Tony Atkins is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Reading, and is Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London. He studied at University College, Cardiff and was a research student of David Tabor FRS at the PCS Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. He has worked in industry (Delta Group in the UK and US Steel in Pittsburgh USA) as well as having taught at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Oxford.
He teaches and researches in the general field of large deformation flow and fracture of all sorts of materials, including biomaterials. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and of the Institute of Materials 3. He sits on various professional institution committees, editorial boards of journals and book series, and has been an advisor on NATO’s Science for Peace Programme.
In conjunction with collaborators he has twice been awarded the American Society for Metals ‘Wilson Award’, the first time (1969) for a paper on the effect of creep on hardness and the second time (1973) for applying the concept of mutual indentation hardness to forensic investigations. In 1976 NASA awarded him a citation for developing the world’s toughest boron-epoxy continuous-filament-reinforced composite that simultaneously retained high stiffness and strength (novel idea of ‘intermittent bonding’) which is now applied to other systems and to discontinuous fibres. He exhibited at the 1995 Royal Society Soirées and in both 1996 and 2008 he was awarded the Donald Julius Groen Prize by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He holds a number of patents including one relating to the employment of microtomes instrumented for cutting forces which enable them to perform as ‘mechanical microscopes’ for biological materials; and others on optimum ways of cutting foodstuffs.
He has written over 150 papers published in refereed learned journals and is author/co-author of ‘The Science & Engineering of Cutting’ (Elsevier), ‘Strength & Fracture of Engineering Solids’ (Prentice-Hall), ‘Elastic & Plastic Fracture’ (Ellis Horwood/Wiley), ‘Manufacturing and Process Engineering’ (Prentice-Hall), ‘A History of GWR Goods Wagons’ (David & Charles/Tourret Publishing), and ‘GWR Goods Services’ (Wild Swan).