John Biggins

John Biggins is a lecturer (≈ assistant professor) of applied mechanics at Cambridge University. John originally studied theoretical physics at Cambridge, and conducted research at Harvard and Caltech prior to his current appointment in Cambridge  Engineering. His expertise centers on the theoretical and computational mechanics of soft solids, including gels, elastomers, and biological tissues. In particular, John’s research group work on the deformation and actuation of liquid crystal elastomers, and on mechanical instabilities in soft solids such as buckling, wrinkling and folding.  He is perhaps best known for the  mechanical theory for the formation of the folds on the human brain and his explanation of the viral you-tube video of a “chain-fountain”. In 2020 John was awarded a prestigious UKRI Future leaders fellowship, to work on deploying LCEs as artificial muscles in soft mechanical devices. As part of this award, he is currently establishing a lab, to complement his group’s theoretical and computational approaches.