Dr Beñat Gurrutxaga-Lerma CEng MIMechE FRSA

Dr Beñat Gurrutxaga-Lerma

School of Metallurgy and Materials

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Beñat Gurrutxaga-Lerma is a Lecturer in Materials Modelling in the School of Metallurgy and Materials.

His research focuses on the multiscale modelling of materials, with particular interest in their dynamic behaviour (i.e., the material’s behaviour at high strain rates or under dynamic loading conditions, such as those that may be encountered in impacts or shocks). A material’s dynamic response can depart dramatically from its conventional “slow” response: a sand bag may stop a bullet, but it is very easy to pierce and break apart with a slow knife. Dr Gurrutxaga-Lerma is interested in unravelling how microscopic mechanisms that are simply too expensive to be activated at low loading rates suddenly become active at high loading rates, usually because they are faster acting.

Dr Gurrutxaga-Lerma’s expertise is in the mathematical and computational modelling of defects at the micro- and meso-scales, with view to enhancing our understanding of the microstructural processes that dominate the material’s response under dynamic conditions. Dr Gurrutxaga-Lerma is also a keen elastician, and interested in exploring new mathematical methodologies to transfer information from atomistic systems to the elastic continuum. 


  • PhD in Physics, Imperial College London, 2014
  • MSc in Theory and Simulation of Materials, Imperial College London, 2011
  • MEng (Ingeniería Superior) in Mechanical Engineering, University of the Basque Country, 2010
  • CEng, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2013.


Beñat Gurrutxaga-Lerma earned his first degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Basque Country in 2010. He then enrolled in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Theory of Simulation of Materials at Imperial College London, from which he graduated in late 2014 with a PhD in Materials Physics under the direction of Prof Daniele Dini, Prof Adrian Sutton, Dr Daniel Balint and Dr Daniel Eakins. His PhD work on elastodynamic dislocation dynamics won him the Institute of Physics’ Computational Physics Group prize in 2014.

After a year as an EPSRC Doctoral Prize fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, in 2016 he was elected a Title A Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he worked as a College Fellow at the Department of Engineering of the University of Cambridge, studying time-dependencies in deformation and failure of crystalline materials. He was also a college supervisor in Engineering at Trinity College.

Beñat joined the School of Metallurgy and Materials in 2019, where his work, and remains a fellow of Trinity College Cambridge. 

Postgraduate supervision

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   


Dr Gurrutxaga-Lerma’s research focuses on developing understanding of the way microstructural processes behave under dynamic loading conditions, with aims at developing new constitutive models of materials for their use in industrial applications. Particular techniques of interest include:

Atomistic modelling

  • Molecular dynamics
  • lattice dynamics
  • DFT

Mesoscale techniques

  • Discrete dislocation dynamics
  • Phase field models

Continuum level modelling

  • Elastodynamics
  • Thermomechanics
  • Stochastic methods
  • Crystal plasticity and constitutive models

Other activities

  • CEng, Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • Fellow, Royal Society of the Arts


Recent publications


Gurrutxaga Lerma, B 2020, 'On the transient planar contact problem in the presence of dry friction and slip', International Journal of Solids and Structures, vol. 193-194, pp. 314-327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2020.02.031

Gurrutxaga Lerma, B, Verschueren, J, Sutton, AP & Dini, D 2020, 'The mechanics and physics of high-speed dislocations: a critical review', International Materials Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1080/09506608.2020.1749781

Pervier, MLA, Gurrutxaga Lerma, B, Piles Moncholi, E & Hammond, DW 2019, 'A new test apparatus to measure the adhesive shear strength of impact ice on titanium 6Al-4V alloy', Engineering Fracture Mechanics, vol. 214, pp. 212-222. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engfracmech.2019.01.039

Gurrutxaga-Lerma, B 2019, 'A stochastic study of the collective effect of random distributions of dislocations', Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, vol. 124, pp. 10-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmps.2018.10.001

Gurrutxaga Lerma, B & Verschueren, J 2019, 'Generalized Kanzaki force field of extended defects in crystals with applications to the modeling of edge dislocations', Physical Review Materials, vol. 3, no. 11, 113801, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.3.113801

Gurrutxaga-Lerma, B 2019, 'On the transient dynamic antiplane contact problem in the presence of dry friction and slip', International Journal of Solids and Structures, vol. 170, pp. 142-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2019.04.015

Gurrutxaga-Lerma, B 2018, 'Adiabatic shear banding and the micromechanics of plastic flow in metals', International Journal of Solids and Structures, vol. 132-133, pp. 153-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2017.09.025

Gurrutxaga Lerma, B & Verschueren, J 2018, 'Elastic models of dislocations based on atomistic Kanzaki forces', Physical Review B, vol. 98, no. 13, 134104. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.98.134104

Gurrutxaga-Lerma, B 2018, 'Static and dynamic multipolar field expansions of dislocations and cracks in solids', International Journal of Engineering Science, vol. 128, pp. 165-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijengsci.2018.03.012

Gurrutxaga Lerma, B, Balint, DS, Dini, D & Sutton, AP 2017, 'A dynamic discrete dislocation plasticity study of elastodynamic shielding of stationary cracks', Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, vol. 98, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmps.2016.08.014

Gurrutxaga Lerma, B 2017, 'Elastodynamic image forces on screw dislocations in the presence of phase boundaries', Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, vol. 473, no. 2205, 20170484. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2017.0484

Gurrutxaga-Lerma, B 2017, 'How strong is the temperature increase due to a moving dislocation?', International Journal of Solids and Structures, vol. 108, pp. 263-274. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2016.12.026

Gurrutxaga-Lerma, B, Shehadeh, MA, Balint, DS, Dini, D, Chen, L & Eakins, DE 2017, 'The effect of temperature on the elastic precursor decay in shock loaded FCC aluminium and BCC iron', International Journal of Plasticity, vol. 96, pp. 135-155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijplas.2017.05.001

Verschueren, J, Gurrutxaga-Lerma, B, Balint, DS, Dini, D & Sutton, AP 2017, 'The injection of a screw dislocation into a crystal: Atomistics vs. continuum elastodynamics', Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, vol. 98, pp. 366-389. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmps.2016.10.004


Verschueren, J, Gurrutxaga Lerma, B, Balint, DS, Sutton, AP & Dini, D 2018, 'Instabilities of high speed dislocations', Physical Review Letters, vol. 121, no. 14, 145502. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.145502

View all publications in research portal