Filipe Teixeira-Dias


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Project: Design optimisation of armour and protection systems using Artificial Intelligence (AI) - PhD opportunity in collaboration with the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

Background: Predicting the dynamic response of materials and structures to high-energy ballistic impacts is a fundamental component of the development and design of fit-­for-­purpose armour and protection systems. Understanding the ballistic response of protection systems conventionally involves impacting these with a range of projectiles under various impact conditions in costly experimental campaigns, often combined with high-fidelity Finite Element Analyses (FEA), which contribute to a complete dynamic characterisation of the system and allows more system configurations to be assessed. The timescales for approving armour systems can be long but, in times of conflict, rapid assessment and development of protection systems is required as new threats are encountered, using materials available on operations.

The project/research: To support development of complex multi-layered systems and to inform rapid decision-making, this project will develop advanced Machine Learning (ML) architectures that learn directly from a combination of ballistic test data and FEA simulation results.

Main aims:
- Investigate and develop models to predict the ballistic response of multi-layered armour systems, comprising a diverse range of materials, to a range of ballistic impacts;
- Understand the use of AI methods and approaches to supplement sparse ballistic datasets and attempt to reverse this method to predict key design parameters for armour systems.

Eligibility: Applicants must be British citizens. Minimum entry qualification: honours degree at 2:1 or above.

Personal profile


I am a Mechanical Engineer, academic and author of over 250 technical/scientific and pedagogical publications, including more than 70 in international peer-reviewed journals. I started my academic career in 1993 at my Alma Mater, the University of Coimbra (Portugal), moving to the University of Aveiro (Portugal) in 1997. In 2013 I moved to The University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), where I hold the Personal Chair of Impulsive Dynamics. My current research interests focus on understanding the behaviour of materials and structures under impulsive and dynamic loads, and improving their response through better energy absorption mechanisms at different scales, in areas as diverse as the built environment, transport systems, aerospace structures and the human body. My research primarily combines the use of numerical, experimental and analytical/theoretical approaches and methods in impulsive/structural dynamics; materials for energy absorption; protection and armour systems; sports impact and human bio-dynamics; crashworthiness; terminal ballistics, blast and shock wave dynamics, hypervelocity impact and extreme strain rates. I am a co-founder of the Light-Weight Armour for Defence & Security group (LWAG) and I was president of the LWAG from 2008 to 2012. I was the Director of Mechanical Engineering (School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh) from 2021 to 2024. I am a member of the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE) and of the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions (CSEC). I am also a member of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE).

Administrative Roles

  • Director of Mechanical Engineering, 2021-24
  • Deputy Director of Teaching, 2016-19
  • Deputy Head of Institute - Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE), 2015-18


  • Dynamics 4, 2013-
  • Supervision of MEng/BEng projects, 2013-
  • Mechanical Engineering 1, 2013-20

Current Research Interests

  • Impulsive structural dynamics
  • Materials for energy absorption
  • Protection and armour systems
  • Sports impact and human bio-dynamics
  • Crashworthiness
  • Terminal ballistics, blast and shock wave dynamics
  • Computational and applied mechanics, numerical and analytical methods

Research Groups

isDynamics - Impulsive and Structural Dynamics

isDynamics is a research group based at the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE) - School of Engineering. Our main focus area is in understanding how materials, structures and systems behave under the effect of impulsive loads, and improve their response through better energy absorption mechanisms at different scales. Target systems are as diverse as the build environment, transport systems including aerospace structures, and the human body. Our research team combine the use of numerical, experimental and analytical approaches and techniques to deliver outcomes and impact.

Collaborative Activity

  • Norwegia University of Science and Technology, NTNU
  • The Royal Military Academy, Belgium
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
  • Deakin University, Australia
  • Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
  • Universidad A Coruña, Spain

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Thermal residual stresses in metal matrix composite materials: Mathematical modelling and numerical analysis, University of Coimbra

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000

Master of Science, Numerical simulation of plane strain and plane stress tensile and shear tests, University of Coimbra

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995

Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (Mechanical Technology), University of Coimbra

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992


  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Terminal ballistics
  • Blast wave dynamics
  • Structural impact
  • Crashworthiness
  • TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
  • Computational mechanics
  • Finite element analysis
  • Numerical simulation
  • Structural dynamics
  • Composite materials
  • Porous and cellular materials
  • Smooth particle hydrodynamics

College Research Themes

  • College of Science and Engineering


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