• Room 04.014 - Ashby Tower

    United Kingdom

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Research areas: Computational damage modelling, multifunctional composites, material characterisation, structural stability, crashworthiness of composite structures, structural optimisation, composite repair, thermoplastic joining, meshless methods, process modelling. Please check the Advanced Composites Research Group website (https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/acrg/) or contact Prof Brian G. Falzon (b.falzon@qub.ac.uk)

1993 …2023

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Professor Brian G. Falzon is the Head of School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast and was appointed to the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering – Bombardier Chair in Aerospace Composites in 2013.  Between 2008 and 2012 Prof Falzon was the Foundation Chair in Aerospace Engineering at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where he was also Director of Research, Head of the Aerospace Engineering programmes and Deputy Head of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Between 1996 and 2008, Prof Falzon was at Imperial College London where he joined as a postdoctoral research fellow before becoming an academic staff member. He holds Visiting Professorships at Monash University and the University of New South Wales, and was a Visiting Researcher at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Prof Falzon graduated with a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Sydney in 1996 and was awarded the Golden Jubilee graduate prize for his research into postbuckling composite aerostructures. He also gained a 

Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautical Engineering with first class honours and a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Physics and Pure Mathematics from the same University.

Prof Falzon is the Director of the Advanced Composites Research Group at Queen’s and is internationally renowned for his work on the computational analysis, design, manufacture and testing of advanced composite aerostructures. He has published over 200 peer reviewed journal/conference papers and book chapters, one book, and edited three others. He made seminal contributions to the analysis of structural stability of thin-skinned composite aerostructures which had a significant influence on the innovative designs subsequently implemented by Boeing Aerostructures Australia on the Boeing 787 and FA-18E/F programs, and was key in helping define new modelling methodologies for the UK government-backed research program, ‘Next Generation Composite Wing’. His work on composite failure mechanisms, impact damage modelling and fracture toughness characterization have helped NASA projects, such as the NASA Advanced Composites Project, which focused on developing reliable methods to predict structural failure. He has fostered extensive industry and academic collaborations with partners from Europe, Australia, India and China and recently coordinated a H2020 research programme with fourteen academic and industry partners across six EU member states.  

In 2008 he was awarded the George Taylor Prize and Silver Award, by the Royal Aeronautical Society, for a paper published on aircraft structures and in 2019, was the recipient of a Bronze Award for a paper on material characterization. In 2009 he was honoured with an Australian Leadership Award, in recognition of his contribution to issues of national importance and demonstrated leadership in his field. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal 

Aeronautical Society, member of a number of professional organisations and scientific committees, and sits on the Editorial Board of three journals. In 2010 and 2012 he was selected to serve on the Research Evaluation Committee panel for the ‘Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia’ exercise. Prof Falzon is also co-founder of Veryan Medical Limited, a company spin-off from Imperial College London, established in 2003, which developed a new vascular biomimetic stent (for which he holds two patents). Veryan was acquired by Otsuka Medical Devices UK Ltd in December 2018. In 2018 Prof Falzon was awarded the ‘Belfast Ambassador of the Year’ award by Visit Belfast for securing a major conference for the city, the 23rd International Conference on Composite Materials, now scheduled for 2023.



Professor Falzon is currently the Head of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, leading a team of over 120 academic and professional/support staff, two large research centres, and 800 UG/PGT/PGR students. He is also the Director of the Advanced Composites Research Group, which he built to a highly successful and internationally recognised research group in a relatively short period of time.  He was previously the Deputy Head and Director of Research, of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Head of the Aerospace Programmes, at Monash University in Melbourne Australia (2008 – 2012). Between 2004 and 2008 he was Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London. In 2009 Prof Falzon was honoured with an Australian Leadership Award, in recognition of his contribution to issues of national importance and demonstrated leadership in his field. He has developed and coordinated a number of transnational research programmes, the most recent being a Euro4M H2020 project.

In 2017 Prof Falzon was appointed by the Vice Chancellor to assemble and lead a panel to address career development, progression and academic standards, within the institution. A number of initiatives and changes were proposed and subsequently approved by Senate and adopted as part of a new institutional Personal Development Review framework. He currently leads the Heads of Schools Forum, a group of all 16 Heads of Schools at Queen’s, who meet regularly with the Vice Chancellor to discuss institutional-wide issues. Prof Falzon is a member of a number of thought leadership and strategic groups including the Aerospace, Defence, Space and Security (ADS) Council of Northern Ireland; MATRIX, an external board which advises Government, Industry and Academia on the commercial exploitation of research and development in science and technology in Northern Ireland; UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute’s International Advisory Group, Queen’s University Belfast’s Planning and Finance Committee and the Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering (NIACE) Centre Steering Board. He is also a member of an Implementation Team tasked with developing and delivering the £85M Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC) awarded as part of a £1B Belfast Region City Deal. In 2017 Prof Falzon won the bid to Chair the 23rd International Conference in Composite Materials (ICCM23), the premiere conference in the field, to be held in Belfast in August 2021.


Prof Falzon is a passionate educator. He has taught undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses in composite structures and materials, aircraft structures, mechanics of materials, structural dynamics, computational mechanics and finite element analysis. He is consistently rated very highly by students. At Imperial College London, he was Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Aeronautics with responsibility for developing and maintaining teaching policy and standards. At Monash, as Chair of Aerospace Engineering, he undertook an extensive restructuring of all aerospace-related undergraduate courses which included a number of double-degree courses shared with other faculties, to ensure and exceed accreditation requirements by Engineers Australia. Prof Falzon has also supervised numerous PhD and Master's students to completion. 



Membership of Professional Bodies, Societies and Committees:

  • Chair of 23rd International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM23), Belfast, UK (2021).
  • Member of QUB’s Planning and Finance Committee (since 2018).
  • Member of the Northern Ireland MATRIX panel (since 2018).
  • Member of the International Scientific Committee for the 8th EASN-CEAS International Workshop on Manufacturing for Growth and Innovation, Glasgow, UK (2018).
  • Board Member of the William Wright Technology Centre (since 2017)
  • Member of the International Advisory Committee – 21st International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM21), Xi’an, China (2017).
  • Chair of the QUB VC’s appointed Sub-Group on Academic Standards and Career Progression (2017).
  • Editorial Board member of Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Science, An International Journal (since 2016)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the 6th EASN International Conference, Porto, Portugal (2016)
  • Member of the NIACE Steering Board (since 2015)
  • Member of the Council of Mechanical Engineering Professors (since 2015)
  • Council member of ADS Northern Ireland (since 2014)
  • External Examiner for MSc/MRes degree programmes at the University of Bristol’s CDT in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (2014-2017)
  • Co-chair of the 2014 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, Seattle, USA (2014).
  • Local Organising Committee Member of the RAeS 4th Aircraft Structural Design Conference, Belfast, UK (2014)
  • Member of the NIAECC Technical Committee (2013-2015)
  • Member of the NIAECC Management Board (2013-2015)
  • Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (since 2013)
  • Associate Editor for the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Aeronautical Journal (since 2013)
  • Member of the Organising Committee for the 1st Australasian Conference on Computational Mechanics (ACCM2013)
  • Chair of the 15th Australian Aeronautical Conference (2013)
  • Co-chair of the 15th Australian International Aerospace Congress (2013)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Aerospace and Aviation Australia (2011-2012)
  • Panel member on the Research Evaluation Committee for ERA 2010 (2012)
  • Committee Member of the 14th Australian International Aerospace Congress (2011)
  • Panel member on the Research Evaluation Committee for ERA 2010 (2010)
  • Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College (2006-2009).
  • Member of the International Advisory Committee – Sixteenth International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM-16), Kyoto, Japan (2007).
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Applied Composites Materials Journal (since 2005).
  • Editorial board member for Computational and experimental Methods in Structures, World Scientific Press (since 2008).
  • Committee Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) - Structural Stability Group (2004-2010).
  • Chairman of GARTEUR (Group of Aeronautical Research and Technology in Europe) Action Group AG 28 (2003-2005).
  • GARTEUR leader of Action Group 28 (AG-28) dealing with the postbuckling of composite aerostructures (2002 – 2005).
  • International Advisory Committee member for the International Congress on Computational Mechanics and Simulation (ICCMS-04) (2004).
  • Chartered Engineer (since 2004).
  • Member of the European Society for Composite Materials (since 2004).
  • Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (since 1999).
  • Fellow of Goodenough College (since 1997).
  • Member of the Australian Composite Structures Society (since 1996)


  • EPSRC RISE (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) Connector award – 2017.

  • QUB Graduate School PGR Supervisory Excellence Award - 2016

  • Australian Leadership Award - 2009

  • Silver Award from the Royal Aeronautical Society - 2008

  • George Taylor Prize from the Royal Aeronautical Society - 2008

  • Foreign Commonwealth Office Global Opportunities Fund: UK-Japan Collaboration Award – 2006.

  • International Aircraft Development Fund award (Japan) – 2004.

  • Isaiah Berlin Israel Award – 2003.

  • London Technology Network Business Fellowship – 2003/4.

  • Euromech Fellowship – 1999.

  • Graduates Golden Jubilee Research Prize for Aeronautics – 1994.

  • Silver Medal at the Airshow Canada Symposium Design Competition – 1991.

  • Science Foundation Scholarship for Physics – 1989.

  • William and Jane Grahame Mechanical Engineering Prize – 1988.

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


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