Leslie Morley's research focused on modelling structural behaviour, with particular emphasis on plates and shells. He developed the Morley shell equation, which has been acknowledged as the simplest equation consistent with first-order shell theory. As the finite element method rose to prominence he developed elements for both plates and shells. He then worked on developing a set of new finite elements able to handle complex shell behaviour in both the linear and nonlinear regimes. He also observed that it was possible to augment the finite element solution by using singular solutions to calculate the stress intensity factor at a crack tip in a thin-walled metal structure and thereby to compute crack propagation rates. In undertaking his research Morley probed into the mathematical and physical depths of the problems he confronted, and produced some outstanding and significant results.
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Published by the Royal Society