Dr Mateusz Bocian

Lecturer in Structural Dynamics
Contact Details

Mechanics of Materials Research Group

Michael Atiyah Building | Room 211
University Road | Leicester | LE1 7RH | UK

t: +44 (0)116 252 2539

Dr Bocian - profile picture

Personal details

BEng (H-W) PhD (Brist) CEng MIMechE AFHEA

I graduated from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh with first class honours BEng degree in civil engineering in 2009, being awarded the Watt Club Medal for achieving the greatest academic distinction on the course. I continued my studies at the University of Bristol, working on a multidisciplinary EPSRC-funded (EP/P50483X/1) PhD project supported jointly by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Civil Engineering. The main focus of this project was vibration serviceability of structures, in particular pedestrian-structure interaction and the effect of this interaction on structural stability. This was motivated by the wobbly behaviour of the London Millennium Bridge on its opening day. I tackled this problem using a combination of analytical and numerical modelling of human gait, utilising fundamental models derived from the field of biomechanics, and empirical research conducted on a custom built experimental setup which is currently state-of-the-art (see below).

From the concept design to its realisation
Dr Bocian - treadmill concept

The setup:

  • offers a generous walking area;
  • is capable of measuring pedestrian ground reaction forces directly;
  • is supported on hydraulic motion base, allowing a variety of signals to be used as perturbation inputs;
  • provides immersive and interactive virtual reality environment, overcoming an issue with incongruence of sensory information typical for tests conducted on a treadmill in laboratory conditions;
  • incorporates treadmill speed feedback control mechanism, allowing automatic adjustment of the treadmill belt speed to that of the walker;
  • incorporates an optical motion capture system, allowing kinematic data on pedestrian behaviour to be collected.

Soon before completing my PhD project in 2014, I took on a post of postdoctoral researcher within the Vibration Engineering Section at the University of Exeter and later another post of postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield, both of which were funded via grants awarded by EPSRC (EP/G061130/2 and EP/I029567/1, respectively). I was appointed a Lecturer in Structural Dynamics at the University of Leicester in September 2015.

A common theme for all my work in the field of human-structure interaction and biomechanics is the adopted complex system approach, acknowledging intricacy of human behaviour, in particular adaptability of human gait and its control requirements. I am now applying this approach to study crowd-structure system in order to capture any potential emergent phenomena and understand their consequences for the structural loading and response.

I hold a position of Visiting Fellow at the University of Bristol (since 2014) and a position of Guest Lecturer at the University of Leeds (since 2015).

I am a Chartered Engineer registered with the Engineering Council UK and a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


Google Scholar



ARIADNE - Augmented Reality for Advanced Dynamics Engineering

Module convener for:

  • EG1002 Engineering Design 1 - covering principles of engineering design process
  • EG3103 Mechanics of Structures 2 - covering principles of linear static and dynamic Finite Element Analysis

Serving as a supervisor for students undertaking:

  • EG3005 3rd Year Individual Projects
  • EG7020 MSc Individual Projects

I am interested in the application of the latest visualisation technologies in teaching engineering dynamics. I am currently developing ARIADNE - a solution for visalisation of complex 3D vibration data based on augmented reality (AR).

I am Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).



Hester, D., Brownjohn, J.M.W., Bocian, M., Xu, Y., Low cost bridge load test: calculating bridge displacement from acceleration for load assessment calculations, Engineering Structures, 2017 (143), p. 358-374.doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2017.04.021

Bocian, M., Burn, J.F., Macdonald, J.H.G., Brownjohn, J.M.W., From phase drift to synchronisation - pedestrian stepping behaviour on laterally oscillating structures and consequences for dynamic stability, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2017 (392), p. 382-399. doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2016.12.022

Brownjohn, J.M.W., Bocian, M., Hester, D., Quattrone, A., Hudson, W., Moore, D., Goh, S., Lim, M.S., Footbridge system identification using wireless inertial measurement units for force and response measurements, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2016 (384), p. 339-355. doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2016.08.008

Bocian, M., Brownjohn, J.M.W., Racic, V., Hester, D., Quattrone, A., Monnickendam, R., A framework for experimental determination of localised vertical pedestrian forces on full-scale structures using wireless attitude and heading reference systems, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2016 (376), p. 217-243. doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2016.05.010

Bocian, M., Macdonald, J.H.G., Burn, J.F., Redmill, D., Experimental identification of the behaviour of and lateral forces from freely-walking pedestrians on laterally oscillating structures in a virtual reality environment, Engineering Structures, 2015 (105), p. 62-76. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2015.09.043

Bocian, M., Macdonald, J.H.G., Burn, J.F., Probabilistic criteria for lateral dynamic stability of bridges under crowd loading, Computers & Structures, 2014 (136), p. 108-119. doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2014.02.003

Bocian, M., Macdonald, J.H.G., Burn, J.F., Biomechanically inspired modelling of pedestrian-induced vertical self-excited forces, Journal of Bridge Engineering, 2013 (18/12), p. 1336-1346. doi:10.1016/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0000490

Bocian, M., Macdonald, J.H.G., Burn, J.F., Biomechanically inspired modelling of pedestrian-induced forces on laterally oscillating structures, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2012 (331/16), p. 3914-3929. doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2012.03.023

Further details on publications are available via Google Scholar and ResearchGate.


  • structural dynamics, in particular human-structure interaction and structural health monitoring
  • locomotor biomechanics, in particular stability and control of human gait and posture
  • cognitive psychology, in particular integration of sensory information during the execution of motor tasks
  • complexity science
  • sensors and instrumentation

Funded projects

10/2017 09/2020: Stand-Alone Competitive PhD Studentship Award, £50k awarded by the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester.

2/2017 – 1/2020: VSimulators – Human factors simulation for motion and serviceability in the built environment, £3.25M awarded by EPSRC (EP/P020690/1); Co-Investigator.

1/2017 – 9/2017: Numerically simulated against real observed crowd loads; assessing the efficacy of crowd modelling tools for structural design, £0.8k MSc Research Award by The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) for supervision of MSc research project; Co-Principal Investigator.

12/2016 – 6/2017: ARIADNE – Augmented Reality for Advanced Dynamics Engineering, £9k awarded by the Research and Enterprise Division at the University of Leicester; Principal Investigator.

2011: Development of a speed control system for the state-of-the-art instrumented treadmill, £1k pump priming grant awarded by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol; Co-Investigator.

2009 – 2013: Enhanced EPSRC Doctoral Training Account stipend (EP/P50483X/1); £47k.

I actively support students’ scholarship, e.g. via Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering.


I have been engaged in a number of commercial activities conducted for government bodies and major engineering consultancies such as e.g. ARUP, Atkins and Buro Happold, both in the UK and abroad. These activities range from testing performance of full-scale structures and experimental data analysis to software development, and encompass the area of structural dynamics, vibration serviceability and biomechanics. I also have experience in developing custom experimental test rigs and instrumentation solutions. Should your application require an expertise in any of the listed areas, I would be keen to hear from you directly.

I am a Scientific Advisor at ASDEC - Advanced Structural Dynamics Evaluation Centre, the UK's first commercial 3D laser measurement and modal testing facility. You can contact ASDEC by clicking on the image to the left.

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