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Dr Peter Theobald BEng(Hons), PGCert, PhD, CEng, MIMechE, MInstLM, FHEA

Dr Peter Theobald

BEng(Hons), PGCert, PhD, CEng, MIMechE, MInstLM, FHEA

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

School of Engineering

+44 (0)29 2087 4726
S/2.10, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision

Dr Peter Theobald leads a team of engineers focussed on exploiting the potential of polymer-based, additive manufacturing to achieve enhanced industrial outputs.

Dr Theobald and his team are driving forward the adoption of additive manufacturing in the energy-absorption sector, combining the design freedom afforded by additive manufacturing and existing strain-dependant materials.  His main area of interest relates to achieving material-structures that are able to protect against both minor and major head trauma.  He works alongside the National Football League (US) and leading, international equipment manufacturers and have attracted funding from a range of sources including the prestigious Head Health Tech programme.  A summary of his recent work was recently published by BBC Sport, whilst ITV Wales evaluated the potential of his work to be used more widely in other contact sports.

He is also actively involved in more clinically-focussed research, with on-going projects including an EPSRC-funded study investigating cardiac biomechanics and a variety of orthopaedic engineering projects.

Recent Papers:

  • Mechanical characterisation of additively manufactured structures in variable strain rate applications, A novel pathway to characterise thermoplastic elastomers for AM, can be accessed in full, here.
  • A novel pathway to characterise thermoplastic elastomers for AM can be accessed in full, here.
  • A paper recently publised in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Glasgow, focussing on efforts to establish a more efficient constitutitve model for describing the biomechanical behaviour of cardiac tissue, can be accessed in full here.

Industrial Collaboration:

Dr Theobald actively engages with a breadth of industries, focussing on researching and developing new, polymer-based material-structures that can be translated to products.  He has success securing funding from Innovate UK to progress the adoption of new technologies and is always seeking new collaboration opportunities.

Dr Theobald's research focusses at the interface of engineering and medicine.  He aims to identify new and novel solutions to reduce the risk of mortality, morbidity and injury.  He specialises in achieving this through the novel and innovative adoption of additive manufacturing technologies to biomechanics. His research is of both a fundamental and applied nature, meaning he works with a range of academic, clinical and industrial collaborators within the UK and overseas. Internally, Dr Theobald holds memberships in both the High Value Manufacturing, and Bioengineering, research groups.

Peter Theobald graduated in 2003 as a Medical Engineering from the University of Bradford (1st Class (Hons)), at the time being one of very few higher education institutions to offer such a programme.  He moved to Cardiff School of Engineering to read his PhD in soft tissue biomechanics, focusing on the tendo Achilles insertion site.  He performed a series of biomechanical and antomical analyses, revealing the complex and impressive engineering concepts that ensure this interface is able to withstand such high loads.  He was supervised by Professor Len Nokes (School of Engineering), the late Professor Mike Benjamin (School of Biosciences) and the late Professor Colin Dent (School of Medicine).

He now leads a research team aiming to establish new methods to reduce the risk of injury, morbidity and mortality.  The group’s primary focus is on reducing head injuries in sporting and collision environments, predominantly by establishing new impact technologies.  This comprises ‘blue skies’ research, as they seek to understand and investigate more effective materials, structural geometries and manufacturing methodologies.  They have attracted funding from a range of sources, have a patent granted and a second pending.  The group also translate their research to both industry and athletes.  They have experience working alongside manufacturers and elite sports organisations including the WRU and English Institute of Sport.  They have also worked with the National Football League, with their material having been selected from 125 submissions to the Head Health Challenge III competition.

Dr Theobald’s research also includes a wider spectrum of engineering applied to medicine, meaning he works with a range of clinical colleagues and academic collaborators within the UK and overseas.  His work investigating how the biomechancial behaviour of cardiac tissue changes with age has recently been funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, alongside the prestigious SoftMECH centre (University of Glasgow) and Swansea University.

Dr Theobald also frequently reviews grants and papers for international funding bodies and journals.

Honours and awards

Associate Peer Review College membership



Distinguished research series

GIAN (India)


Advisory Board member

Journal of Sports Sciences


International Faculty member

ICJR Middle East


Programme Chair

SDM Conference


Professional memberships

  • Chartered Engineer (IMechE)
  • Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Committees and reviewing

  • Peer-reviewer for multiple international journals
  • Peer-reviewer for various UK funding bodies/agencies













  • Landham, P. al. 2008. A bio-tribological analysis of paratenonitis. Presented at: STLE/ASME 2008 International Joint Tribology Conference (IJTC2008), Miami, FL, USA, 20-22 October 2008Proceedings of the STLE/ASME 2008 International Joint Tribology Conference (IJTC2008), October 20–22, 2008 , Miami, Florida, USA. ASME Conference Proceedings New York, NY: ASME pp. 131-133., (10.1115/IJTC2008-71158)




Dr Theobald teaches a range of subjects that consider musculoskeletal biomechanics, and how the implementation of innovative design can add to this valuable area.

Dr Theobald has also served as Head of the Mechanical, Medical and Manufacturing (2013-17), and is currentlyTutor for the Medical Engineering undergraduate degree scheme.

Research theme: Mechanics, Materials and Advanced Manufacturing


Upgrading the small equipment base for early career researchers in the Engineering and Physical SciencesHolford K, Whatling G, Lees J, Anderson P I, Brousseau E, Cipcigan L M, Pullin R, Bigot S, Theobald P, Simpson R N, Kawashita L F, Clarke AEPSRC49832601/11/2012 - 31/03/2013
Using 'digital' materials to establish a novel investigation platform for cardiac arrestTheobald PSer Cymru NRN Sweasea5700001/07/2014 - 30/06/2017
Validating the use of piezoelectric materials for novel application in bio-mechanical engineeringTheobald PRoyal Society1500001/04/2013 - 31/03/2014
Optimising Impact protection through additive manufacturingTheobald PEPSRC via Nottingham University295115/08/2014 - 14/03/2015
Putting the 'Spark' Back into Electrical Engineering (Ingenius Public Engagement Grant)Theobald PRoyal Academy of Engineering3000001/04/2014 - 31/07/2015
Increasing the acceptance of safety headwear within the climbingTheobald PWelsh European Funding Office3990301/03/2013 - 28/02/2014
Can providing 3D printing be used to enhance cardiopulmonary resucitation techniques?Theobald P, Clarke AWelsh Crucible997301/12/2013 - 31/08/2014
Biomechanical analysis of dual bridge platingTheobald P, Jones MBiomet Manufacturing LLC2459301/06/2014 - 15/02/2015
The use of novel materials to enhance motorcyclist safety in developing countriesTheobald P, M. Alves (Fellow)Royal Society - Newton Fund1180001/11/2015 - 31/07/2017

New and novel materials to reduce head injury

Theobald P, Soe SEPSRC IAA1993615/06/2015 - 30/09/2015

Developing novel materials to enhance motorcycle safety

Theobald P, Soe SKESS II8000001/01/2016 - 31/12/2019

To radically improve the performance of protective helmets

Theobald PKTP229425

23/01/2017 - 22/01/2020

To radically improve the performance of protective helmets

Theobald Pe-KTP via Welsh Government24,00023/01/2017 - 22/01/2020

Quantifying probable region-specific microstructural and biomechanical variations In mature porcine tissue

Theobald PEPSRC via Glasgow University6,0001/10/18 – 30/4/19

Growth and remodelling in the porcine heart – pushing mathematics through experiments

Theobald P, Soe S, Yang X (in collaboration with Glasgow and Swansea Universities)EPSRC£341k (£800k total)01/05/2019-30/04/2022

Novel, rate-dependent material to enhance helmet liner performance

Theobald P, Soe SFootball Research Inc£80k01/03/2019-28/02/2020

Supervised Students

Development of a viscoelastic material for additively manufacture an enhanced helmet linerADAMS, RhossCurrentPhD
Developing novel materials to enhance motorcyclist safety.ROBINSON, MichaelCurrentPhD
Developing Multi-Material Structures for Enhanced Energy Absorption, for application to Head ProtectionHANNA, BenCurrentPhD
Using 'Digital' Materials to Establish a Novel Investigative Platform for Cardiac ArrestAHMAD FaizanGraduatePhD
Biomechanics Of Skull Fracture And Intracranial Injury In Young Children As Consequence Of A Low Height FallHUGHES JonathonGraduatePhD
Developing a Methodology to Perform Measurements of the Multi-spinal regions and Lumbar-Hip Complex Kinematics during Dominant Daily TasksALQHTANI RaeeGraduatePhD
An Investigation to Establish How The Evolution of Rugby Influences The Risk of Spinal Injury During ScrummagingSWAMINATHAN RameshGraduatePhD
Developing a computational model to enabe simulation of blood perfusion/circulation during cardiopulmonary resuscitationSHAABETH Samar Ali JaberGraduatePhD

Engineering an improvement in chest compression quality during simulated infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation

MARTIN PhilipGraduatePhD

Dr Theobald's research group focuses on areas including:

  • Head protection
  • Injury prevention
  • Light-weighting
  • Energy absorption
  • Additive manufacturing for medical application
  • Orthopaedics

Please contact him using the above details should your interests lie within these areas

Current supervision

Rhosslyn Adams

Research student

Benjamin Hanna

Research student

Faizan Ahmad

Research student