Chris Calladine has conducted significant work in several areas of structural mechanics. He made important contributions to both the elastic and plastic analysis and design of shell structures, to the prediction of the creep behaviour of structures, to the buckling of certain structures, and to the field of the mechanical properties of saturated clay soils.
He clarified Maxwell’s rule for the construction of rigid frameworks from rods and simple joints, and advanced methods for the design and analysis of cable net and deployable structures. He also applied his expertise to biological structures at a molecular scale, carrying out a mechanical analysis of the construction of helical bacterial flagella in terms of a ‘mechanically bistable’ subunit.
More recently, Chris has produced a radical, direct explanation of the frequently overlooked empirical observation that in the axial compression of thin-walled cylindrical shells, the stress-level at which buckling occurs is proportional to the 1.5 power of thickness. The key element in this analysis is an appreciation of the role of the ‘dimple’ in the mechanics of thin-walled structure buckling.