Alan Smith

Professor Alan Smith CEng, PhD, FIMMM

Emeritus Professor


Professor Alan Smith is an Emeritus Professor. He has led the Sheffield Hallam University - Outokumpu Welding and Joining Research group since 1996. He is a well-respected consultant engineer and has acted in this capacity for the World Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the Governments of India and Nigeria. Professor Smith is regularly featured in the media both locally, nationally and internationally in the context of his work in the field of forensic failure investigations and the analysis and identification of counterfeit products.


He is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. He is Professor of Forensic Engineering and is frequently called upon to act as an Expert Witness specialising in welding and joining and collision investigation. He is also an enthusiastic advocate of industry-academia interaction in terms of research and development, consultancy and Knowledge Transfer.

Alan Smith is committed to developing and delivering Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with engineering and materials companies across the UK.

Projects currently in progress include
Baldwin and Francis
Tyzack Machine Knives
P and B Metal Components Ltd.

Forensic investigation of materials. Particularly focused on the establishment of the On-Off status of light bulbs taken from vehicles involved in road traffic incidents. Welding and Joining of metals particularly of dissimilar materials using resistance spot welding, arc brazing, friction stir welding, Cold Metal Transfer, laser welding, laser hybrid welding, and transient liquid phase bonding.


College of Business, Technology and Engineering

Materials Engineering

Materials Engineering

Joining and NDT


Friction Stir Welding of Steel

An Investigation into the Welding of Ferritic Stainless Steel to Ferritic Stainless Steel Joints produced using MAG, CMT & CMT + P Processes

An Investigation into damage repair of structural Al-Li air frames.

Repair of aircraft materials using Friction Stir Welding

Air Products
The Welding Institute


A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA


Engineering Education Conference - Increasing Student Participation. Editor: Dr A.J. Smith., 12th - 14th September 1994, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield England. ISBN 0-86339-4523 Sheffield Hallam University

Engineering Education Conference - Increasing Student Participation. Post Conference Proceedings. Editor; Dr A J Smith 12th -14th September 1994, Sheffield England. ISBN0 86339 6968 Sheffield The Guiding Light - Police Professional - The professional Journal of the UK Police Service - Issue 91, November 2007 p24-26.

A novel method of producing continuous reinforced fibre automotive structural components. First International Symposium on Automated Composites Manufacturing, April 11-12, 2013, Concordia, Montreal, Canada. Syed T Hasan, Philip McDonald, Alan J Smith, Graham Cockerham and Barry Richardson

The Guiding Light - Investigative Practice Journal - A Police Professional publication, November 2007, p24-26. Clarity Publishing Ltd., Kingfisher Exchange, 3rd Floor, Kingfisher House Walton Street Aylesbury HP21 7AY

The Use of Advanced Analytical Techniques for the Study of Failure. Dr Jess Cawley, Dr A Smith and Mr Darren Swinson, "12th International Federation of Heat treatment and Surface Engineering Congress" 29th October - 3rd November 2000, Carlton Crest Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

Effect of Carbon Content and Heat Treatment on the Microstructure of Alloy 690 Steam Generator Tubing. A J Smith and R P Stratton. Presented at NUCMAT 88, Materials Engineering for High Risk Environments, Nice, France; 22nd - 24th June 1988. Published in Conference Proceedings

Relationship between Composition, Microstructure and Corrosion Behaviour of Alloy 690 Steam Generator Tubing for PWR Systems. A J Smith and R P Stratton. Fourth International Symposium on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power Systems Water Reactors, Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA; 4th - 10th August 1989. Published in Conference Proceedings

Thermal Treatment, Grain Boundary Composition and Intergranular Attack Resistance of Alloy 690. A J Smith and R P Stratton. Fifth International Symposium on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power System Water Reactors, Monterey, California, USA; 25th - 29th August 1991. Published in Conference Proceedings.

Steam Generator Research - Alloy 690. A J Smith and R P Stratton. Workshop on PWR Steam Generator Materials Research. Hallamshire Business Park, Sheffield Hallam University, England; 8th April 1992.

The Effect of the Weld Thermal Cycle on the Microstructure and Corrosion Resistance of Alloys 690, 600 and 800. A J Smith, R P Stratton, and R Tuttle. Sixth International Symposium on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power Systems - Water Reactors. San Diego, California, USA. 1st - 5th August, 1993. Published in Conference Proceedings.

Invited Lectures

Institute of Incorporated Engineers 3rd Prestige Lecture, IMECHE Headquarters, Birdcage Walk, London - entitled “Forensic Engineering – Learning from Disaster?” 21st March 2000

Institute of Incorporated Engineers Yorkshire Branch Guest Lecture, Thackery Medical Museum - “Forensic Engineering – Learning From Disaster?” 17th October 2000

IMECHE Yorkshire branch lecture at the University of Sheffield 28th November 2001 lecture entitled "Forensic Engineering -To Err is Human."

Invited to give a guest lecture on the subject of Forensic Engineering at the Rolls Royce Derbyshire Society of Engineers Monday March 4th 2002.

Invited to give a guest lecture on the subject of Forensic Engineering at the Newark Engineering Society Wednesday 9th October 2002.

Institute of Electrical Engineers invited lecture on "A Review of Forensic Engineering" - March 12th 2003 Lincoln Society of Engineers.

Invited to give a guest lecture at Brighton University, School of Engineering on the subject of "Forensic Engineering". March 12th 2003.

Invited to give a lecture by the Engineering Integrity Society at a one day conference on Failure Investigation in Fatigue, Wednesday 2nd July 2003, Nettle Hill Training and Conference centre Ansty Coventry.

Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association - Invited to give a presentation on Forensic Engineering 23rd May 2003, Tapton Hall, Shore Lane, and Sheffield.

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering University of Sheffield, Sir Frederick Mappin Building Mappin Street. Invited lecture on the subject of "Ethical Engineering and Design" Monday 29th March 2004.

Institute of Electrical Engineers - South West Branch, Plymouth. Invited to give a lecture on "Forensic Engineering - Opportunities for Electrical Engineers"4th October 2004.

The Royal Academy of Engineers; Spring Board to Science Engineering and Technology, Lecture on Forensic Engineering, Sheffield Hallam University, 5th January 2005.

The Engineering Education Scheme. Lecture on An introduction to Forensic Investigation - Sheffield Hallam University 5th January 2006

The Welding Institute and Sheffield Hallam University Forensic Engineering Workshop, Keynote lecture 17th November 2005, Sheffield England, "An Introduction to Forensic Engineering"

4th European Congress on Chemical Engineering Keynote Lecture 24th September 2003 Granada, Spain "Forensic Engineering - Engineering with Public Interest"

National Senior Collision Investigators Conference - Invited Keynote Lecture - Forensic Light Bulb Examination - 18th 19th March 2006, Wyboston in Bedfordshire.

Institute of Engineering and Technology Sussex Branch - "Forensic Engineering for "Joe Public"" 5th December 2007, The Hawth theatre, Crawley, East Sussex.

Institute of Engineering and Technology - South West Branch, Plymouth. Invited to give a lecture on "Forensic Engineering - Engineering with Public Interest "15th January 2008, Plymouth University.

Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators (ITAI) invited to give a presentation at the ITAI Annual General Meeting entitled "Higher Education Qualifications in Collision Investigation" 14th May 2008, Winterhill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes.

Institute of Engineering and Technology - South West Branch Devon and Cornwall , Plymouth. Invited to give a lecture on "Forensic Engineering - Engineering with Public Interest "15th January 2009, Plymouth University.

Institute of Engineering and Technology - Solent Retired Members Section - Southampton "Forensic Engineering - In Collision Investigation - 28th January 2009.

Other activities

PGR External Examiner - local, national and international examination duties.
Editorial Panel Member for the International Materials Review Journal
Member of the Editorial Panel of the International Journal of Steel Structures
Editorial Panel Member for Cogent Engineering
Member of the Welding Institute Education and Accreditation Committee.

Postgraduate supervision

Currently supervising 4 PhDs looking at novel joining techniques for joining aluminium, ferritic stainless steel and high carbon steel

Effects of the Weld Thermal Cycle on the Microstructure of Alloy 690 - J R Tuttle. 1997

Fatigue Properties of Dissimilar Metal Laser Welded Lap Joints - C P Dinsley, 2004

Resistance Spot Welding of Duplex Stainless Steel - T M Wray 2004

Statistical Analysis of the Fatigue Behaviour of Single and Multi-Spot Welded Joints, A J Clifton 2007

Mechanical and Metallurgical Properties of Dissimilar Metal Joints Using Novel Joining Techniques, E J Ashcroft Arc Brazing of Austenitic Stainless Steel to Similar and Dissimilar Metals, Moschini J L 2009

The Effects of Arc Brazing on the Mechanical Properties of Stainless Steel, Burgin F K 2012


Alan has worked in a wide range of manufacturing industries including the oil and gas industry, automotive industries, stainless steel manufacturers, aerospace, cutting tool manufacturers, sports technologies, securities, rail and the construction sector. He is an expert witness and has provided testimony in a number of high profile criminal cases and is in-demand as an advocate of knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs), as well as for his specialist welding, alloys and ceramics expertise.

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