Professor Nikolaos Nikitas

Professor Nikolaos Nikitas


Nikolaos Nikitas is a Professor in Structural Dynamics and Engineering in the School of Civil Engineering working particularly on aeroelasticity and on complex, multibody dynamic interaction problems. He previously researched on theoretically probing the intricate size-effects of nano/micro-plasticity (EU FP6, RTN 'Size-Depen') while conducting a first PhD in the University of Edinburgh.  Both continuum and discrete descriptions were used for a study that covered not only the “on average” size-effects that have lately become much appreciated in engineering practice, but also spatio-temporal avalanche-like features of material deformation. Later he undertook an EPSRC funded second PhD (EP/D073944/1) in the University of Bristol, dealing with self-excited vibrations of flexible wind-prone bridges, which further led to a JSPS Fellowship with the University of Kyoto (ID No. PE 10565).

He is an expert on theoretical and experimental dynamics with work including full-scale monitoring and inverse analysis of landmark/major bridges (Clifton Suspension Bridge, Ting Kau Bridge, Oresund Bridge), wind tunnel testing in state-of-the-art unique facilities (National Research Council, Canada), shaking table tests (Bristol Laboratory) and physical modelling for novel structural systems (e.g. offshore wind turbines). Before moving to Leeds he joined the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Bristol as a lecturer in Structures (08/2011-07/2012). More recently he had the leading role, being the Structural Wind and Seismic Dynamics expert in Leeds, contributing to the successful EPSRC Strategic Equipment Grant proposal for establishing a dynamic testing facility in Leeds (EP/L022648). Under the same capacity, he is the one responsible for the full-scale infrastructure monitoring equipment acquired through UKCRIC (EP/P017169/1) as part of the newly established National Centre for Infrastructure Materials (CIM).

Editorship in journals

Participation in funding research bodies

  • Full Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College [since 06/2017, after being promoted from Associate Member]
  • Reviewer for the British Council / Newton Fund

Leading/Managerial positions in the University 

  • MSc in Structural Engineering - Programme Leader
  • Neville Centre of Excellence in Cement and Concrete Engineering - Deputy Director [2017-2020]
  • Year 3/4 Tutor - all MEng/BEng Civil Engineering programmes [2014-2019]
  • Japan Champion for School Internationalisation Committee [2014-2019]
  • Member of School Taught Student Education Committee
  • Member of Faculty Blended Learning Committee
  • Civil Engineering Representative in Centre for Robotics and Mechatronics Core Committee
  • Member of the MaPs and Engineering Faculties Research Ethics Committee [2015-2018]

Research interests

  • Wind engineering
  • Self-excited phenomena and nonlinear/stochastic dynamics
  • Experimental dynamics and sensors
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Interaction phenomena (fluid-structure, human-structure, soil-structure)
  • Mechanics of structures on multiscale
  • Structural health monitoring and inverse analysis
  • Theoretical and engineering mechanics, mechanics of materials

Funded research selection

  • EPSRC Grant EP/T004185/1 ; 'Understanding the cracking behaviour of reinforced concrete elements subjected to the restraint of imposed strains'. Value: £671k, 2020-2024. Co-I (joint project with Imperial College London, EP/T004142/1 ; Total Value: £1.37M)
  • The Alan Turing Institute Grant TU/ASG/R-SPEA108 ; 'Predicting and Warning extreme wind response in bridges using advance data analytics'. Value: £27k, 2018-2019. PI
  • EPSRC UKCRIC Grant EP/P017169/1 ; 'National Centre for Infrastructure Materials (Leeds)'. Value: £4.5M, 2017-2021. Co-I
  • RCUK Newton/Picarte Fund UK/Chile EP/N03435X/1 ; 'Shaking tunnel Vision'. Value: £254k(+£138k Chilean side), 2016-2018. Co-I
  • EPSRC Strategic Equipment Grant Award EP/L022648/1 ; 'Multi-Axis Dynamic Shaking Table'. Value: £275k, 2013-2017. PI, key contact
  • EPSRC CASE Studentship Award, part of EP/L504993/1 ; 'Enhancing the practical applicability of smart tuned mass dampers in high-rise civil engineering structures'. Value: £72k, 2013-2017. single project Co-PI
  • International Research Collaboration Award, IRCA ; 'Preparing the future of experimental dynamics by blending two different worlds'. Value: £15k, 2014-2016. PI
  • Leeds School of Civil Engineering Seedcorn Funding Scheme ; 'Modelling Human Balance ; Experimentally sizing the parameters of a unified bio-inspired mechanical model of standing and walking'. Value: £8k, 2015-2016. PI

Work distinction selection

<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>

Student education

Currently, and also previously, assigned with teaching modules falling within the key civil engineering subject areas of:

  • Structural analysis
  • Mechanics of materials
  • Dynamics of structures
  • Earthquake and wind engineering
  • Research and design project work 

Indicatively beyond Leeds, teaching-wise, working with:

Also devotedly researching towards delivering innovation in student-education practices, see e.g. VR applications 

Research groups and institutes

  • Nuclear Leeds
  • Institute of Design, Robotics and Manufacturing
  • Materials and Structures
  • Cities, Infrastructure and Energy

Current postgraduate researchers

<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>