Professor John Sweeney
Professor of Polymer Mechanics
Department of Mechanical and Energy Systems Engineering
(Faculty of Engineering and Informatics)
On graduating with a BA (Hons) in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Keele in 1974, began working at the then British Ceramic Research Association on the mechanical properties of refractory ceramics. This work led on to an interest in the mechanics of solids and to the award of a PhD in 1981. I then took up a postdoctoral position at the University of California at Berkeley to model solid/liquid separation. This was followed by a further postdoctoral position at the University of Leeds in Prof I M Wards Polymer Physics group, which was later to form part of the IRC in Polymer Science and Technology. I joined the then Department of Mechanical Engineering at Bradford in 1995 as lecturer, continuing to research within the IRC. At Bradford I have been Principal Investigator on EPSRC funded projects in the areas of polymer constitutive equations, polymer nanocomposites and on surface interactions during polymer processing. Other awards include a European Commission funded project on polymer packaging and three Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Additionally, there have been a number of commercial contracts with local and international companies. I am currently an investigator on the EPSRC-funded "Resilient Materials for Life" (RM4L) project, in collaboration with the Universities of Cardiff, Cambridge and Bath. My research interests are the mechanical behaviour of polymers, including large deformations, deformation processing, interfacial (friction and heat transfer) effects, and fracture. Much of the work involves mathematical modelling using the finite element method. I have developed expertise in incorporating material models into commercial finite element code via user-defined subroutines. Any polymer-oriented problems that would benefit from a modelling, experimental or combined approach are of interest. Most most recent work has covered shape memory polymers and surface interactions in polymer processing. I maintain interests that range from the fundamentals of polymer deformation to technology applied in industry. I am co-author of two text books: An introduction to the mechanical behaviour of solid polymers I M Ward and J Sweeney, Wiley, 2004. Mechanical behaviour of solid polymers I M Ward and J Sweeney, Wiley, 2013. These have been recommended texts for polymer engineering courses at a number of institutions, for example MIT and the University of Illinois. To date their combined total number of Google Scholar citations is approximately 1,400.