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Dr Stephen W Boyd BEng, MSc, PhD, MRINA

Associate Professor

Dr Stephen W Boyd's photo

Dr Stephen W Boyd is Associate Professor within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Current Position:

Dr Stephen Boyd is an Associate Professor with a background in Naval Architecture.  He teaches on the Maritime Engineering Ship Science degree programme.  His research activities concentrate mainly on the application of polymer composites in the maritime environment.  Composite materials have been used in the marine industry for 50-60 years.  This has been mainly driven by the sailing and motor yacht industry.  However, the scale of construction is getting larger and larger.  Vessels such as the Royal Navy Minehunters are made of composite materials and sailing yachts in excess of 70 metres have been build.  However, there are many parts of the marine industry which have yet to embrace the potential benefits of composite materials, such as tidal energy extraction and commercial shipping.  Stephen investigates both the barriers to the use of composite materials and potential avenues for exploitation of their favourable properties.


Stephen obtained his BEng degree in Marine Technology from Newcastle University in 1999 and took the position of research assistant at Glasgow University.  During this time he obtained a MSc (by research).  In 2001, Stephen moved to the University of Southampton as a research engineer and in 2006 completed his part-time PhD investigating the Strength and Durability of hybrid-composite metal joint for marine applications  

Research interests

Stephen's primary research interests are in maritime composites.  The scope of this research field is quite extensive and this is apparent when considering the range of projects that Stephen is involved in.

  • Stress based progressive damage modelling methodology to predict the on-set and progression of failure in adhesively bonded joints and composite materials using experimentally obtained validation data.
  • Detailed examination of the use of pre-formed composite components for the construction of ship superstructures using experimental full-field stress analysis techniques and novel jointing methods.
  • Evaluation of strain dependent material properties and their application to the design of marine vehicles for the modelling of high speed impact events such as collision or large or rogue wave encounter.
  • Life-cycle assessment and cost modelling of the use of thermoplastic composite materials for application in the marine and land transport industries.
  • Tailored composite architecture to achieve passive bend-twist coupled response in steady and unsteady flow.  Aplication include tidal turbines, marine propellers and sailing control surfaces.
  • Fire performance of composite materials and the characterisation of novel blended resin systems for enhanced fire resistence.
  • The use of optimisation algorithms (genetic algorithms) to optimise hull-forms and appendages for performance
  • Bio-inspired engineering solutions for underwater vehicles
Development of full-field techniques to assess stress levels in adhesively bonded joints
Stress in adhesive joints
Development of fire resistant composites
Motor yacht on fire
Can composites be used to create more efficient tidal turbines?
Composite tidal turbines
Can this movement be used to capture energy?
Fish object swimming upstream

Research group

Maritime Engineering

Affiliate research group

Structures and Solid Mechanics

Research project(s)

Tailored composites for deformation control in unsteady fluid-structure interactions

Analysis of adhesively-bonded composite joints

Adaptive and smart materials and structures for more efficient vessels (Adam4eve)

Novel co-blended polymer matrix systems for fire resistant structural marine composites

Full-field data-rich experimental approaches to explain composite material and structural performance and its damage tolerance (DAMTOL)

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Book Chapters




Module Title
Module Code
Design and Computing FEEG1001 Engineering and the Environment Tutor
Fundamentals of Ship Science SESS6001 Ship Science Tutor
Ship Structural Design and Production SESS2016 Ship Science Coordinator
Basic Naval Architecture SESS1015 Ship Science Tutor
Marine Law and Management SESS6069 Ship Science Coordinator
Dr Stephen W Boyd
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number : 176/3017

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