 18 Introductory Organ Voluntaries. Fitzjohn Music Publications.