Dr Thomas Reynolds


Tom has been Chancellor's Fellow in Civil Engineering at the University of Edinburgh since June 2017. Previously, he worked in engineering consultancy with White Young Green and Adams Kara Taylor, involved in civil and structural engineering design for projects ranging from a new sea lock in Swansea to the Masdar Institute building with Foster and Partners in Abu Dhabi. He studied for his PhD at the University of Bath in the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials. He then worked as Postdoctoral Research Associate on the Leverhulme Trust sponsored Natural Material Innovation project at the University of Cambridge. Tom has been a chartered member of the Institution of Civil Engineers since 2010.


MEng Engineering Science (First Class), University of Oxford 2005

PhD University of Bath 2013

Responsibilities & affiliations

CEng MICE Institution of Civil Engineers 2010

Research summary

Plants make extremely efficient structural materials, with high strength-to-weight ratio and very little energy used in producing the raw material. Tom's research aims to allow us to make best use of these fundamental properties, by addressing issues such as the vibration of the resulting lightweight structures in timber, the stiffness and strength of connections in bamboo and timber, and the viscoelastic properties of these materials. Timber and bamboo are laid down in ordered patterns right down to the arrangement of the chains of sugars in the cell walls. Tom's research links the microstructure of plant materials with their behaviour as part of structures and buildings.

Modern multi-storey timber buildings, using engineered wood products such as cross-laminated timber, have been constructed in the past few years and present a serious renewable alternative to conventional construction systems for buildings of ten storeys and more. Tom’s research includes measurement of the lateral vibration of some of these structures to inform the design of the tall timber buildings of the future.

Working with Atelier One, Smith and Wallwork and Ramboll structural engineers, Tom has been able to apply research on dynamics of structural systems to real projects, assessing and designing for the loads imposed by resonance, pendulum behaviour and impact.

View all 19 publications on Research Explorer