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Composites and Coatings Group

Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

Studying at Cambridge


Dr James Dean

Senior Research Associate - University of Cambridge

Senior Consultant - Double Precision Consultancy

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 334341


Dr James Dean is a Senior Research Asssociate in the Composites and Coatings Group. He also acts as a consultant for Double Precision Consultancy - a firm that specialises in the mathematical modelling of complex physical phenomena.

He specialises in the mechanics and deformation of materials and is an expert in the finite element method. He co-ordinates the modelling activities associated with the nanoindentation research activities in the Gordon Laboratory and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the group's three nanoindenters. He also supports a number of projects in and around the laboratory and writes and delivers the final year undergraduate lecture course on the finite element method.

He has a BEng in Materials Science and Technology from Imperial College, London, and an MSc in Thermal Power (Gas Turbine Engineering) from Cranfield University (where he was supported by a Rolls Royce UTC Scholarship). In 2004 James joined the Gordon Laboratory, completing his PhD in 2008,  funded with a DSTL case student award. During his PhD, James developed comprehensive finite element models to simulate the perforation of thin metallic plates and lightweight sandwich panels subjected to ballistic impact. These models account for the effects of plasticity, strain rate, temperature, damage and fracture.

As a post-doctoral research associate at Cambridge, James developed procedures and algorithms that facilitate the extraction of constitutive material equations using nanoindentation data. This project was conducted in collaboration with the Atomic Weapons Establishment, and involved the development and commissioning of high-temperature (~800°C) and low-temperature (~-180°C) indentation facilities, the development of comprehensive finite element models, and the coding (and subsequent implementation) of customised mechanical sub-routines.

James then joined Frazer-Nash Consultancy (, working on a range of projects (predominantly in the nuclear and aerospace industries) before joining Double Precision Consultancy. He returned to join the group as a Senior Research Fellow in August 2013.

FEM Model Answer


DMSM Proposal References