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The University of Southampton

Dr Charles B Burson-Thomas MEng PGCE PhD

Research Fellow

Dr Charles B Burson-Thomas's photo

Charles is a research fellow in the Bioengineering Science Research Group, supporting the technical development and project management of the APRICOT project (

Charles worked as a graduate engineer and high-school physics teacher prior to undertaking a PhD at University of Southampton. During his PhD, he was a member of the tribology research group (nCATS), where he investigated the dynamic loading caused by high-speed water droplet impingement on aeroengine fan blades. Charles predicted, by extending analytical models, the curvature of the fan blade leading-edge would substantially affect the dynamic loading induced by a high-speed droplet impingement. To confirm this experimentally, he commissioned and characterised a new rig at Southampton that could generate high-speed (~230 m/s) liquid impingements. The change in damage pattern on curved test specimens confirmed the predictions from the model. He then collaborated with the experimental mechanics group at Southampton ( to measure the dynamic response of a test specimen to a high-speed liquid impingement (generated by the new rig). These full-field measurements were interpreted by two models developed by Charles, which had differing assumptions. He found the widespread assumption of a rigid solid surface significantly underpredicted the dynamic loading; only a model that incorporated the effect of the compliance of the solid successfully predicted the measured fields.

Charles now enjoys applying the skills he developed during his PhD, as well as learning new ones, as a research fellow on the APRICOT project ( This international, multi-million Euro project, seeks to develop a radically new type of implant for the treatment of small joint arthritis – minimally invasive, bone conserving and suitable for patients of all ages. Charles has taken a lead role in the modelling of the implant in vivo and statistical shape modelling of the target joint, recently presenting the results at an international conference.


MEng, Mechanical Engineering, University of Nottingham, 2008

PGCE, 11-18 Science (Physics), Canterbury Christ Church University, 2010

PhD, University of Southampton, 2020

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Dr Charles B Burson-Thomas
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 5/3019/M7

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