Professor Phil Purnell


Phil Purnell is Professor of Materials and Structures in the School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds (UoL). Prof. Purnell is a previous Director of the Institute for Resilient Infrastructure and the current Director of the UoL "Cities" research theme, leading research to ensure that infrastructure systems can adapt to changes in how we use them and the social and physical environment in which they are financed, created, managed and used.

He has managed projects and networks at the intersections between Engineering; Materials; Social, Environmental and Medical Sciences; Art; and Music and is currently PI on both the £4.2m EPSRC “Grand Challenge” project investigating the role of robots in city infrastructure maintenance and the £1.4m NERC/ESRC CVORR project, looking at revaluing wastes and the processes that produce them. He co-ordinates the Leeds WPs for the EPSRC/ESRC £4m iBUILD Infrastructure Business Models Centre, and EPSRC £3m DURACOMP proposals and is Convener for the £7M NERC Resource Recovery from Waste Programme Coordination Team. 

Prof. Purnell's background is in concrete technology but his current publication portfolio also spans composite durability, biomaterials, critical materials, infrastructure transitions, carbon footprints for construction materials, 3D printing and non-destructive testing.


  • Director, University
  • Deputy Director, Civil Engineering Admissions
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • BEng (Civil)
  • PCPCE (HE) - ITL Accredited
  • ACTLHE - SEDA Accredited

Student education

I currently contribute to teaching of Civil Engineering materials in 2nd - 4th year, and 3rd year structural analysis. I have also delivered courses on general engineering principles and life-cycle assessment plus delivery of research and design project programmes. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Robotics
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//">PhD position in TransFIRe: Dematerialisation of cement and concrete</a></li>