Dr Nigel Mills PhD, DEng

Honorary Reader in Polymer Engineering

School of Metallurgy and Materials

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Nigel Mills now has honorary status, having worked in Metallurgy and Materials since 1970. He has published 165 papers in scientific journals, a textbook on Plastics and their engineering applications, and a Handbook of Polymer Foams.

Please see the polymer engineering for details of recent research and pdfs of recent papers.


  • DEng, Birmingham, 1994
  • PhD, Birmingham, 1977
  • BA (Natural Sciences), Cambridge, 1964


After qualifying with a BA at Cambridge in 1964, Nigel worked for Imperial Chemical Industries Petrochemical and Polymers laboratory until 1970 when he joined the then Physical Metallurgy department at Birmingham.


Polymer foams, Personal protective equipment (helmets)

Recent research has centred on the micromechanics of polymer foams, using Finite Element Analysis to develop micromechanics models of foam mechanical properties, and on the impact performance of helmets for cyclists and motorcyclists.


Mills N.J. (2005) Plastics: Microstructure and Engineering Applications, 3rd Ed. Butterworth Heinemann, London. 

Mills N.J. (2007) Polymer Foams Handbook- Engineering and biomechanics applications and design guide. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford,

Mills N.J. & Gilchrist A.  (2008) Oblique impact testing of bicycle helmets, Int. J. Impact Engng., 34, 1075-1086.

Mills N.J. & Gilchrist A.  (2008) Finite Element Analysis of bicycle helmet oblique impacts, Int. J. Impact Engng., 34, 1087-1101.

Mills N.J., Stämpfli R., Marone F., Brühwiler P. (2009) Finite element micromechanics model of impact compression of closed-cell polymer foams, Int. J. Solids Structures, 46, 677-697.

Mills N.J., Wilkes S., Derler S., Flisch A. (2009) FEA of oblique impact tests on motorcycle helmets, Int. J. Impact Engng., 36, 913-925.

Mills N.J.  (2008) Comments on Depreitere et al ‘Lateral head impacts and protection of the temporal area by bicycle safety helmets’, J. Trauma, 65, 479-481.

Mills N.J.  (2010) Critical evaluation of the SHARP motorcycle helmet rating, Int. J. Crashworthiness, 15, 331-342.

Mills N.J.  (2010) Micromechanics model for the yield surface of rigid, closed-cell, polymer foams, J. Mater. Sci., 45, 5831-5843

Mills N.J. (2010) Modelling the dynamic crushing of closed cell polyethylene and polystyrene foams, J. Cellular Plastics, accepted 15.12.10

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