University of Cambridge
Department of Engineering
Civil Engineering Building
JJ Thomson Avenue 7a
United Kingdom

Contact Information


Dr. Brian Sheil

Group PI

Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering & Technology
Department of Engineering
University of Cambridge


Dr Brian Sheil studied Civil Engineering for his undergraduate degree at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). His PhD was a collaboration between NUIG and the University of California, Berkeley on the behaviour of pile group foundations.

In 2014, Brian joined the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher in experimental geotechnics focused on industry-funded research projects and was subsequently promoted to departmental lecturer in geotechnical engineering in January 2017.

He was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship (at Oxford) in March 2018. At the same time, he was also awarded a Junior Research Fellowship at St Catherine’s College. In January 2021, Brian was also appointed to the position of Honorary Research Senior Lecturer at NUIG. In 2022, he was awarded the title of Associate Professor. In September 2022, Brian moved to University of Cambridge to take up the Laing O’Rourke Associate Professorship in Construction Engineering. He also holds a Visiting Fellowship at University of Oxford.

He is the PI of the EPSRC-funded ‘FOCUS’ project aiming to develop novel sensors to monitor interactions between soil and structures during underground construction operations. He is the PI of the ‘iDRIVE’ project (Supergen ORE hub) to develop intelligent driveability forecasting for offshore monopiles where he leads a team of three universities plus industry partners. He is the PI of the ‘NERVE’ project (EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hubs) to develop intelligent precast construction elements using embedded optoelectronics. Finally, he is the PI for RAEng ‘Proof of Concept’ and EPSRC ‘Impact Acceleration Account’ awards to commercialise his research on novel fibre optic force sensors.

Brian is an editor of the journal ‘Data-Centric Engineering’, is an Associate Editor for ‘Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering’ and is an editorial board member for both ‘Tunnelling & Underground Space Technology’ and ‘Underground Space’. He sits on the ISSMGE Technical Committee TC222 for Geotechnical BIM and Digital Twins and he is a member of the EC3 ‘Data Sensing & Acquisition’ work group. He recently received the ‘Young Researcher Award 2022’ from the Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland.


  1. 2010


    National University of Ireland, Galway
  2. 2013

    Visiting Scholar

    University of California, Berkeley
  3. 2015


    National University of Ireland, Galway

Professional Appointments

  1. 2014
    Postdoctoral Research Assistant
    University of Oxford
  2. 2017
    Departmental Lecturer
    University of Oxford
  3. 2018
    Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow
    University of Oxford
  4. 2019
    Junior Research Fellow
    St Catherine's College, University of Oxford
  5. 2022
    Associate Professor
    University of Oxford
  6. 2022
    Laing O'Rourke Associate Professor in Construction Engineering
    University of Cambridge

Awards & Prizes

  • 2018
    RAEng Research Fellowship
    Royal Academy of Engineering
  • 2019
    Junior Research Fellowship
    St Catherine's College, University of Oxford
  • 2020
    Bronze Teaching Award
    Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford
  • 2022
    Editor Choice Award
  • 2022
    International Exchange Fellowship
    Royal Society
  • 2022
    Young Researcher Award
    Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland