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Structures Research Group



James Talbot graduated from Cambridge with a BA and MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering, having been a sponsored student with Westland Aerostructures.  He went on to spend two years with the engineering consultancy Atkins, before returning to the department to complete his PhD on the vibration isolation of buildings.  This was followed by his post-doctoral research within the EU project CONVURT on the control of noise and vibration from underground railways.  After CONVURT, Dr Talbot returned to Atkins where he spent a further nine years working primarily in the fields of vibration engineering and structural integrity.  His experience covers experimental work, theoretical analysis and design, from across a wide range of industries.

Dr Talbot returned to Cambridge in 2013 as a University Lecturer in the Structures Group of the Civil Engineering Division.  He was elected an Official Fellow of Peterhouse, where he is Director of Studies for first-year undergraduates in Engineering.  He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a Member of the Institute of Acoustics and a Director of the International Institute of Acoustics & Vibration.



Dr Talbot’s research interests lie broadly within the field of Structural Dynamics.


Base Isolation of Buildings against Ground-borne Vibration  Dynamic models for the performance-based design of base-isolated buildings.  Work includes computationally efficient models (e.g. using boundary-element methods and periodic structure theory) for the analysis of wave propagation and soil-structure interaction, and power-flow approaches to assessing isolation performance.

Ground-borne Noise and Vibration  Analysis and control of ground-borne vibration and re-radiated noise from roads and railways, including vehicle-based track monitoring for railways.

Dynamic Measurements for Monitoring Structural Integrity  Current work is investigating strand-break detection in cables with the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction.


Key publications: 

Talbot, J.P., 2016, Base-isolated buildings: towards performance-based design, Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers - Structures
and Buildings, Vol. 169, No. 8, 574-582

Hussein, M.F.M., François S., Schevenels, M., Hunt, H.E.M., Talbot, J.P. and Degrande, G., 2014, The fictitious force method for efficient calculation of vibration from a tunnel embedded in a multi-layered halfspace, Journal of Sound & Vibration, Vol. 333, No. 25, 6996–7018

Talbot, J.P., 2014, Lift-Over Crossings as a Solution to Tram-generated Ground-borne Vibration and Re-radiated Noise, Proc. Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F - Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, Vol. 228, No. 8, 878-886

Talbot, J.P and Hunt, H.E.M., 2009, On the Performance of Base-isolated Buildings and Isolation of Buildings from Rail-tunnel Vibration: a Review in Collected Papers in Building Acoustics: Sound Transmission, Gibbs, B. et al. (Eds), Multi-science. ISBN 978-1-907132-10-0

Talbot, J.P, 2007, Base Isolation of Buildings for Control of Ground-borne Vibration in Handbook of Noise and Vibration Control, Crocker, M.J. (Ed.), John Wiley and Sons, New York. ISBN 978-0-471-39599-7

Talbot, J.P. & Hunt, H.E.M., 2003, A computationally efficient piled-foundation model for studying the effects of ground-borne vibration on buildings, Proc. Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part C - Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, Vol. 217, 975-989

Talbot, J.P. & Hunt, H.E.M., 2003, The effect of side-restraint bearings on the performance of base-isolated buildings, Proc. Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part C - Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, Vol. 217, 849-859

Talbot, J.P. & Hunt, H.E.M., 2003, A generic model for evaluating the performance of base-isolated buildings, Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration and Active Control, Vol. 22, No. 3, 149-160

Talbot, J.P. & Hunt, H.E.M., 2000, On the performance of base-isolated buildings, Building Acoustics, Vol. 7, No. 3, 163-178 (jointly awarded the John Winbolt prize, best civil-engineering-related journal paper, 2001)

Talbot, J.P. & Woodhouse, J., 1997, The vibration damping of laminated plates, Composites Part A - Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 28A, No.12, 1007-1012

Other publications: 

Full publications list available here

Teaching and Supervisions

  • Part 1A Structural Design Course
  • Part 1B Structures
  • Part 1B Integrated Coursework: Buildings in Earthquakes
  • Part IIB 4D6: Dynamics in Civil Engineering
  • Part IA and IB supervising in Structures and Mathematics
Research supervision: 
  • Dynamic models for the performance-based design of base-isolated buildings
  • Vehicle-based track monitoring for railways
University Senior Lecturer
Fellow & Director of Studies in Engineering, Peterhouse
Dr James  Talbot

Contact Details

Cambridge University
Engineering Department
Trumpington Street
+44 1223 764099
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy