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Michael H. Ramage MArch, PhD

Michael H. Ramage, MArch, PhD

University Reader in Architecture and Engineering

Fellow of Sidney Sussex College

Director of Studies for Sidney Sussex College and St John's College

Office Phone: 01223 760121


Michael Ramage leads the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at Cambridge University. Trained as an architect and an engineer, he is a Reader in architecture and Engineering in the Department of Architecture, a fellow of Sidney Sussex College, and a founding partner of Light Earth Designs. He studied architecture at MIT, and worked for Conzett Bronzini in Switzerland prior to teaching at Cambridge. His current research is focused on developing low-energy structural materials and systems in masonry, better housing in the developing world and improved engineered timber and bamboo through natural material innovation. He teaches, researches and designs buildings, and receives research funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Royal Society, the British Academy, and industry.

Research Interests

Structural Design

Masonry Spans

Earth Masonry Vaulting and Seismic Protection

Modified Timber and Tall Timber Construction


Energy Efficient Transitional and Permanent Housing

Key Publications

Foster, R.M., Ramage, M.H. (2020) Tall Timber. In Haries, K, Sharma B (eds) Nonconventional and Vernacular Construction Materials (2nd Edition),  Woodhead Publishing Series in Civil and Structural Engineering 467-4690 (24 pp)

Burridge, H.C., Wu, G., Reynolds, T. ,Shah, D.U., Johnston, R., Scherman, O.A., Ramage, M.H.,  Linden, P.F. (2019). The transport of liquids in softwood: timber as a model porous medium. Scientific Reports 9, 20282.(14 pp)

Ramage, M., Hall, T. J., Gatóo, A., & Al Asali, M. W. (2019). Rwanda Cricket Stadium: Seismically stabilised tile vaults. Structures, 18, 2-9. (7 pp) doi:10.1016/j.istruc.2019.02.004

Reynolds, T.P.S, Burridge, H.C., Johnston, R., Wu, G., Shah, D.U., Scherman, O.A., Linden, P.F., Ramage, M.H. (2018) Cell geometry across the ring structure of Sitka spruce. J R Soc Interface. Vol.15, Issue 142. (11 pp)

Penellum, M., Sharma, B., Shah, D.U., Foster, R.M., Ramage, M.H., (2018) Relationship of structure and stiffness in laminated bamboo composites. Construction and Building Materials, Vol.165, pp 241-246 (6 pp)

Foster, R., Ramage, M., and Reynolds, T.(2017) Rethinking CTBUH Height Criteria in the Context of Tall Timber. Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Journal. Issue IV. Pp 28-33. 

Ramage, M.H., Sharma, B., Shah, D.U., Reynolds, T.P.S. (2017). Thermal relaxation of laminated bamboo for folded shells. Materials and Design, Volume 132, 15 October 2017, Pages 582-589 (8 pp)

Shah, D., Reynolds, T., & Ramage, M. H.  (2017).  The strength of plants: theory and experimental methods to measure the mechanical properties of stems. Journal of Experimental Botany, Volume 68, Issue 16, pp 4497–4516, (20 pp)

 Wu, Y., Shah, D.U., Liu, C., Yu, Z., Liu, J., Ren, X.,  Rowland, M. , Abell, C., Ramage M.H., Scherman, O.A., (2017).  “Bioinspired supramolecular fibers drawn from a multiphase self-assembled hydrogel,” PNAS. vol. 114 no. 31, pp 8163–8168 (6 pp).

Sanner, J, Fernandez, A, Foster, R, Ramage, M, Snapp, T, Weihing, D (2017) River Beech Tower:  A Tall Timber Experiment. Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Journal, Issue 2, p40-46

Ramage, M.H., Burridge, H., Busse-Wicher, M., Fereday,  G., Reynolds, T., Shah, D.U., Wu, G., Yu, L., Fleming, RP, Densley-Tingley, D., Allwood, J., Dupree, P., Linden, P.F. , Scherman, O. (2017) The wood from the trees: The use of timber in construction, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 68, Part 1, pp 333-359, (27 pp)

Ramage, M.H., Foster, R.M., Smith, S., Flanagan, K. and Bakker, R. (2017). “Super Tall Timber: Design research for the next generation of natural structure”, 2017. The Journal Of Architecture Vol. 22:1, 104-122 (19 pp).

De Wolf, C., Ramage, M., Ochsendorf, J. (2016). Low carbon vaulted masonry structures. Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures.  57 (4) n 190. 275-84, (10 pp)

Sharma, B., Bauer, H., Schickhofer, G., Ramage, M.H., (2016). Mechanical characterisation of structural laminated bamboo. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Structures and Buildings. 170 (4) pp 250-264 (15 pp).

Foster, R., Reynolds, T., and Ramage, M. (2016). "Proposal for Defining a Tall Timber Building." J. Struct. Eng. , 142(12). Pp 1943-54 (9 pp) 10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0001615 

Foster, R.M. and Ramage, M.H. (2016). "Briefing: Super Tall Timber - Oakwood Tower", Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Construction Materials, Volume 170 Issue 3, pp. 118-122. (5 pp)

Wagemann, E, Gatóo, A, Ramage, M.H. (2015) “Bahay Kawayan. Vivienda Post Desastre en Bambú/ Post Disaster Housing in Bamboo.” ARQ,  August, no.90, Estructuras Desmontables, Ediciones ARQ: pp.68-69. (2 pages; English and Spanish)

Sharma B, Gatóo A, Ramage M.H. (2015) “Effect of processing methods on the mechanical properties of engineered bamboo.” Journal of Construction and Building Materials, 83: pp 95-101, Elsevier. (7 pages)

Sharma B, Gatóo A, Bock M, Ramage M.H. (2015) “Engineered Bamboo for structural applications.” Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier., 81: pp 66-73. (8 pages)

Sharma, B., Gatóo, A., Bock, M., Mulligan H., Ramage M.H.  (2014). “Engineered bamboo: state of the art.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials. Thomas Telford: 168:2, pp 57-67. (11 pages)

Gatóo, A., Sharma, B., Bock, M., Mulligan H., Ramage M.H.  (2014). “Sustainable structures: bamboo standards and building codes.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability 167 (ES5). Thomas Telford: pp 189–96. (8 pages)

Fleming, P, Smith S, and Ramage, M.H. (2014.) “Measuring-Up in Timber: a Critical Perspective on Mid-and High-Rise Timber Building Design.” Architectural Research Quarterly 18 (01). Cambridge University Press: pp 20–30. (11 pages)

Farina, A, Bargigia, I, Janeček, E, Walsh, Z, D’Andrea, C, Nevin, A, Ramage, M.H., Scherman, O, and Pifferi, A. (2014.) “Nondestructive Optical Detection of Monomer Uptake in Wood Polymer Composites.” Optics Letters 39 (2). Optical Society of America: pp 228–31. (4 pages)

Trujillo, D., Ramage, M.H. and Chang, W-S. (2013). “Lightly Modified Bamboo for Structural Applications.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials 166 (4). Thomas Telford: pp 238–47. (10 pages)

Ramage M.H. , Dejong M.J. “Design and Construction of Geogrid-reinforced Thin-shell Masonry” in Taller, Longer, Lighter: meeting growing demand with limited resources, eds. D. A. Nethercot and S. Pellegrino. London 2011.

Fleming, P., Ramage, M.H., Smith, S. “Super Tall Timber.” in High Rise Shuffle -- 4th International Alvar Aalto Meeting on Modern Architecture, eds. A. Ahlava and E. Laaksonen.  Aalto Academy, Helsinki, 2011, pp 32-40.

Wray, G., Sinclair, M., Ramage, M. 2011. The Bowls Project – A Prototype for Full Scale Testing as an Alternate Approval Process for Small Scale Base-Isolated Structures, Procs. of the 2011 Structures Congress. 171(401)74.

Ramage, M.H., Ochsendorf, J. , Rich, P.  Sustainable Shells: New African vaults built with soil-cement tiles, Journal of the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures, Vol.51 No. 4 December 2010, pp 255-261.

Ramage, M.H., J. Ochsendorf, P. Rich, J.K. Bellamy, P. Block. Design and Construction of the Mapungubwe National Park Interpretive Centre, South Africa,” African Technology Development Forum Special Issue: architecture and Development, October 2010, pp 14-23.

Ramage, M.H. “Guastavino’s Vaulting Revisited,” Construction History, Vol. 22, November 2007, pp 47-60.

Ramage, M.H., W.W. Lau, and J. Ochsendorf. “Compound curves in thin-shell masonry:  Analysis and construction of new vaults in the UK,” International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures 2007, Proceedings, Venice: IASS, 2007.

Ramage, M.H. “Structural Vaulting Built with Aircrete Masonry,” Masonry International, Vol. 20, No. 1 April 2007, pp 29-34.

Ramage, M.H. Catalan Vaulting in Advanced Material: New Approaches to Contemporary Compressive Form. Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2006.

Publications written about my work
“Mapungubwe Interpretive Centre,”  Vitamin Green, Phaidon 2011. pp 204-207.

Gregory, R.,  “Skill: Earth Pavilion by Peter Rich Architects and Michael Ramage, Lancaster House, London, UK,” The Architectural Review. Vol 228 No 1365 October 2010, pp 76-81.

Chilton, J. “Heinz Isler’s infinite spectrum: form finding in design,” Architectural Design: the new structuralism. Vol 80 No 4 July 2010, pp 65-71.

King, J., “Public Art: Domes rise at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,” The San Francisco Chronicle. 3 July 2010.

Fagan, G., photos by Obie Oberholzer.  “Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre by Peter Rich Architects, Mapungubwe National Park, South Africa”, The Architectural Review.  Vol 227 No 1356 February 2010, pp 40-47.

Fitchett,  A., photos by Iwan Baan. “Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre, South Africa,” Domus 932. January 2010, pp 26-32.