Lee Cunningham

Lee Cunningham, MEng, PhD, CEng, MICE, FIStructE, MASCE, FHEA


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Postgraduate research topics currently available are listed on the following Research theme(s):

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Lee joined the School of MACE in 2011 and is a Chartered Civil & Structural Engineer with over 11 years of industry experience. He began his studies in Civil Engineering at the University of Strathclyde where he graduated with 1st honours. Following this, he gained his PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of Glasgow in 2000 and subsequently joined the London office of Arup.

He spent 3 years in Arup's building design group working on several large building projects including the iconic Antwerp Law Courts in Belgium and Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, the UKs largest free standing building at the time of completion. After this period, he joined the local authority in Blackpool, taking part in the major regeneration of the UK's most popular holiday resort. At Blackpool he played a key role in the design and delivery of several award winning projects including the innovative Blackpool Central Area Coast Protection Scheme, the largest government funded coastal defence project to date in the UK and recipient of the Institution of Civil Engineers' prestigious Brunel Medal in 2011.

Lee is a member of the Structures in Extreme Environments research group and is active in the area of structures subject to extreme environmental loading such as river flooding, ocean waves, fire and seismic actions. He has authored many publications on improving the resilience and durability of existing and new structures in response to extreme events such as those driven by climate change and the need to create a more sustainable built environment. His work encompasses a wide range of structural materials and construction forms from state of the art novel composites, through concrete, steel, masonry and timber to traditional forms and materials such as adobe.

He has served as an editorial panel member for leading international journals and is a regular reviewer for several professional and academic journals. He is an active member of his professional institutions and is a former Chairman of the Lancashire Branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers.  

Research interests

  • Structures subject to Extreme Loading
  • Structural Resilience and Durability
  • Computational Modelling and Design of Structures
  • Concrete, Masonry, Steel and Timber Structures
  • Coastal and Offshore Structures
  • Structural Composites
  • Sustainable Structures

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Areas of expertise

  • TG Bridge engineering
  • TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
  • TH Building construction
  • TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Advanced materials


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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