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Masonry Arch

The Masonry Arch Structure research group at the School of Computing, Science and Engineering has a good reputation in expanding the knowledge of structural behaviour of masonry arches bridges.

Our research group has worked with academic and industrial partners including:

  • University of Sheffield
  • Network Rail
  • International Union of Railways (UIC)
  • Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT)
  • Essex County Council (ECC)

The Masonry Arch group’s current interests are:

  • Stability and assessment of integral and masonry arch bridges
  • Soil and masonry arch structure interaction
  • Understanding the behaviour of masonry arch bridges under dynamic loading through physical modelling
  • Numerical modelling of masonry arches under dynamic loading
  • Retrofitting of masonry arch bridges
  • Acoustic emission monitoring on masonry arch bridges

Our laboratory has extensive testing facilities to conduct physical modelling on masonry arch bridges. One of the key testing facilities is a unique masonry testing chamber which was built to test a backfilled masonry arch bridges under plain strain condition. New mechanical testing facilities funded through the EPSRC grant enhance the capabilities of conducting various dynamic tests to simulate the highway and railway loading conditions.

Completed projects

  • Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) – Ultimate and permissible limit state behaviour of soil-filled masonry arch
  • European Union ‘Sustainable Bridges’ project within EU FP6 - Guideline for Load and Resistance Assessment of Railway Bridges
  • International Union of Railways (UIC)- Improving Assessment, Optimisation of Maintenance and Development of Database for Masonry Arch Bridges
  • County Surveyor’s Society (CSS)- Review of Assessment Methods for Masonry Arch Bridges
  • Essex County Council (ECC) and Network Rail - Soil Structure Interaction in Masonry Arch Bridges


Group members

  • Dr Levi Augusthus-Nelson
  • Dr Jinyan Wang
  • Mr Jonathan Haynes

Former group members

  • Professor Clive Melbourne
  • Dr Gareth Swift

Graduate students

  • Mr. Hamid Ahmad