Matthew Cartmell

Prof, Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics

  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

1. Nonlinear dynamics of momentum exchange space tethers
2. Explorations of novel forms of spacecraft propulsion
3. Modelling of mechanical and electrical oscillators
4. Modelling and experimental studies of parametric and autoparametric systems
5. Nonlinear dynamics of omni-directional mechanical energy harvesters

Personal profile

Research Interests

I have a deep interest in the mathematical modelling of the dynamics of mechanical systems, with particular emphasis on theoretical oscillators, momentum exchange space tethers, mechanical vibration, and gravitational physics.

Teaching Interests

I have taught all levels of mechanical engineering dynamics within the UK undergraduate curriculum and have also had experience of teaching differential equation theory within courses in engineering mathematics and of teaching some aspects of mechanical engineering design. I was the Director of Education in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering during session 2016/2017. I currently teach ME528 Control Systems Design.

Industrial Relevance

I am interested in applying my theoretical understanding of engineering dynamics to industrial problems and I welcome enquiries from industry.

Academic / Professional qualifications

I am educated to Ph.D. level (University of Edinburgh, 1984) and am a former Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Personal Statement

I completed my PhD in nonlinear structural dynamics at the University of Edinburgh in 1984 and then worked as a research fellow at Edinburgh after which I held a number of academic positions leading to a senior lectureship at Edinburgh from 1994-1998. From there I was appointed to the chair of applied dynamics at the University of Glasgow from 1998-2006, the James Watt Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Glasgow from 2006-2012, the chair of nonlinear mechanics at the University of Sheffield from 2012-2016, and from 2016 onwards the chair of nonlinear dynamics at the University of Strathclyde. My interests are principally in the modelling of nonlinear dynamical systems, methods of approximate analytical solution to ODE based models, and application of the principles of nonlinear dynamics to problems in structural vibration, energy harvesting, flexible rotors, and momentum exchange space tethers. I am actively working on new ideas for the development of the topic of symbolic computational dynamics. I am actively involved in developing new experimental work for making fundamental measurements of gravitation.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Combination instabilities and nonlinear vibratory interactions in beam systems, The University of Edinburgh

1 Oct 198130 Sept 1984

Award Date: 19 Dec 1984

External positions

Member of Technical Committee on Space Tethers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

External Examiner In Mechanical Engineering, The University of Edinburgh

Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo, University of Tokyo


  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Space Tethers
  • Spacecraft Propulsion
  • Oscillators
  • Nonlinear Vibration
  • Energy Harvesters
  • Rotordynamics
  • Symbolic Computational Dynamics


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