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Professor David Hills

Professor David Hills

  • Embling Fellow and Tutor in Engineering Science
  • Acting Rector


I studied Engineering Science myself, actually at St John’s College, and did a PhD at what was then called Trent Polytechnic, where I became a lecturer.  In 1983 I went as a visitor to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, but never returned to Nottingham.  I joined Lincoln in 1984 and have been here ever since. I am editor in chief of the major applied mechanics journal International  Journal of Solids and Structures.

In the 2020-21 academic year, I am serving as Acting Rector of Lincoln College.

College teaching

Engineering Science is a four year degree subject, and the whole of the first two years is tutorial-based, within the college.  We take undergraduate tuition very seriously, and provide a great deal of attention to ensuring that undergraduates are well prepared for Public Examinations and in full command of the basics in all the basic sciences – mathematics, electricity, applied mechanics and thermo-fluid dynamics.  We maintain a watching brief over progress in the final two years where most material is centrally organised through the Engineering Department.


My work is centred on structural integrity in mechanical designs – principally the gas turbine.  The two aspects which are of greatest  interest are problems involving fracture mechanics  (popularly metal fatigue) and problems involving contact between engineering elements fastened together.  The two phenomena acting together arise in what is called Fretting fatigue, that is, where cracks originate between contacting components, and this is something I study both theoretically and experimentally.

Select publications

Solution of Crack Problems: The distributed dislocation technique. Pub Kluwer, (1996), Doredrecht. With P A Kelly, D N Dai,  A M Korusnky.

D. A. Hills, R. Ramesh, J. R. Barber, M. R. Moore, 'Methods to solve half-plane partial slip contact problems'. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 155, (2018), Pages 155-159.

M. R. Moore, R. Ramesh, D. A. Hills, J. R. Barber, 'Half-plane partial slip contact problems with a constant normal load subject to a shear force and differential bulk tension'. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 118, (2018), Pages 245-253.

H. Andresen, D. A. Hills, M. R. Moore, 'The steady state partial slip problem for half plane contacts subject to a constant normal load using glide dislocations'. European Journal of Mechanics - A/Solids, 79, January–February 2020, Article 103868.