Professor John Knott OBE FREng FRS
John Knott made exceptional contributions to the quantitative scientific understanding of fracture processes in metals and alloys and its applications. In particular, he elucidated the role of microstructure in the initiation and propagation of cracks and shown how criteria based on this understanding can allow the design of structures which are tolerant to defects in service.
His analysis of the micromechanisms of ductile, fatigue and brittle fracture modes in many types of steel and non-ferrous alloys, using innovative techniques of mechanical testing, allowed detailed monitoring of crack propagation. His work on stress relief cracking, on ductile crack initiation in pressure vessel steels, and on fracture processes at and near welded joints helped to establish codes of safe practice.
John’s contributions were characterised by the application of diverse techniques to a wide range of fracture problems, which he analysed to provide models of the fracture process, exhibiting an understanding of both the engineering and metallurgical principles involved. He served on many advisory committees for both the nuclear and aerospace sectors.
Professor John Knott OBE FREng FRS died on 5 October 2017.
Part-time Professor of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham
Interests and expertise
Materials science (incl materials engineering)
For his distinguished contributions to the quantitative scientific understanding of fracture processes in metals and alloys and its engineering applications.