Zakaj FINI? »I am particularly keen to be associated with FINI because of the strong links and substantial interaction with industry. I believe this both makes research focus on issues of great importance and significantly improves the education provision provided to students, preparing them for jobs that don't yet exist and to utilise technology not yet invented.«
He gained a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Leicester (1983), and an MSc in Theoretical Mechanics from the University of East Anglia (1984). He stayed at the University of East Anglia to do a PhD. After completing my PhD (1987), he spent time in industry before, in early 1989, returning to academia as Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. During two and a half years at Nottingham, he worked on a United States Air Force funded project concerned the mathematical elucidation of impact response within fibre-reinforced laminates. In 1991 he was appointed a Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of the West of England. Two years later, he moved to a similar position at the University of Salford, where he became Professor of Applied Mathematics (2002) and Director of the Centre for Theory and Modelling (2005). In September 2006 he moved to Keele as a Professor of Applied Mathematics, becoming Head of the School of Computing and Mathematics in July 2008. In 2017 he stepped down as Head of School and is currently Professor Emeritus at Keele and also affiliated to the Faculty of Industrial Engineering Novo mesto (SLO).
His research interests concern the propagation of waves in elastic solids and structures. Over the years this has involved a number of applications, including the impact response of fibre-reinforced laminated aircraft wings and artificial vibration of coal layers. A considerable amount of his research effort has focussed on trying to establish simplified approximate long wave theories to help elucidate the dynamic response of thin structures. This included the establishment of a novel mathematically justified methodology to enable initial value problems to be investigated. He has considerable research funding, and coordinated major international projects, from a number of funding agencies, including the EU, NATO, UK Royal Society and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as well as directly from industry.
He has served as a member of numerous prioritisation Panels for the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and also acted as a panel member for the UK Royal Society's International Projects Panel. He is always in demand to serve on Advisory Boards and contribute at the highest scientific level of many international conferences. He has received several awards and honours, such as Election to the London Mathematical Society, Elected as a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, November 1998, Awarded the Kapitsa medal, May 2001, Elected Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, Professor of Theoretical Solid Mechanics Saratov State University, Russia, Honorary degree (Doctoris Honoris Causa) from Moscow Mining University, Russia 2014 and Theodore von Karman Fellowship, the University of Aachen, Germany, 2014.