Chris Martin

Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science
Member of the Civil Engineering Research Group


My email address is Other contact details can be found here.


I graduated from the University of Sydney in 1990 with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Civil Engineering. After working in Sydney as a site engineer for Civil & Civic (now Bovis Lend Lease) I came to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship in October 1990. I was a member of New College and carried out research for my DPhil under the supervision of Professor Guy Houlsby. On leaving Oxford in 1994, I spent three years working in the Industrial Projects Group of Ove Arup & Partners (now Arup Energy), based mainly in London. From 1997-2000 I was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems in Perth under the direction of Professor Mark Randolph. I have been back at Oxford in my current post(s) since October 2000.


Here is my full list of publications. Please email me if you would like an electronic copy of any of the papers listed. See also my Google Scholar profile and my ResearchGate profile.



For quick and easy calculations of the vertical bearing capacity of strip and circular foundations, I have written the popular free software ABC - Analysis of Bearing Capacity.

Bearing capacity factors

You may prefer a traditional approach to bearing capacity calculations based on superposition, which is conservative provided the correct bearing capacity factors are used. Definitive exact values of Nc, Nq and Ngamma are available for download in Excel or PDF format. Note that many commonly used formulae for Ngamma (e.g. Vesic, Eurocode 7) give results that are too high.

Lecture at 11th Int. Conf. of IACMAG, Turin, June 2005

The slides from my lecture "Exact bearing capacity calculations using the method of characteristics" can be downloaded from here (2.7 MB PowerPoint file). You can also view the accompanying paper.