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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Development of finite element-based computational framework for assessing the structural performance of advanced composite structures https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofMechanicalandAerospaceEngineering/Study/PostgraduateResearch/FileStore/Filetoupload,939840,en.pdf https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/development-of-finite-element-based-computational-framework-for-assessing-the-structural-performance-of-advanced-composite-structures/?p117540


Research output per year

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Personal profile



I am a lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and a member of Advanced Composites Research Group at Queen’s University Belfast. Prior to joining QUB, I was a lecturer in mechanical engineering and design in the School of Engineering at Ulster University. I have also worked in the School of Engineering, at the University of Glasgow as post-doc between 2013 and 2017. I have received my PhD in Computational Solid Mechanics from the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, Durham University. I graduated from UET Peshawar with BSc in Mechanical Engineering, which was followed by an MSc in Mechanical Engineering (Applied Mechanics and Design) from UET Taxila.    

 I was a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and a Chartered Engineer. I am currently holding a fellowship of the higher education academy (FHEA).



My research interests are broadly in computational mechanics. As a PhD student, I have worked on the development of adaptively coupled finite element-meshless methods for the solution of problems subjected to both material and geometrical nonlinearities. As part of the EPSRC funded multi-university and multi-disciplinary project, I have also worked on the development of finite element based multi-scale and multi-physics models for the prediction of long-term performance of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites subjected to harsh hygro-thermal environmental conditions in addition to mechanical loading. As part of the Royal Academy of Engineering and EDF energy project, I have worked on the development of novel contact algorithms. Moreover, as part of the same project, I have worked on the analysis fracture prediction within the graphite bricks.


Research Interests

  • Finite elements, meshless and other advanced numerical methods
  • Multi-scale and Multi-physics (hygro-thermo-mechanical) modelling of FRP composites
  • Damage and fracture mechanics
  • Contact mechanics
  • Error estimation and adaptive analysis
  • Finite deformation and elasto-plasticity
  • Coupling of finite element and meshless methods
  • Stochastic finite element method and reliability analysis
  • High-performance computing

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Research Output

A three-dimensional hierarchic finite element-based computational framework for the analysis of composite laminates

Ullah, Z., Kaczmarczyk, L. & Pearce, C., 17 Jan 2020, (Accepted) In : Composite Structures.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • MoFEM: An open source, parallel finite element library

    Kaczmarczyk, Ł., Ullah, Z., Lewandowski, K., Meng, X., Zhou, X-Y., Athanasiadis, I., Nguyen, H., Chalons-Mouriesse, C-A., Richardson, E. J., Miur, E., Shvarts, A. G., Wakeni, M. & Pearce, C. J., 25 Feb 2020, In : The Journal of Open Source Software. 5, 45

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    45 Downloads (Pure)

    The localized radial basis functions for parameterized level set based structural optimization

    -ul-Islam, S., Khan, W., Ullah, B. & Ullah, Z., 01 Feb 2020, In : Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements. 113

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • A unified framework for the multi-scale computational homogenisation of 3D-textile composites

    Ullah, Z., Zhou, X-Y., Kaczmarczyk, L., Archer, E., McIlhagger, A. & Harkin-Jones, E., 19 Mar 2019, In : Composites Part B: Engineering. 167, p. 582 -598

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 5 Citations (Scopus)
    7 Downloads (Pure)

    Mortar contact formulation for hierarchical basis functions using smooth active set strategy

    Athanasiadis1, I., Kaczmarczyk, L., Ullah, Z. & Pearce, C. J., 10 Apr 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Activities

    High-order finite element solutions for Helmholtz problems

    Zahur Ullah (Examiner)
    22 Jan 2020

    Activity: Examination typesPhD external examination

    Supervisor Training

    Zahur Ullah (Participant)
    12 Nov 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Selection Interviewing

    Zahur Ullah (Participant)
    14 May 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    1st European Conference On Crashworthiness Of Composite Structures

    Zahur Ullah (Member of the organising committee)
    19 Nov 201921 Nov 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference