Dr Mateusz Bocian

Contact Details

Lecturer in Structural Dynamics
Director of the Dynamics, Vibration & Acoustics Laboratory
Director of the
Biomechanics & Immersive Technology Laboratory
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-3539-5474

Mechanics of Materials Research Group

School of Engineering
Michael Atiyah Building
Room 211
University Road

t: +44 (0)116 252 2539

Dr Bocian - profile picture

Personal details

BEng (H-W) PhD (Brist) PGCAP CEng MIMechE FHEA

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 the 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 am now a member of the team behind VSimulators - an EPSRC-funded project aiming to create state-of-the art facilities for research on human factors engineering.

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.



ARIADNE - Augmented Reality for Advanced Dynamics Engineering

Module convener:

  • EG1006 Engineering Design & Experimentation - covering principles of engineering design process
  • EG3103 Mechanics of Structures 2 - covering principles of linear static and dynamic Finite Element Analysis

Lab coordinator:

  • EG2004 Engineering Experimentation and Analysis (Engine Balancing & Suspension Systems)

Progress examiner:

  • EG4006 4th Year Projects

Supervisor for students undertaking:

  • EG3005 3rd Year Individual Projects
  • EG7020 MSc Individual Projects
  • PhD 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). This work was presented at:

  • Bocian, M., Stotsjuk, A., Selvarathinam, K., Augmented and virtual reality in the design of mechanical systems - teacher's and students' perspectives, Discovering Teaching Excellence at Leicester Conference, 13 June 2018, University of Leicester, UK.
  • Bocian, M., Nikitas, N., Virtual and augmented reality in teaching engineering dynamics - a case study with ARIADNE, Discovering Teaching Excellence at Leicester - Conference and Exhibition, 4-5 July 2017, University of Leicester, UK.
  • Bocian, M., Nikitas, N., Jamaa, S., On the applicability of virtual and augmented reality for teaching engineering dynamics, Student Education Conference and Digital Festival 2017 (SEC/DigiFest 2017), 5-6 January 2017, University of Leeds, UK.

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



Structural dynamics, biomechanics and virtual reality in research on vibration serviceability

My research interests and activities revolve around the following themes:

  • structural dynamics, in particular human-structure interaction, vibration serviceability and structural health monitoring
  • crowd dynamics
  • 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
  • immersive technology
  • complexity science
  • sensors, instrumentation and signal processing

I am the Director of Biomechanics & Immersive Technology Laboratory, dedicated to fundamental and applied research on human behaviour utilising novel sensing technologies in real-life and immersive environments. I am also the Director of Dynamics, Vibration & Acoustics Laboratory, dedicated to fundamental and applied research on the design, performance and maintenance of structures and mechanical systems subjected to time-varying forces.

I am a member of the Artificial Intelligence Research Network hosted by the Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies.

PhD Supervision

If you have achieved high academic standards in your studies and are interested in conducting research under my supervision, you are encouraged to contact me directly to discuss current opportunities.

Selected Publications

White, R.E., Alexander, N.A., Macdonald, J.H.G., Bocian, M., Characterisation of crowd lateral dynamic forcing from full-scale measurements on the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Structures, 2020 (24), p. 415-425. doi:10.1016/j.istruc.201.11.012

Hester, D., Koo, K., Xu, Y., Brownjohn, J., Bocian, M., Boundary condition focused finite element model updating for bridges, Engineering Structures, 2019 (198), 109514. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2019.109514

Soczawa-Stronczyk, A.A., Bocian, M., Wdowicka, H., Malin, J., Topological assessment of gait synchronisation in overground walking groups, Human Movement Science, 2019 (66), p. 541-553. doi:10.1016/j.humov.2019.06.007

Shahabpoor, E., Pavic, A., Brownjohn, J.M.W., Billings, S.A., Guo, L., Bocian, M.Real-life measurement of tri-axial walking ground reaction forces using optimal network of wearable inertial measurement units, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2018 (26/6), p. 1243-1253. doi:10.1109/tnsre.2018.2830976

Brownjohn, J.M.W., Chen, J., Bocian, M., Racic, V., Shahabpoor, E., Using inertial measurement units to identify medio-lateral ground reaction forces due to walking and swaying, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2018 (426), p. 90-110. doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2018.04.019

Bocian, M., Brownjohn, J.M.W., Racic, V., Hester, D., Quattrone, A., Gilbert, L., Beasley, R., Time-dependent spectral analysis of interactions within groups of walking pedestrians and vertical structural motion using wavelets, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, 2018 (105), p. 502-523. doi:10.1016/j.ymssp.2017.12.020

Hester, D., Brownjohn, J.M.W., Bocian, M., Xu, Y., Quattrone, A., Using inertial measurements units originally developed for biomechanics for modal testing of civil engineering structures, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, 2018 (104), p. 776-798. doi:10.1016/j.ymssp.2017.11.035

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.

Recent Media



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.

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