I am a research student at Cardiff University studying nonlinear elasticity. This position, like my previous employment, is a cross between mathematics, engineering and computer science. My future plans involve research into design, manufacture and optimisation of microstructures for biomechanical applications.

CV | pdf


  • PhD Thesis (2015 - Present)
    • Supervisor: Dr. Angela Miahi
    • My PhD research is based primarily in nonlinear elasticity theory and in particular: multibody contact problems, multiscale analysis and fractal beams.
    • 1. We consider tissues (a collection of biological cells) under shear deformation and observe cell-cell debonding.
    • 2. Next we consider continuous tissues (where debonding does not occur) and create new functions to describe their deformation and impliment them in an open source finite element solver FEBio.
    • 3. Finally we consider Koch curves as elastic beams and describe their deformation.

  • Engineering Collaboration (Oct 2015 - Present)
    • Collaborator: Dr. Hayley Wyatt
    • Hayley and I have worked together throughout my PhD, this has included creating finite element models together and performing physical testing on silicone cellular structures - DIC and video strain gauge for compression and tension tests.

  • Engineering Collaboration (Jul 2017 - Present)
    • Collaborator: Faizan Ahmad
    • Faizan works on neonatal heart tissue and my contribution to his work primarily involves building computational models using nonlinear elastic theory to create strain energy density functions (an elastic equation) to describe the material behaviour, based on his physical testing results. This captures fibre and cross fibre behaviour.

  • Fractal Inspired Lattice Geometry (2013 - Present)
    • Additive manufacture (3D printing) is revolutionising 21st century engineering and the technology is set to continue improving. This means new types of materials can be designed that would have previously been impossible to manufacture, with properties tailored exactly for use. The geometric designs I have created aim to reduce vibration and impact forces and I hope have a number of uses in industries such as aerospace, automotive, biomechanics and soft robotics. Spatially varying elasticity is an up-and-coming research field with great potential.

Paper Publications

  • PhD Thesis (2015 - Present)
    • Safar, A and Mihai, LA. 2018. The nonlinear elasticity of hyperelastic models for stretch-dominated architectures. International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics - Submitted for Peer Review

    • Safar, A. Wyatt, H. and Mihai, LA. 2017. Debonding of cellular structures with reduced cell pressure under increasing shear load. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering - Submitted for Peer Review

    • Wyatt, H. Safar, A. Clarke, A. Evans, S. and Mihai, LA. 2017. Nonlinear stretching effects in soft cellular structures. Royal Society Open Science - Submitted for Peer Review

    • Mihai, L A. Safar, A. and Wyatt, H. 2016. Debonding of cellular structures with fibre-reinforced cell walls under shear deformation. Journal of Engineering Mathematics

  • (Conference papers are included below)

Notable Contributions

  • Cardiff SIAM-IMA Student Chapter Vice President (2017 - Present)

  • Cardiff SIAM-IMA Student Chapter Treasurer (2015 - 2017)

  • Instructor on Undergraduate MATLAB course (2017 - Present)

  • Math Support Tutor for cross-campus mathematics walk-in service (2015 - Present)

Academic Awards

  • Best Presenter | SIAM National Student Chapter Conference, Galway (May 2017)
  • Second Place | SIAM-IMA Three Minute Thesis, Cardiff (May 2017)
  • Competition Winner | Spark Business Innovation Ideas, Cardiff (April 2017)
  • Mike Crisfield Prize: best presenter amongst all Post-graduate Research Students and Post-doctoral Researchers | 25th UKACM Computational Mechanics, Birmingham (April 2017)
  • Poster Prize | SIAM UKIE, Strathclyde (Jan 2017)

Funding Awarded

  • £14,000 p/a (3.5 years) | EPSRC and Cardiff University Postgraduate Research Studentship

  • £50 | SIAM-IMA Student Travel Award (May 2018)

  • £4000+ | Newton Fund, British Council, ANII, FAPESP - Brazil workshop sponsorship (March 2018)

  • £150 | SIAM Student Travel Award (May 2017)

  • £100 | SNSC Conference - Best Presenter (May 2017)

  • £500 | Cardiff Spark Ideas - Competition Winner (April 2017)

  • £250 | 25th UKACM conference Mike Crisfield Award (April 2017)

  • £150 | SIAM Student Travel Award (Jan 2017)

Conferences & Workshops

  • Workshop Leader:
    • 'Patterns in the world around us' | The Romsey School, Southampton (Jul 2017)
      • I took four different mathematics classes over the day for yr 8-10s. The talks I gave aimed to entertain, give an insight into higher learning STEM subjects and the beauty in the things we use every day. We talked about the cellular structures of the objects around us, explored their properties, talked about geometries and tesselations. Then we moved onto 3D printing interesting geometries, biomimicry and finally fractals and the golden ratio. We also did some exercises including The Chaos Game, finding nth terms (and fractals) in Pascal's Triangle and also creating paper tetrakaidadecahedrons, or truncated octahedron, to show a perfect stacking in 3D space.

    • SIAM-IMA Student Chapter 'Full STEAM Ahead' | Cardiff University (June 2017)
      • I designed and led a 3D printing workshop where students had the opportunity to design and print their own 3D fidget spinners using the freely available browser-based software ‘Onshape’. There was a prize for the best designs, submitted on the day and printed later by our colleagues in Engineering. Each student also received a 3D printed ‘gyro’ keyring memento of the event to take away with them.

    • Science Cafe 'Why does the apple fall apart?' | Porters, Cardiff (June 2017)
      • A public engagement presentation to show the wider community more on the subject that I am passionate about - cellular structures in engineering and nature. Full talk can be found here.

  • Contributed Talk:
    • 10th European Solid Mechanics Conference | Bologne, Italy (July 2018)
    • 10th Oxford SIAM-IMA Student Chapter Conference | Oxford (May 2018)
    • SIAM-IMA Three Minute Thesis Competition | Cardiff (Apr 2018)
    • Newton Trilateral Workshop: Bio-soft-matter & Agrifood Challenges | Sao Paulo, Brazil (Mar 2018)
    • Applied Mathematics Seminar Series | Cardiff (Mar 2018)
    • SIAM-IMA Seminar Series | Cardiff (Feb 2018)
    • Applied Mathematics Seminar Series | Cardiff (Nov 2017)
    • Ligtening talk | Cardiff (Oct 2017)
    • 6th SIAM National Student Conference | Galway (May 2017)
    • SIAM-IMA Three Minute Thesis Competition | Cardiff (May 2017)
    • 25th UKACM Computational Mechanics | Birmingham (Apr 2017)
    • Applied Mathematics Seminar Series | Cardiff (Nov 2016)
    • SIAM-IMA Seminar Series | Cardiff (Mar 2016)

  • Contributed Poster:

  • Conference Proceeding Publications:
    • Wyatt, H. Safar, A. Evans, S. and Mihai, LA. 2017. The elastic behaviour of soft cellular structures under large tensile loading. Presented at: 7th International Conference on Mechanics of Biomaterials and Tissues, Hawaii, USA, 10-14 December 2017.

    • Safar, A. Wyatt, H. and Mihai, LA. 2017. Debonding of cellular structures under shear deformation. Presented at: SIAM UKIE Section – National Student Chapter Conference 2017, NUI Galway, 26 May 2017. Pg. 20-21

    • Safar, A. Wyatt, H. and Mihai, LA. 2017. Debonding of cellular structures under shear deformation. Presented at: 25th Conference of the UK Association for Computational Mechanics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK, 11-13 April 2017. Pg. 296-299

Society Membership