Alex Fok

Alex (Sui-Lun) Fok

Academic Title

Professor and Director
Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics
Department of Restorative Sciences


Mechanical Engineering, BEng, University of Manchester (UK), 1990 - Mathematics, BA, Open University (UK), 1998
Mathematical Modeling and Numerical Analysis, MSc, University of Oxford (UK), 1999
Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D., University of Manchester (UK), 1994

Contact Info




Office Address

16-212 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Bio Statement

Dr Fok obtained his BEng and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester, UK. He also has a BA in Mathematics from the UK Open University and an MSc in Mathematical Modeling and Numerical Analysis from the University of Oxford.

Dr Fok has expertise in structural and stress analysis. His research activities cover a range of topics in solid mechanics, nuclear technology and biomechanics both at a fundamental level and related to practical applications. These include statistical analysis of brittle failure, fractal finite elements, micro-structural modeling of materials, material characterization using strain mapping and inverse methods, multiple fracture from dynamic stresses, buckling of thin embedded shells and the biomechanics of dental restorations. The finite element method forms the main tool of his research.

In recent years, Dr Fok has engaged himself in biomechanics research on the evaluation and optimization of dental restorations, making use of techniques that he has developed for nuclear graphite research. To further extend this area of his research, he spent 7 months visiting the Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Hong Kong, where he was appointed Honorary Associate Professor, during his sabbatical leave in 2006.
In 2007, Dr Fok was appointed as a Member of Chair Professor Group by the Institute of Nuclear Energy Technology at Tsinghua University, China. In the same year, he accepted the invitation of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry to become the Director of the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics. Established as an industrial/academic collaboration, with the 3M Foundation and 3M Dental Products Division providing the founding funds, the MDRCBB works with industry on the development of new dental biomaterials. New materials are evaluated using technologies in the MDRCBB to determine their applicability and chances for clinical success in the oral cavity. The MDRCBB has been continuously funded since 1991.

Research Interests

Shape optimization of dental restorations

Characterization of biomaterials

Statistical analysis of brittle failure


Ashbury Scholarship for best performance, University of Manchester, 1987

Fairbairn Scholarship for best performance, University of Manchester, 1990

Overseas Research Studentship Award, 1990-1993

Postgraduate Research Award, University of Manchester, 1991-1993

Fellow, Academy of Dental Materials, 2007

Member of Chair Professor Group, Tsinghua University, China 2007-2010


J Li, H Li, ASL Fok and DC Watts, Multiple correlations of material parameters of light-cured composites, Dental Materials, 25(7), 2009, 829-836.

L Shi and ASL Fok, Structural optimization of the fibre-reinforced composite substructure in a 3-unit dental bridge, Dental Materials, 25(6), 2009, 791-801.

J Li, ASL Fok, J Satterthwaite, DC Watts, Measurement of the full-field polymerization shrinkage and depth of cure of dental composites using digital image correlation, Dental Materials, 25(5), 2009, 582-588.

L Shi, ASL Fok, A Qualtrough, A two-stage shape optimization process for cavity preparation Dental Materials, 24(11), 2008, 1444-1453.

C. Berre, SL Fok, PM Mummery, J Ali, BJ Marsden, TJ Marrow, GB Neighbour, Failure analysis of the effects of porosity in thermally oxidised nuclear graphite using finite element modelling, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 381(1-2), 2008, 1-8.

L Lin, H Li, ASL Fok, M Joyce, J Marrow, Characterization of heterogeneity and nonlinearity in material properties of nuclear graphite using an inverse method, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 381(1-2), 2008, 158-164.

C Berre, SL Fok, BJ Marsden, PM Mummery, TJ Marrow, GB Neighbour, Microstructural modelling of nuclear graphite using multi-phase models, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 380(1-3), 2008, 46-58.

AYT Leung, ASL Fok, D Hui and RKL Su, The fractal finite element method for added mass type problems, Int. J. Num. Methods for Eng., 75(10), 2008, 1194-1213.

J Li, H Li and SL Fok, A mathematical analysis of shrinkage stress development in dental composite restorations during resin polymerization, Dental Materials, 24(7), 2008, 923-931.

J Li, H Li, L Shi, SL Fok, C Ucer, H Devlin, K Horner and N Silikas, A mathematical model for simulating the bone remodelling process under mechanical stimulus, Dental Materials, 23(9), 2007, 1073-1078.

RKL Su and SL Fok, Determination of coefficients of the crack tip asymptotic field by fractal hybrid finite elements, Eng. Fract. Mech. 74(10), 2007, 1649-1664.

SA Romeed, SL Fok and NHF Wilson, Comparison of 2D and 3D finite element analysis of a restored tooth, J. Oral Rehabilitation, 33(3), 2006, 209-215.

G Couegnat, SL Fok, JE Cooper and A Qualtrough, Structural optimisation of dental restorations using the principle of adaptive growth, Dental Materials, 22(1), 2006, 3-12.

SA Romeed, SL Fok and NHF Wilson, Finite element analysis of fixed partial denture replacement, J. Oral Rehabilitation, 31(12), 2004, 1208-1217.

SA Romeed, SL Fok and NHF Wilson, The mechanical behaviour of cantilever fixed partial dentures in shortened dental arch therapy: A 2-D finite element analysis, Eur. J. Prosthodont. Rest. Dent., 12(1), 2004, 21-27.

AYT Leung, D Hui, SL Fok and RKL Su, The fractal finite element method for unbounded axisymmetric problems, Int. J. Num. Methods for Eng., 61, 2004, 990-1008.

SA Romeed, SL Fok and NHF Wilson, Biomechanics of cantilever fixed partial dentures in shortened dental arch therapy, J. Prosthodontics, 13(2), 2004, 90-100.


Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics

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  • Last modified on August 30, 2012