I’m a Research Associate in the Applied Modelling and Computation Group at Imperial College London, UK.

My research involves simulating real materials on a computer to unveil the physical phenomena that can help solving industrial problems, optimising processes and leading to new discoveries in material science.

Here are some direct applications of my research: 

  • More resistant catalytic pellets can reduce costs in the production of hydrogen, ammonia and other industrial chemicals while reducing energy consumption and industrial waste.
  • A better understanding of jet drilling processes can enhance the productivity of geothermal wells and reduce the costs for renewable energy.
  • Stronger and more reliable engineered materials can help build safer and cheaper infrastructures.
My research interests span from structural analysis and fracture mechanics to solid fragmentation, multi-body system dynamicsnumerical methods and computational mechanics.

I’m also the founder and co-director of Golden Square Tutors, a collective of top private tutors based in central London.
When I am not busy running computer simulations or making experiments with high-velocity impact testing machines, I also sing (mostly jazz and rock) and play guitar.


To fund my research I have contributed, often as the main contributor, to writing several fellowship and research proposals. In particular the ICE Research and Development Enabling Fund Award (£25,000) was awarded by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) to support my research on fibre reinforced sprayed concrete lined tunnel simulations. One year later, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) awarded its Impact Acceleration Account grant for my research on catalyst packing dynamic (£72,495) and a few years later on concrete armour unit collision simulator for coastal protection (£71,796). Recently an FTSE 100 listed company has signed a contract with Imperial College (£25,000) for utilising the FDEM code that I have been developing with my research group and for the software training that I have provided. The Dame Julia Higgins Engineering Postdoc Collaborative Research Fund has funded three separate research projects that I have submitted in 2019, over a total of nine funded projects overall that year, on simulating 3D printed metal structures (£2,000), modelling micro particles for non-invasive measurement of pressure (£2,847) and simulating the biomechanics of ulceration in diabetic feet (£1,508). More info on my research projects below:

I am currently developing a computational tools that simulate rock failure and solid production in vertical wells. The project is fully funded by the PETRONAS Centre for Engineering of Multiphase Systems.

I have been developing a computational tool that quantifies damage of coast defence structures (e.g. mass losses). The project was fully funded by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account with the aim of enhancing the open source Solidity FDEM code… READ MORE

I have joined a European collaborative research group working on radial water jet drilling. The project was fully funded by the European Commission with the aim of enhancing the productivity of geothermal resources… READ MORE

I am also working on the numerical simulation of packing properties for catalyst support optimisation. This research is the result of a collaboration between Imperial and Johnson Matthey, an FTSE 100 listed company (Johnson Matthey fits with its catalysts around one third of all cars worldwide) … READ MORE

I am also working on the numerical simulation of particle stress and fracture for catalyst support optimisation … READ MORE

I have also been working on a collaboration with London Underground and other construction engineering companies to provide a better understanding of post-crack behaviour of sprayed concrete lined tunnels. My research will help engineers design future expansions of the underground railway system in the UK … READ MORE

I have been working with state-of-the-art mechanical testing equipment in the Materials and Structural labs at Imperial, undertaking micro- and nano-indentations, ultrasonic and strength tests, with the aim of characterising the material properties of ceramic catalyst pellets. I have also developed a novel digital image correlation methodology to obtain both strength and stiffness from three-point bending tests on stiff ceramic bars … READ MORE

Side projects

I have been using computational tools for evaluating the effect of residual stresses in 3D printed metal structures. This research is funded by the Dame Julia Higgins Engineering Postdoc Collaborative Research Fund.

I have been investigating possible applications of the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) to study the biomechanics of ulceration in diabetic feet. This research is funded by the Dame Julia Higgins Engineering Postdoc Collaborative Research Fund.
I have been simulating micro particle deformations to help develop a new method for non-invasive measurement of pressure in microfluidic chips (and possibly in the human body). This research is funded by the Dame Julia Higgins Engineering Postdoc Collaborative Research Fund.
I have been working with a PhD student in the Civil Engineering department at Imperial (Anna Caklais) to assess the  stability of precariously balanced rocks during earthquakes.
I have supervised a student from the Department of Physics at Imperial (Christopher Bradley). We have been investigating the crystallisation of small tetrahedral particles.
I have supervised two student from the Geophysics MSci at Imperial (William Andrews and Edward Clark). We have been investigating the packing properties of realistic rock shapes.
I have supervised two student from the Geophysics MSci at Imperial. We have been investigating the packing properties of realistic breakwater armour units (Rachael Fletcher) and their articulation (Tan Yun Zhou) with experiments and simulations.


Industry training and workshops

I am working with the AMCG and Imperial Innovations to launch a commercial software based on combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM). This involves peaching the software to companies, organising training classes and workshops, writing the manual of the software and keeping in touch with industrial contacts. My main role has been to create the training materials, tailor and validate the software on the basis of specific industrial requirements, showcase the software’s capabilities to build trust with companies and secure funding.

Teaching at Imperial College London

I have worked as a teaching assistant for maths, physics and programming courses at the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London. In particular, the courses I have demonstrated for are Maths Methods 3 (vector calculus and Fourier analysis), Physics for Geoscientists (mechanics, electricity and magnetism), Numerical Methods 1 (numerical methods in Python), Coastal Engineering (coastal structures design and case histories and slope stability), Environmental and Engineering Geology (excavation, blasting, geomaterial properties, case studies). 

Private teaching

I am the founder and co-director of Golden Square Tutors, a collective of top private tutors based in central London. I have been giving private lessons to A Level, undergraduate and Master’s students. Over the last few years I have also been working with major London-based tutoring agencies The Profs and First Tutors, often working with students from Russell Group universities. I teach different scientific topics, such as mathematics (mainly calculus, linear algebra and numerical methods), computer science, physics, and engineering (mainly structural analysis, hydraulics and soil mechanics).

Hermes Summer School

I was a member of the organising committee for Hermes 2016, an international materials modelling summer school that took place in Cumberland Lodge, Windsor (just outside London). This involved planning classes and activities, reviewing the academic literature on current methods and trends in material modelling, keeping in touch with world-class academic and industrial speakers, and liaising with funders. My main role was to build relations with companies and charities to promote the event and to secure funding. During the summer school I have been leading work groups and supervising the activities. 

About me

I was born in Monza, near Milan (Italy), and before moving to the UK I have studied at the Polytechnic University of Milan, where I have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Building Engineering and a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering.

I have presented my research to peers at conferences in the UK, the rest of Europe, Asia and America. I was also invited to deliver lectures in the invited session at three international conferences. These were the 7th International Conference on Coupled Problems and at the 5th International Conference on Particle-Based Methods, where I was invited in view of my “acknowledged reputation and well-known research activities in this area”. I was also invited to deliver a lecture to the 13th Annual Conference on Materials Science, Metals and Manufacturing Conference, November 16-17, 2017 in Paris, France (which I was unfortunately unable to attend). For the list of conferences see the Talks Section below.

Alongside my academic research, I am also teaching, both at Imperial and as a private tutor. I am the founder and co-director of Golden Square Tutors, a collective of top private tutors based in central London. I was also one of the organisers of the Hermes 2016 summer school, more on this in the Teaching Section. 


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Computational Mechanics

Master of Science (MSc), Structural (Civil) Engineering

Bachelor of Science (BSc), Building Engineering




University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
22-26 July 2019

H2020 SURE meeting

World Forum, The Hague, The Netherlands
13th June 2019


Marriott Marquis, New York City, New York
22-27 July 2018

Invited presentation

University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany
26-28 September 2017

Invited presentation

Rodos Palace International Convention Center, Rhodes, Greece
12-14 June 2017

Presentation **Best Student Paper Award**

Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China
1-4 August 2016


University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom
15-16 June 2016


Imago conference centre, Loughborough University,
Loughborough, United Kingdom
12-13 April 2016


Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
28-30 September 2015

Poster presentation

Imago conference centre, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
8-9 April 2015

Poster presentation

Manchester conference centre, Manchester, United Kingdom
16-17 September 2014

School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
25 June 2014

Poster presentation

Imago conference centre, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
15-16 April 2014



Belasis Technology Park, Billingham,  United Kingdom
10 July 2015


South Kensington Campus, London  United Kingdom
31 March 2015


South Kensington Campus, London  United Kingdom
1 November 2013


I am open for industrial consultancy projects, both privately and with Imperial College Consultants. I’m an expert in stress analysis, numerical modelling and mechanical testing in the following areas:

Ceramics, structural applications, non-destructive testing (micro indentations), mechanical properties and characterisation (three-point bending tests, compression tests, digital image correlation), modelling of catalyst supports (packing density, stress/deformations and fragmentation, shape optimisation, heat transfer).

Drilling technology (equipment design, borehole stability, jet drilling). Rock and soil mechanics (analysis and simulation of stresses and fractures).

Tabletting, powder compaction, catalyst supports.

Modelling (structural analysis, fracture mechanics, geomechanics). Testing (three-point bending test, compression testing, digital image correlation and tracking). Breakwaters and tunnels.

Computational mechanics software for engineering modelling: finite element method (e.g. ABAQUS, MATLAB, Ansys, etc.), discrete element method and combined finite-discrete element method (e.g. Solidity). Introduction to coding: MATLAB, Python, C. Advanced coding: MATLAB, Python.

Click here to download my consulting portfolio.



Room 4.94,
Royal School of Mines, Imperial College London, United Kingdom


If you want to stay up to date with my research, publications, talks and all the other stuff I am doing, follow me on Twitter or just check down here:

An interesting library of 3D models by #UQ. Do we have anything similar in ESE @MarkSutton15 ?

I have just passed my exam after a three-week course on cloud computing with Microsoft Azure. Thanks to James Percival, Tim Greaves and @gerardjgorman https://t.co/tteGWIJszw

Check out my new paper titled "Strength and fragmentation behaviour of complex-shaped catalyst pellets: a numerical and experimental study"
https://t.co/P8iDquiRCY https://t.co/aRa96JsKWG
AdoFarsi photo

Great week spent at the #DEM8 conference discussing new approaches to simulate multi-body systems https://t.co/23bJl4himQ AdoFarsi photo

Exciting ideas for new research collaborations at the Dame Julia Higgins Networking Event @ImperialPFDC https://t.co/icPVkfZwfo AdoFarsi photo

Great discussions on jet drilling for geothermal wells here at #EGC2019 with our SURE partners @EU_H2020 https://t.co/QbmRJmrLXl AdoFarsi photo