Dr Bill Manners

Visiting Lecturer

Dr Bill Manners


E: wma@le.ac.uk

I retired as a Senior Lecturer at Leicester in July 2011, but since then have continued to do some teaching in engineering management subjects as an external lecturer.

In my early career I spent about nine years in civil engineering consultancy working on the design of bridges and offshore oil platforms, and about six years as a Research Assistant at Imperial College. I came to Leicester as a lecturer in 1986. As well as carrying out teaching and research, I was heavily involved in departmental administration.

My research interests were all concerned in one way or another with interactions between structural mechanics and probability theory. At Imperial College, I was involved in evaluating safety factors for bridges using probabilistic methods, and developing methods for assessing the risk of fatigue damage to offshore structures. I subsequently continued to develop aspects of reliability methodology, and the formulation of safety factors in design codes.

Since the mid-1990’s my research work concentrated on the study of static seals and gaskets and on heat flow between materials in partial contact. Here the probabilistic  element is the roughness of the material surfaces. My contributions to these areas of research were mainly in the development of theoretical solutions that apply if simplifying assumptions can be made, such as linear elastic materials, or surface statistics that follow a simple Gaussian or fractal model. One significant achievement was the development of general solutions for the contact of elastic materials in plane strain, and for planar heat flow by conduction. The solutions  are particularly applicable to surfaces with general periodic profiles and showed that, in these cases, exact closed-form solutions exist. These solutions give the general form. It is normally then necessary to do some numerical work to get the exact solution for a particular example, but the computational effort required is much smaller than is required for a finite element solution.

Selected Publications:
• Manners, W., ‘Effect of gap size and spacing on heat conduction between materials with irregularly spaced plane strip contacts’, Proc. Instn. Mech. Engrs., vol 217 Part C,
2003, 457-466.
• Manners, W.,‘ Methods for analysing partial contact between surfaces’, Int. J. Mech. Sci., 45, 2003, 1181-1199
• Manners, W. and Gholami, B. ‘Constriction resistance between materials with fractal patterns of contact’, Proc IEE Science Measurement and Technology,152,2005,161-169.
• Manners, W. and Greenwood, J.A., ‘Some observations on Persson’s diffusion theory of elastic contact’. Wear, 261, 2006, 600-610.

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