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Professor David Watts (BSc,PhD,DSc,FRSC,FInstP,FADM,FSB) - personal details

Contact details

Professor David Watts

Role: Professor of Biomaterials Science, Head of Research Group: Adhesive Biomaterials & Biomechanics

Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6749


University of Manchester
School of Dentistry
JR Moore Building
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6749




I graduated in Chemistry and Physics, at the University of Wales, and completed a PhD in Chemical Physics with Prof. Graham Williams. Following two years as a 6th Form Science Teacher in Cheshire, I returned to research in Chemistry and Materials Science at the University of Manchester with Sir Geoffrey Allen FRS.

Through research into dielectric spectroscopy of polymers, I became a co-discoverer of the Kohlrausch-Williams-Watts [KWW] stretched-exponential function for modeling molecular-relaxation processes in condensed media. These papers have attracted more than 3500 citations.

I was appointed to a lectureship in Biomaterials Science within the School of Dentistry and subsequently promoted to S/L (1983), Reader (1992) and Professor (2000). During this period I also gained teaching experience with the Open University, Manchester Metropolitan University and NorthWestern University, Chicago. I was a co-founder of a new B.Sc. degree course in Biomedical Materials in the Manchester School of Materials.

I am concurrently Adjunct Research Professor in Biomaterials and Biomechanics, at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA, and an Honorary faculty Member of the Center for Mechanics of Biological Materials, University of Padova.

I have a major commitment to Postgraduate Education and Research, through leading a group of Biomaterials researchers including circa 10 PhD candidates. 60+ PhDs and 50+ Masters degrees have been successfully supervised personally, to date.

I sustain a wide-ranging basic research activity in biomaterials for dentistry and orthopaedics and am a member of the Photon Science Institute. In 2003 I received the IADR Distinguished Scientist [Wilmer Souder] Award for research in dental biomaterials. In 2010 I received the Humboldt Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany - a lifetime research achievement award - and in 2011 the President's Prize of the UK Society for Biomaterials.

Since 1998 I have been Editor-in-Chief of Dental Materials [Elsevier], now one of the highest impact-factor research journals in dentistry and materials science. My other interests include:

  • Biblical languages & literature. Christian Theology
  • History & Philosophy of Science
  • Modern European literature. Adventure travel
  • Mountain photography and geology. Alpine mountaineering; rock & ice climbing; [Elected Member of the Alpine Club, London & the Swiss Alpine Club]

Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Fellow of the Academy of Dental Materials & Editor-in-Chief
  • Fellow of the Society of Biology
  • EPSRC College member
  • IADR member
  • BSDR member
  • Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) member



Alexander von Humboldt Laureate


Head of Research Theme: Adhesive Biomaterials & Biomechanics.


  • Biomaterials Science (BDS  Y1, Y2 & Y3) and (BSc – Biomedical Materials Y2)
  • Research Methods - in Biomaterials Science - postgraduate