Dr Peter Dunning

Dr Peter Dunning
Dr Peter Dunning
Dr Peter Dunning



Accepting PhDs



2019: Became a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

2016: Achieved Chartered Engineer status with IMechE.

2015: Joined University of Aberdeen as a Lecturer in the School of Engineering.

2014-2015: Research Associate at University of Bath, UK. Research areas: Mulit-scale topology optimisation, buckling constrained topology optimisation and simultaneous material-topology optimisation.

2013-2014: Research Scholar at National Institute of Aerosapce, VA, USA. Contracted to NASA Langley Research Center. Main reserach area: Aeroelastic topology optimisation.

2011-2012: Structural analyst at Eatec Ltd (Engineering consultancy company, Yate, UK)

2007-2011: PhD from University of Bath, UK. Thesis title: Introducing Loading Uncertainty in Level Set-Based Structural Topology Optimisation (link)

2002-2007: MEng in Aerospace Engineering from University of Bath, UK

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Programme leader for Mechanical Engineering


  • School of Engineering outreach activities coordinator
  • Member of college ethics board
External Memberships

Reviewer for several journals:

  • Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
  • International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
  • Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
  • AIAA Journal
  • Computers and Structures
  • Journal of Fluids and Structures
  • Composite Structures
  • Engineering Optimization
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • International Journal of Mechanical Sciences
  • Applied Mathematical Modelling
  • Aerospace Science and Technology
  • Advances in Engineering Software
  • Engineering Structures

Latest Publications

View My Publications

Prizes and Awards

Nominated for several teaching awards:

  • Best Supervisor (Postgraduate Research) (2019/20) – runner-up
  • Best Undergraduate Lecturer (2020/21) & (2019/20)
  • Best Supervisor (Postgraduate Research) (2018/19)
  • Excellence in Postgraduate Teaching (2017/18)

Research Overview


Research Areas


Research Projects

Multiscale Reliability-Based Optimisation of Composite Materials

Improving the design of composite structures by combining multiscale analysis, uncertainty propagation, surrogate modelling and reliability-based optimisation.


The Effect of Matrix Property Smoothing on the Reliability of Fibre-Reinforced Composites

Multi-scale Reliability-Based Design Optimisation Framework for Fibre-Reinforced Composite Laminates

Multiscale surrogate-based framework for reliability analysis of unidirectional FRP composites

Influence of micro-scale uncertainties on the reliability of fibre-matrix composites

Development of an ABAQUS Plugin Tool for Periodic RVE Homogenisation

Geometric Nonlinear Topology Optimisation

Developing robust and efficient methods for including geometric nonlinear effects in topology optimisation

Cant_lam1_300kN_sol.png      Column_results.png

Stability constraints for geometrically nonlinear topology optimization


On the co-rotational method for geometrically nonlinear topology optimization

Metamaterial Design and Optimisation

Improvement, or invention of metamaterial designs via optimisation


Thermal–mechanical metamaterial analysis and optimization using an Abaqus plugin

Aeroelastic Optimisation

Improving the structural design of aeroelastic problems by exploiting fluid-structure interaction

LS_3Dwing.png    WingWake1.png

The double-tree method: An O(n) unsteady aerodynamic lifting surface method

Optimal Topology of Aircraft Rib and Spar Structures Under Aeroelastic Loads

Coupled aerostructural topology optimization using a level set method for 3D aircraft wings

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Engineering.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Aerodynamics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Structural Mechanics

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.


My current supervision areas are: Engineering.

Current PhD Students

Craig MacNamara (started 2023) - Multi-Objective Design Optimisation of Floating Offshore Wind Systems

Simon Allen (started 2022) - Advanced Design of Fibre Reinforced Composites, using Multiscale Reliability Analysis and Optimisation

Mohammed Almutairi (started 2021) - Aerostructural Optimisation of UAV Wing with Winglet

Former PhD Students

Alicia Terrero-Gonzalez (2023) - "Novel Nonlinear Pendula Devices for Wave Energy Extraction" (Lead supervisor - Prof. Marian Wiercigroch, joint with Curtin University)

Dr Bryn Jones, (2021) "Computationally efficient geometrically nonlinear aeroelastic analysis methods for highly flexible aircraft wings"

Dr Sadik Omairey, (2020) "Efficient Multi-scale Reliability Analysis of Fibre Reinforced Composites"




Teaching Responsibilities


EG1012 Fundamentals of Engineering Materials - Co-ordinator (100% teaching)

EG15H1 & EG15H2 Fundamentals of Engineering Materials (Harbin partnership) - Co-ordinator (100% teaching)

BEng & MEng Individual Projects - Supervisor

MSc Individual Projects - Supervisor


EG55P6/Q2 Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis - Co-ordinator (100% teaching)

EG55M1/96 Finite Element Analysis - Contributor (50% teaching)

EG5565 MEng Group Design Project - Supervisor      

EG4578 BEng Group Design Project - Supervisor         


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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals