Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Dr Chris Williams

Contact details

Room: 6E 4.11a
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386818

Personal website

PhD supervision

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Archtectural and structural geometry
  • Shell and gridshell structures
  • Dynamic fluid/structure interaction

Dr Chris Williams



Chris Williams is a structural engineer who worked for Ove Arup and Partners prior to joining the Department.

Chris has a particular interest in the relationship between geometrical form and structural action as applied to bridges, shells, tension structures and tall buildings. This leads to the use of specially written computer programs to generate complex, often organic, forms for architectural and structural applications. His work has been applied in practice with architects and engineers including Foster + Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Branson Coates Architecture, Shigeru Ban Architects, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Edward Cullinan Architects, Atelier One and Buro Happold.

Chris's teaching interests include design project work with students of both architecture and engineering, structural analysis, computer programming and continuum mechanics.

Recent achievements include:

  • Invited speaker at: Architectural Association, London; Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University, New York; University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia; National Technical University of Athens; Civil Engineering Department, TU Delft, Netherlands; Architecture Department, HTW Chur, Switzerland; Cambridge University Engineering Department; Departmento de Matem├ítica, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto, Portugal; Martin Centre, Architectural Research, Cambridge University; Foster and Partners; Arup Associates, London; Fielden Clegg Bradley, London
  • Smartgeometry Tutor
  • Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen
  • Defined geometry and performed non-linear structural analysis of: British Museum Great Court roof (Foster and Partners, Buro Happold, Waagner-Biro); Weald and Downland Museum gridshell (Edward Cullinan Architects, Buro Happold, Green Oak Carpentry); Savill Gardens gridshell (Glenn Howells Architects, Buro Happold, Green Oak Carpentry)


The use of computers and the introduction of a wider range of shapes for bridges and buildings have led to a renewed interest in geometry and structural behaviour. Chris is involved in both the geometrical aspect of design, but also, more importantly, in structural behaviour and the dynamic interaction of fluids and structures.


Read publications by Chris Williams