Skip to content


Fellows Directory

William Bonfield

William Bonfield

Professor William Bonfield CBE FMedSci FREng FRS


Elected: 2003


William Bonfield has conducted pioneering research on biomedical materials. From early work on the deformation of germanium, beryllium and precipitation hardening alloys, he has made outstanding contributions to an understanding of deformation and fracture of bone. His knowledge of the biological template provided the insight for his subsequent pioneering research on bone-replacement materials.

His innovation of hydroxyapatite reinforced polyethylene as a bone analogue has been world leading. This ‘artificial’ bone has already been taken from a laboratory concept to provide a major clinical benefit as a middle ear prosthesis, with a range of other skeletal implants in prospect.

He was founder, and the first Director, of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials in London. He has also played a pivotal role in the international development of materials science through his position, since 1973, as Editor of the Journal of Materials Science. In 1998, he was appointed CBE for his contribution to healthcare and to materials science.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Engineering
    • Materials science (incl materials engineering)


  • Royal Society Armourers & Brasiers' Company Prize

    In recognition of his pioneering and innovative work in biomaterials, in particular in developing the concept of a hydroxyapatite reinforced polymer composite.

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.