Dr Olga Barrera

Reader in Mechanical Engineering

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Dr. Olga Barrera (Reader in Mechanical Engineering, Oxford Brookes University), year tutor in UG Engineering. Research fellow at the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, where she was based full-time from 2008-2017. Consultant at Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

Teaching activities

2018 - present             Undergraduate Modules: solid mechanics, materials engineering, advanced stress analysis, stress and dynamics, sustainability (>100 students per course). Oxford Brookes University.

2022 - present             Postgraduate Module: Mechanics and Connective Tissue, Multi-Modal Mechanical Microscopy of Material, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, UK.

2012 - 2018      Undergraduate Modules: solid mechanics, mechanics of materials, dynamics of machines, Thermodynamics of allow. Postgraduate Modules: Powder material, plasticity, finite element method, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, UK.


  • Current PG students supervised:

Mr Sachin Gunda with IIT Madras, PhD student

Mr Jack Waghorne, MSc by research in computing student

Francesca Lucrezia Forgia, MSc in motorsport Engineering

Arjun Nair, MSc in mechanical Engineering

Bibin ARUL THOMAS, MSc in mechanical Engineering

  • Past PG students

Dr Gioacchino Alotta

Dr Eugenia Romeo

  • Postdocs supervision

Ed Hopkins (Oxford Brookes Univ), Gioacchino Alotta (University of Palermo)


  • Past Research student supervision: I have supervised more that 30 undergraduate student projects  in different institutions, the most recent are mentioned below:

4th year projects: (Eng. Sci Departm, University of Oxford): Bingren Wang(2016), Justin Hubbard (2016), Jared Maritz(2019), Francesca Murphy (2019).

Greta Agustoni (ETH, Zurich),

Final year projects, Oxford Brookes University: Daniel Vaughan(2020), Emily Askew (2020), Lizzy Dyer (2020), Euan Bell (2021), Hope Wingrove (2021).



Dr Olga Barrera’s lab: Oxford image-based multi-physics modelling of multi-phase materials.

Keywords: Artefact free imaging, high resolution micro-CT scans, experimental in situ mechanical/poromechanics testing, Image-base pore scale modelling, fractional poroelasticity


Dr Barrera’s research focuses on a combination of computational methods, digital microstructure and innovative experimental techniques to understand the behavior of a range of materials with a particular focus on soft tissues having load bearing function.

Data: https://github.com/Meniscal-Testing-Group-MTG

Summary of activities:

Current funded projects: 

  1. Characterisation of bio-inspired dampers Relevant for impact energy Absorption in Sporting Health applications (CRASH).
  2. Image driven fluid structure interaction modelling of heterogenous soft material.
  3. Exploring an image and data-driven approach for defining the structure-function relationships of soft tissues. 
  4. A trans-perceptual approach to uncovering the secrets of biological tissues- focus on the knee meniscus.
  5.  A parametric FEM of the human knee optimized for contact mechanics.
  6.  Fractional consolidation of biphasic soft materials.
  7. Experimental and modelling studies of orthopaedic implants.
  8. Hydrogen embrittlement in welds and metals: HemS 


Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • A transperceptual approach to uncovering the secrets of biological tissues- focus on the knee meniscus (led by University of Luxembourg) (01/01/2022 - 31/12/2022), funded by: Luxembourg National Research Fund, funding amount received by Brookes: £1,586


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Further details

Fellowship and grant awarded

2023                  Visiting professor Scholarship, I2M lab, ENSAM-Bordeaux, France,  (€4K).

2021-2022         Research Excellence award, Oxford Brookes University, PI, (£20K).

2021-2022         National Research Funding of Luxembourg, Crucible grant (FNR), PI, (€8K).

2019-2020       Additional contribution to Marie Sklodowska Curie individual Fellowship, University of Luxembourg, (€50K).

2018-2020       Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship , University of Luxembourg, (€190K).

2018-2019       Oxford Orthopaedic Engineering Centre, University of Oxford, PI, (£100K).

2017                            Rolls-Royce, PI, (£8K).

2014-2017         EPSRC, Researcher Co-Investigator HemS grant, University of Oxford, (£340K).

2011-2013                   National Research Funding of Luxembourg (FNR), DestiNee, Co-I, (€800K).

2008-2009       Abroad Program, Miur (Italian Minister of education and research). Competitive program to spend 18 months abroad during the PhD at the Engineering Department at University of Oxford, (€12K).