About Dr Daniel Dias-da-Costa

Dr Daniel Dias-da-Costa’s research interests include both numerical and experimental topics of structural engineering and material mechanics. He addresses the development of finite element enrichment techniques and solution finding algorithms for highly non-linear problems in the simulation of fracture. The experimental research is focused on non-destructive techniques for structural assessment and monitoring, including the identification of strain localisation and cracking propagation.

Dr Daniel Dias-da-Costa’s research focuses the field of structural engineering and structural health monitoring, with applications to the analysis and design of concrete structures.

With ongoing advances in the construction industry involving the introduction of new building materials and technologies, our ability to predict the structural behaviour and safety of these innovations is critical. Dr Daniel Dias-da-Costa's research into advanced computational simulation techniques aims to enhance the safety of our built environment by addressing a wide range of building materials, including concrete, masonry and glass.   “My research in structural engineering and material mechanics aims to introduce a new computational framework that will have a strong impact on practice engineering. This framework will effectively bridge high-end simulation and monitoring approaches, such that structural designers can explore the full potential of challenging construction designs.”   “I develop computational techniques that can be used to simulate real-life structural failure. This allows us to efficiently predict the behaviour and response of structures in such situations; for instance, when concrete starts crushing or cracking, or when reinforcing steel yields and slips against the concrete.”   “This is a very complex and computationally demanding task, and even high-end commercial software often fails to deliver reliable solutions. Therefore, I have been developing new programs to address this need. This approach has already shown good performance with a wide range of problems and materials.”   “I really enjoy performing experimental tests of large-scale structures, where I have the chance of pushing the materials to the limit. In this way I can deeply understand the structural response. I then bring this knowledge to my numerical models and am able to run simulations of different situations that cannot be tested otherwise. This combined approach is crucial to achieve safer design solutions.”   “I am passionate about my research because it can be applied to a wide range of different areas. This gives me the opportunity to deal with people from very different backgrounds, which in fact is what I find most enriching and rewarding about my work.”  

Selected publications


  1. Octávio, C., Dias-da-Costa, D., Alfaiate, J., Júlio, E., Modelling the behaviour of steel fibre reinforced concrete using a discrete strong discontinuity approach, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Elsevier, 154:12–23, 2016 (doi: 10.1016/j.engfracmech.2016.01.006). 
  2. Carmo, R.N.F., Valença, J., Silva, D., Dias-da-Costa, D., Assessing steel strains on reinforced concrete members from surface cracking patterns, Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, 98:265–275, 2015 (doi: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2015.08.079). 
  3. Dias-da-Costa, D., Valença, J., Carmo, R.N.F., Curvature assessment of reinforced concrete beams using photogrammetric techniques, Materials and Structures, Springer, 47(10): 1745–1760, 2014 (doi: 10.1617/s11527-013-0148-8). 
  4. Dias-da-Costa, D., Alfaiate, J., Sluys, L. J., Areias, P., Júlio, E., An embedded formulation with conforming finite elements to capture strong discontinuities, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Wiley, 93(2): 224–244, 2013 (doi: 10.1002/nme.4393).
  5. Graça-e-Costa, R., Alfaiate, J., Dias-da-Costa, D., Sluys, L. J., A non-iterative approach for the modelling of quasi-brittle materials, International Journal of Fracture, Thomas Telford, 178: 281–298, 2012. 
  6. Dias-da-Costa, D., Valença, J., Júlio, E., Laboratorial test monitoring applying photogrammetric post-processing procedures to surface displacements, Measurement, Elsevier, 44(3): 527–538, 2011.
  7. Dias-da-Costa, D., Veludo, J., Alfaiate, J., Júlio, E., An element enriched formulation for simulation of splitting failure, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Elsevier, 78(2): 301–316, 2011. 
  8. Dias-da-Costa, D., Alfaiate, J., Sluys, L. J., Júlio, E., A comparative study on the modelling of discontinuous fracture by means of enriched nodal and element techniques and interface elements, International Journal of Fracture, Thomas Telford, 161 (1): 97–119, 2010 (doi: 10.1007/s10704-009-9432-6). 
  9. Dias-da-Costa, D., Alfaiate, J., Sluys, L. J., Júlio, E., Towards the generalization of a discrete strong discontinuity approach, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Elsevier, 198: 3670–3681, 2009 (doi: 10.1016/j.cma.2009.07.013). 
  10. Dias-da-Costa, D., Alfaiate, J., Sluys, L. J., Júlio, E., A discrete strong discontinuity approach, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Elsevier, 76: 1176–1201, 2009 (doi: 10.1016/j.engfracmech.2009.01.011).