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Dr Paul Spencer joined the IRC Polymer Engineering Laboratories in 2005, having previously worked in the Mechanics of Materials Group at Leicester University. His background is in Computational Solid State Physics, gaining his PhD from Loughborough University. Recently he has been working on a variety of academic and industrially-led research projects involving experimental and Finite Element investigations of polymeric materials at large deformations.


- Finite Element Analysis: Abaqus user-defined materials, contact problems, non-linear analysis, large deformations, Python scripting.
- Mechanics of solid polymers: Oriented polymers, shape memory polymers, constitutive modelling.
- Polymer composites: Multi-phase systems, and numerical modelling of nano-reinforced polymer composites.
- Materials modelling techniques: Continuum mechanics, molecular models, multi-scale schemes, and Monte Carlo simulation.
- Solid phase polymer processing: Experimental, numerical and theoretical analysis of processes such as die-drawing.
- Polymer characterisation: Mechanical stress/strain/rate characterisation, image-based measurement and analysis of deformation behaviour at large strains.


Peer Reviewed Journal
TitleModelling the Mechanical and Strain Recovery Behaviour of Partially Crystalline PLA. (2019)
AuthorsSweeney J;Spencer P;Nair K;Coates P;
TitleApplication of activated barrier hopping theory to viscoplastic modeling of glassy polymers (2018)
AuthorsSweeney, John; Spencer, Paul E.; Vgenopoulos, Dimitrios; Babenko, Maksims; Boutenel, F.; Caton-Rose, Philip D.; Coates, Philip D.
JournalMechanics of Time-Dependent Materials
TitleNanoindentation analysis of oriented polypropylene: Influence of elastic properties in tension and compression (2018)
AuthorsVgenopoulos, D.; Sweeney, John; Grant, Colin A.; Thompson, Glen P.; Spencer, Paul E.; Caton-Rose, Philip D.; Coates, Philip D.
TitleMicro-contact reconstruction of adjacent carbon nanotubes in polymer matrix through annealing-Induced relaxation of interfacial residual stress and strain (2015)
AuthorsLi, Dongxu; Fei, G.; Xia, H.; Spencer, Paul E.; Coates, Philip D.
TitleThe use of a new viscous process in constitutive models of polymers (2015)
AuthorsSweeney, John; Spencer, Paul E.
TitleSimulation of the plug-assisted thermoforming of polypropylene using a large strain thermally coupled constitutive model (2013)
AuthorsO'Connor, C.P.J.; Martin, P.J.; Sweeney, John; Menary, G.; Caton-Rose, Philip D.; Spencer, Paul E.
TitleThe large strain response of polypropylene in multiaxial stretching and stress relaxation (2013)
AuthorsSweeney, John; Caton-Rose, Philip D.; Spencer, Paul E.; Pua, H.; O'Connor, C.P.J.; Martin, P.J.; Menary, G.
TitleA material model for multiaxial stretching and stress relaxation of polypropylene under process conditions (2012)
AuthorsSweeney J.;O'Connor C.;Spencer P.;Pua H.;Caton-Rose P.;Martin P.
JournalMechanics of Materials
TitleModelling the large strain solid phase deformation behaviour of polymer nanoclay composites (2008)
AuthorsSpencer P.;Spares R.;Sweeney J.;Coates P.
JournalMechanics of Time-Dependent Materials
TitleModelling of polymer clay nanocomposites for a multiscale approach. (2008)
AuthorsSpencer, Paul E.; Sweeney, John
Book Chapters
TitleModelling of Polymer Clay Nanocomposites for a Multiscale Approach (2009)
AuthorsSpencer PE, Sweeney J
JournalNano- and micromechanics of polymer blends and composites Hanser
Title Author(s)
The use of a new viscous process in constitutive models of polymers (2015)Sweeney J.;Spencer P.
Development of a constitutive model of polypropylene for thermoforming (2011)O'Connor C.;Martin P.;Menary G.;Sweeney J.;Caton-Rose P.;Spencer P.
The large strain response of polypropylene in multiaxial stretching and stress relaxation (2011)Sweeney J.;Caton-Rose P.;Spencer P.;O'Conner C.;Martin P.;Menary G.
Performance enhancement of polymer nanocomposites via multiscale modelling of processing and properties (2008)Harkin-Jones E.;Figiel L.;Spencer P.;Abu-Zurayk R.;Al-Shabib W.;Chan V.;Rajeev R.;Soon K.;Buckley P.;Sweeney J.;Menary G.;Armstrong C.;Assender H.;Coates P.;Dunne F.;McNally T.;Martin P.