Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr James Talbot

Department of Engineering

Dr James Talbot


James Talbot

University Associate Professor

Academic Division: Mechanics, Materials and Design

Telephone: +44 1223 7 64099


Research interests

Dr Talbot’s research interests lie broadly within the field of Structural Dynamics.  He is a member of the Dynamics & Vibration Research Group and an affiliated member of the Structures Research Group.

************** NEW: EPSRC DTP Studentship opportunity **************

Vibration Isolation of Buildings and the Impact of Soil-Structure Interaction

See details here.  Inquiries and applications may be emailed directly to prior to 19 April 2024. 


Base Isolation of Buildings against Ground-borne Vibration  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 Noise and Vibration  Analysis and control of ground-borne vibration and re-radiated noise from roads and railways, including vehicle-based track monitoring for railways.

Blast-Resistance of Laminated Glass Panels  Investigating the dynamic response of laminated glass under the high strain-rates of blast loading, in collaboration with the Glass & Facade Technology Research Group.

Dynamic Measurements for Monitoring Structural Integrity  Investigating the use of dynamic measurements for detecting scour around bridge piers, in collaboration with the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction.

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Ground-borne Vibration, Base-Isolation of Buildings, Structural Health Monitoring

Manufacturing, design and materials

Design of vibration mitigation systems for buildings.

Teaching activity

Recent and current taught courses include:  

  • Part 1A Mechanics
  • Part 1A Mechanical Vibrations
  • Part 1A Structural Design Course
  • Part 1B Structures
  • Part 1B Integrated Coursework: Buildings in Earthquakes
  • Part IIB 4C6: Advanced Linear Vibration
  • Part IIB 4D6: Dynamics in Civil Engineering
  • Part IA and IB supervising in Mechanics, Structures and Mathematics


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.  In 2016, Dr Talbot joined the Dynamics & Vibration Research Group of the Mechanics, Materials & Design Division, where he continues to pursue his research in ground-borne vibration.  He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics and a Member of the International Institute of Acoustics & Vibration.