Dr James G Broughton

ProfGradIMMM PhD BEng (Hons)

Reader in Mechanical Engineering
Head, Joining Technology Research Centre (JTRC)
Theme Lead, Sustainable Engineering and Innovation


My first degree was in Mechanical Engineering from Oxford Polytechnic. From there I went straight into a production environment where I had sole responsibility for the assembly, packaging and distribution of cycle helmets at JSP Ltd. Within one year I’d progressed to Production Manager of the plastic injection moulding department. I returned to academia as a Research Assistant to help develop a European Thematic Network on Design Optimisation and Guidelines for Multi-material Applications. Within this study I undertook a Research Degree at Oxford Brookes University where I investigated the bonded composite reinforcement of aluminium structures. Following my PhD I took up a post-doctoral position within the Joining Technology Research Centre. This post combined teaching, research and industrial consultancy within the area of bonded joining technology. Specific research topics have been many and diverse but all within the common area of adhesive bonding, including advanced bonded composite truss structures for future generation aircraft, the development of QC procedures and testing for FRP bonded reinforcement of concrete, metallic and timber structures, the development of bonded composite connections for timber and lately the assembly and development of an electric motor. I am currently Head of Joining Technology Research Centre and lead one of three research themes ‘Sustainable Engineering and Innovation (SEI)’ within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. One of the most recent successful activities of SEI is the development of our Bamboo Bike.

Research activities

Head of the Joining Technology Research Centre(JTRC):

The Joining Technology Research Centre at Oxford Brookes is recognised as one of the leading establishments providing industry with access to a unique combination of engineering and scientific skills in the UK today. The foundations of JTRC go back to 1968 and the Centre has since established an international reputation for its interdisciplinary approach to joining problems. In particular, the research team has undertaken a considerable amount of research and development, and has participated in a wide range of knowledge transfer activities, in the use of adhesives and sealants for the aerospace, automotive and construction sectors.

Lead for Sustainable Engineering and Innovation (SEI):

The work of SEI, which has a multidisciplinary focus, is to help deliver a sustainable future by undertaking research in various complimentary engineering disciplines. In order to maximise impact, both economically and socially, underpinning scientific research is combined with engineering innovation.

SEI is currently carrying out a range of funded research for the research councils, industry and the public sector, and holds international and world-leading expertise in light-weighting structures, sustainable transportation, optimising reliability and risk, and building smart repairable networks. SEI's research links strongly with the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment's teaching and CPD programmes, which both include a strong sustainability element.

Research areas:

  • Analysis of bonded and sealed joints in the Automotive and Aerospace industries
  • Design and analysis of future generation bonded aircraft structures
  • Analysis of bonded automotive aluminium joints subject to impact loading
  • Structural bonded repair techniques for the Civil Industry
  • Development of QC procedures for on-site bonded composite strengthening
  • Evaluation and development of design calculations for bonded timber connections and composite strengthened metallic structures
  • Durability of bonded timber connections
  • Surface pre-treatments of timber, natural fibres and bamboo (corona, flame, silanes)
  • Life-time prediction of bonded timber-timber or timber-FRP joints

Research Projects:

Principal Investigator

  • £1.4m TSB part funded project. Advanced composite truss structures (ACTS), TP number TP/8/MAT/6/I/Q1505D, 2007-2011.
  • £22k Portuguese Science Foundation, Composite repair systems for timber, LNEC, 2004-2008
  • £70k EPSRC (CASE) funded grant. Prediction of the behaviour of rivet-bonded connections in aluminium. EPSRC Grant, 2004-2007

Knowledge Base Lead academic/Supervisor

  • KTP with YASA Motors, sponsored by the TSB (£142k) for the development of a mass produced bonded yokeless axial-flux electric motor (started 2011)
  • KTP with CMS Industries, sponsored by the TSB (£160k) for the development of rapid assembly technologies (started 2012) Supervisor
  • £400k DTI part funded project on the development of the next generation aircraft wing structures. Nodal Optimization of Truss Structures (NOTS), 2003-2006.


  • £210k DTI MMS funded project on the Classification and qualification of composite materials systems for use in the civil infrastructure. www.compclass.org.uk, 2002-2005.
  • £650k EC CRAFT funded project Low Intrusion CONservation Systems for Timber Structures (LICONS). www.LICONS.org, CRAF-1999-71216, 2002-2005
  • £50k EPSRC (CASE) funded grant. Multi-modulus adhesive bonding, 2001-2004
  • £120k DTI PII, Timber adhesives classification and code user requirements, 2001-2003
  • EPSRC funded grant. Design and Fabrication of Low NVH Multi-material Automotive Vehicle Structures. EPSRC Grant GR/S27245/01Design, 2005-2007
  • Thematic Network. ‘Design Optimisation and Guidelines for Multi-material Applications’, Contract No. BRRT CT97-5029, 1997-2001
  • EPSRC/IMI funded project on Advanced Joining Processes for Lightweight Vehicle Manufacture’, EPSRC Grant Ref, GR/LO3811,1997-2000


Module leader for

  • Stress I (MEng, BEng, BSc)

Also teach on

  • Stress II (BEng, MEng)
  • Group Design Projects (MSc, MEng, BEng, BSc)
  • Materials and Manufacturing Techniques (MEng, BEng)
  • Advanced Joining (MEng, MSc)
  • Advanced Mechanical Engineering Design (MSc, MEng)

Recent publications

Custódio, J., Broughton, J.G. and Cruz, H., Rehabilitation of timber structures - Novel test method to assess the durability of bonded-in rod connections, Materials and Structures, 45 (1-2) pp199–221, 2012

M. N. Hooper, A.R. Hutchinson and J.G. Broughton, M.A Taylor, Development of a novel test rig for the evaluation of aircraft fuel tank sealant, Journal of Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 40 (1) 2011

M. Clarke, J.G. Broughton, A.R. Hutchinson, M. Buckley, ‘An investigation into the use of an Embedded-Process Zone model for predicting the structural behaviour of adhesive bonded joints’, International Journal of Vehicle Structures & Systems, (notification just received, 2011

Custódio, J., Broughton, J.G., Cruz, H., ‘Rehabilitation of timber structures - preparation and environmental service condition effects on the bulk performance of epoxy adhesives’, Construction and Building Materials 25, 3570–3582, 2011

Custódio, João , Broughton, James and Cruz, Helena,'Evaluation of Adhesion Promotion Techniques for Structural Bonded Timber Joints', The Journal of Adhesion, 87: 4, 331 — 352, 2011

Fessel G, Broughton JG, Fellows NA, Duradola JF and Hutchinson AR, Fatigue performance of metallic reverse-bent joints, Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct, 32, 704–712, 2009

Custódio, J., Broughton, JG., Cruz, H and Winfield P., Activation of timber surfaces by flame and corona treatments to improve adhesion, International Journal of Adhesion & Adhesives, 29 167– 172, 2009

Custódio, J., Broughton, JG., and Cruz, H., "A review of factors influencing the durability of structural bonded timber joints", International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, vol. 29, pp. 179-185, 2009

Custódio, J., Broughton, J.G. and Cruz, H., Hutchinson A.R., ‘A Review of Adhesion Promotion Techniques for Solid Timber Substrates’, The Journal of Adhesion, 84 (6):502–529, 2008

Cruz, H, Broughton, J G, Custodio, J, Hutchinson, A R, A review of adhesion promotion techniques for bonded timber joints. Journal of Adhesion, 84 (6), pp.502-529, 2008

Broughton, J G, Fessel, G, Fellows, N A, Durodola, J F, Evaluation of different lap-shear joint geometries for automotive applications. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, 27 (), pp.574-583, 2007

Further details of my publications can be found at: www.mems.brookes.ac.uk/industry/jtrc/publications.html.

James Broughton


Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Oxford Brookes University
Wheatley Campus
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1865 483556
Fax: +44 (0)1865 484545