Professor David Barton

Professor David Barton


Professor David Barton was awarded a First Class Honours Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bristol in 1974. After completing a student apprenticeship with GEC Machines Ltd and further industrial experience at Chubb Lock & Safe Company, he received his MSc in Applied Mechanics at the University of Manchester in 1978 followed by a PhD in composite materials for pressure vessels in 1981. Prior to joining Leeds as a lecturer in 1985, Professor Barton had five years experience as a structural analyst in the nuclear power industry, mainly concerned with high temperature and aseismic assessment of reactor structures. 

His research interests at Leeds have centred around the experimental derivation and numerical implementation of complex models of material and structural behaviour particularly in relation to high strain rate deformation (including crashworthiness of vehicles), durability assessment and tribological interfaces in automotive engineering (brakes, gearbox synchronisers) and biomedical applications (total artificial joints, impact biomechanics).  He has over 200 publications on these topics in the literature and was awarded a Chair in Solid Mechanics in 1999.  He served as the Pro-Dean for Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Engineering at Leeds from 2004-06 and was Head of School of Mechanical Engineering from 2006-16. His current teaching duties include design/manufacture and solid mechanics for product designers.

Research interests

My current research interests are focused in the areas of automotive braking systems. Each area involves advanced numerical simulation (usually finite element analysis) coupled with experimental characterisation and modelling of complex material behaviour. Some current projects are concerned with disc brake squeal, coated lightweight brake rotors,and wear emissions from friction brakes.. 

<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>


  • BSc, Mech Eng, University of Bristol, 1974
  • MSc, Aplied Mechanics, University of Manchester, 1978
  • PhD, University of Manchester, 1981
  • CEng

Professional memberships

  • FIMechE (Fellow - Institution of Mechanical Engineers)
  • FInstP (Fellow - Instiute of Physics)
  • FHEA (Fellow - Higher Education Academy)

Student education


  • Design & Manufacture
  • Mechanics for Product Design

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Design, Robotics and Manufacturing
  • Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
  • Energy efficient aerospace and automotive structures

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>
    <li><a href="//">Life Cycle Assessment of New Energy Vehicles</a></li>