J.M. Davies DSc, PhD, FREng, FICE, FIStructE is Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Manchester. He has spent a lifetime carrying out research and consultancy into many aspects of steel construction and has written more than 150 technical papers. In recent years, he has concentrated on aspects of lightweight construction, including cladding and its supporting members. Sandwich construction has been an important part of his work. At the University of Manchester, he has a large fire engineering laboratory and has developed an increasing interest in the performance of lightweight construction in fire. He is a joint author of Plastic Design to BS 5950, written for the Steel Construction Institute and published by Blackwell Science, and also The Manual of Stressed Skin Diaphragm Design.