Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr James Talbot

Department of Engineering

Dr James Talbot


James Talbot

University Lecturer in the Performance-Based Design of Structures

Academic Division: Civil Engineering

Research group: Structures

Telephone: +44 1223 7 64099



Research interests

Dr Talbot's research interests include:

  • Dynamic Measurements for Monitoring Structural Integrity:  Current work is investigating strand-break detection in cables and tension/compression monitoring in structural members, both with the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction.
  • Base Isolation of Buildings:  Dynamic models for the performance-based design of base-isolated buildings.  Work includes computationally efficient models (e.g. using boundary-element methods and periodic structure theory) for the analysis of wave propagation and soil-structure interaction, and power-flow approaches to assessing isolation performance.
  • Ground-borne Vibration:  Analysis and control of ground-borne vibration and re-radiated noise from railways, roads and tunnelling operations.
  • Dynamic Measurements for Performance-based Design:  Interests include the efficient design of offshore wind turbine structures.
  • High-performance Fibre Tethers for High-altitude Balloons

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Structural Health Monitoring; Base-Isolation of Buildings; Ground-borne Vibration.


James Talbot graduated from Cambridge with a BA and MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering, having been a sponsored student with Westland Aerostructures.  He went on to spend two years with the engineering consultancy Atkins, before returning to the department to complete his PhD on the vibration isolation of buildings.  This was followed by his post-doctoral research within the EU project CONVURT on the control of noise and vibration from underground railways.  After CONVURT, Dr Talbot returned to Atkins where he spent a further nine years working primarily in the fields of vibration engineering and structural integrity.  His experience covers experimental work, theoretical analysis and design, from across a wide range of industries.

Dr Talbot returned to Cambridge in 2013 as a University Lecturer in the Structures Group of the Civil Engineering Division.  He was elected an Official Fellow of Peterhouse, where he is Director of Studies for first-year undergraduates in engineering.  He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Member of the Institute of Acoustics.