Associate Professor Piaras Kelly

BSc, DPhil

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Associate Professor


Piaras completed a BSc in Mathematical Physics at University College, Dublin (1987), majoring in numerical analysis. He obtained a PhD (DPhil) from the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford (1993), carrying out a theoretical study of the strength of components made of bonded dissimilar materials.

In 1995, he joined the Oxford Orthopaedic Engineering Centre at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, UK, to study failure of knee prostheses and damage to human articular cartilage. During this period, he co-authored the book “Solution to Crack Problems” which was based on techniques developed in the preceding years. He re-joined the Solid Mechanics group at Oxford as a Research Fellow, carrying out work on the development of plasticity around propagating cracks.

Piaras joined the Department of Engineering Science at The University of Auckland as a lecturer in 1999. Since then, amongst other things, he has worked on the constitutive modelling of fibrous materials and the mathematical modelling of composite materials manufacturing processes. He has over 80 publications in the fields of Composite Materials, Textile Mechanics, Biomechanics, Geomechanics and Fracture Mechanics.


DPhil in Engineering, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
BSc in Mathematical Physics, University College Dublin, Ireland

Research | Current

  • Thermomechanical modelling of materials
  • Mathematical modelling and computational techniques for manufacturing processes, in particular for the manufacture of high performance composite materials
  • Fracture and failure of knee prostheses
  • Causes and development of osteoarthritis in the human knee
  • Geomechanics

Research groups

Teaching | Current

  • ENGSCI 313 - Mathematical Modelling 3ECE
  • ENGSCI 740 - Advanced Continuum Mechanics
  • ENGSCI 753 - Computational Techniques in Continuum Mechanics and Bioengineering

Postgraduate supervision

Elinor Swery (PhD): Numerical Prediction of Fibre Preform Permeability for Enhanced Process Modelling of Advanced Composite Structures

Daniel Quach (PhD): Composites Manufacturing – Textile Compaction Modelling

Gregory Furtado (PhD): Investigation of a new Knee Prosthesis Design

Sabri Mohd (PhD): Investigation of a new Knee Prosthesis design

Ahmed Marghani (PhD): Flexible Pavement Analysis by using Finite Element Methods with respecting to more accurate circumstances regarding Highway Geometry

Aravind Jayasankar (ME): Design and validation of attachments for a novel knee implant

Areas of expertise

  • Mechanics of Fibrous Materials
  • Composite Materials Manufacturing
  • Mechanics of Osteoarthritis in the Human Knee Joint
  • Development of Knee Prostheses

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 337
New Zealand