A third year undergraduate project on fundamental understanding on entropy generation in turbulent premixed flames using Direct Numerical Simulations data under Professor Nilanjan Chakraborty has recently led to a journal publication: A Direct Numerical Simulation-Based Analysis of Entropy Generation in Turbulent Premixed Flames Entropy 2013, 15(5), pp. 1540-1566 (http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/5/1540/). Richard Farran, the student who worked on the project, is one of the co-authors of this paper. Richard is currently in the final year of his MEng degree.
A journal paper in a reputed journal in the relevant field by an undergraduate project is a significant achievement for the student and supervisor concerned. This underlines the strength of research-led teaching in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering. It is hoped that this development will inspire future students to undertake research projects and make original contributions, which will be publication-worthy.
Professor Nilanjan Chakraborty has been successful in an EPSRC research grant application for the establishment of the UK Consortium on Turbulent Reacting Flows (UKCTRF). The consortium involves 15 leading universities: Brunel, Cambridge, Central Lancashire, Cranfield, Daresbury Laboratory, Edinburgh, Imperial College, Kingston, Lancaster, Loughborough, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Southampton and Ulster. Newcastle University is the lead organisation and Prof Chakraborty is the principal investigator in this research grant.
The consortium will perform high-fidelity computational simulations (i.e. Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes simulations (RANS), Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS)) by utilising national High Performance Computing (HPC) resources (HECToR and Archer) to address the challenges related to energy through the fundamental physical understanding and modelling of turbulent reacting flows. Engineering applications range from the formulation of reliable fire-safety measures to the design of energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly internal combustion engines and gas turbines. The consortium will serve as a platform to collaborate and share HPC expertise within the research community, and help UK computational reacting flow research to remain internationally competitive. The proposed research of the consortium is divided into a number of broad work packages, which will be continued throughout the duration of the consortium, and which will be reinforced by other Research Council and industrial grants secured by consortium members. The consortium will also support both externally funded (e.g. EU and industrial) and internal (e.g. university PhD) projects, which do not have a dedicated HPC support of their own.
The consortium will not only have huge intellectual impact in terms of fundamental physical understanding and modelling of turbulent reacting flows, but will also have considerable long-term societal impact in terms of energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. Moreover, the cutting edge computational tools developed by the consortium will aid UK based manufacturers (e.g. Rolls Royce and Siemens) to design safe, reliable, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly combustion devices to exploit the expanding world-wide energy market and boost the UK economy. Last but not least, the proposed collaborative research lays great importance on the development of highly-skilled man-power in the form of Research Associates and PhD students of the consortium members, who in turn are expected to contribute positively to the UK economy and UK reacting flow research for many years to come.
The School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering is delighted to host this prestigious consortium which underlines the world-class research activities on turbulent reacting flows in this school, and it is expected that the HPC facilities provided by UKCTRF will augment and expand this expertise in the future.
Postgraduate research student Dipal Patel has won a prize in a NIReS (Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability) poster competition on the theme of “Sustainability”. Dipal, who is supervised by Professor Nilanjan Chakraborty, presented a poster entitled “A Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) based Analysis of Laser Ignition (LI) process of Turbulent combustible mixtures.” NIReS runs three Research Postgraduate Sustainability Poster Competitions each year, where students can present and discuss their research with other postgraduate students in an informal atmosphere. Posters can be on any topic and in any discipline, provided that the research is linked in some way to sustainability.
The Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices will bring together academics, clinicians and industrialists from across the North of England in a bid to maintain the UK’s leading role in the medical technologies industry and improve the quality of lives of patients. Led by Leeds University, the Centre includes experts from Newcastle, Sheffield, Nottingham and Bradford Universities and aims to transform the way joint replacements and other medical implants are made. Funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), it is one of four new centres for innovative manufacturing announced today by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.
Speaking ahead of the BIS Manufacturing Summit on Thursday, Mr Willetts said: “The UK has a proud history of manufacturing but to build on this success industry needs access to the very latest science and technology. This £45 million package of investment will see our world-class research base investigating innovative new manufacturing equipment and techniques. This will support our industrial strategy in a range of important sectors, driving growth and keeping the UK ahead in the global race.”
Kenny Dalgarno, Professor of Manufacturing Engineering at Newcastle University, who will be Deputy Director of the Centre, said the Newcastle team would lead research into developing personalised “near patient manufacturing” processes. “These novel near-patient and in-clinic manufacturing processes will in the future deliver medical devices that are tailor-made to meet individual patient needs,” he explains. “Tissue structures will be replicated using 3D printing techniques, building the implants from bioactive materials which support or stimulate the body’s own repair processes, the implant gradually being replaced with natural tissue over time.”
The techniques will be developed for use in the treatment of a range of musculo-skeletal conditions where bones and cartilage need repairing, and could be particularly useful in patients with osteoarthritis. The medical technology market is estimated to be worth £200 billion worldwide and demand for medical devices is growing fast, driven by ageing populations that expect longer and fuller lives. The centre will also develop a network of over 300 industrial partners, academics and clinicians focused on medical device innovation and manufacturing. The network will lead the development of new international standards to overcome barriers to adoption in global markets and support the adoption of new technology in the NHS by working with the new Academic Health Science Networks.
Newcastle University issued a press release which has been picked up by the media worldwide and focused well deserved attention on the EU funded SecureMetro project and its coordinator from NewRail, Conor O'Neill. Describing how the project has developed blast proof materials to withstand terror attacks on metro trains, the item has been picked up by BBC news, SKY news, CNN and the Discovery channel as well as appearing in UK newspapers (including the Independent and the Telegraph) and European print media. The SecureMetro project has been led by Conor O'Neill of NewRail and is a three year, EU funded project involving 11 partners from across Europe. More information about the project can be found at: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/newrail/research/project/4347 and on its website: www.securemetro.com. To view the SecureMetro video with voiceover by Conor O'Neill explaining what's happening use this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-21159423.
Professor Peter Cumpson and Research Associate Dr Naoko Sano have had their research featured in the national press, including the Telegraph and the Times, and also in various international publications including in Australia, the USA, Germany and Italy. Their work has shown that the original kilogram stored in the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris – the standard against which all other measurements of mass are set – is likely to be tens of micrograms heavier than it was when the first standard was set in 1875. Professor Cumpson and Dr Sano used cutting-edge X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) to analyse surfaces similar to the standard kilogram to assess the build-up of hydrocarbons – and how to remove them. Publishing their findings in this month’s journal of Metrologia, they reveal how giving the kilogram a suntan could be the answer to helping it lose weight. You can read the full story in the University’s Press Release.
An article in the Telegraph has highlighted Dr Michele Pozzi's research into generating electricity from the body's rhythms. Dr Pozzi, who recently joined the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering's academic staff, has carried out research into creating a "pizzicato" energy source that could power a satellite navigation device. Fixed on the knee, the device consists of an outer ring and central hub. As you walk, the ring rotates and 72 plectra around it "pluck" four piezoelectric arms on the hub, generating electricity. To read the full article go the Telegraph Science section.
The University’s pig locomotion research project to improve the health and welfare of pigs on farms across the UK has been featured in the BBC’s Countryfile programme. The research, funded by the British Pig Executive (BPEX), is being undertaken jointly by the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering. PhD student Sophia Stavrakakis, whose work is jointly supervised by both Schools, gave Countryfile presenter Adam Henson an insight into how motion capture technology is being used at the University's Cockle Park Farm to prevent lameness in pigs. Click on the link to see the programme: Countryfile (the feature on this research begins at 35’09’’). You can also read the Newslink press release on this story.
The expertise and advice of Newcastle University academics could result in new, tougher laws on the regulation of medical implants. In the wake of problems with metal on metal hip implants, which were investigated by Professor Tom Joyce and Dr Pauline McCormack, and then the PIP breast implant scandal, the Government launched an investigation into how implants are regulated. Professor Joyce (School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering) and Dr McCormack (PEALS), were asked to give evidence to the Science and Technology Select Committee and their recommendations have been accepted by the committee in its report, released today. The report could lead to new laws if Parliament gives approval. Currently there is little transparency over how medical implants were approved for use, the results of any pre-clinical experiments and who approved them. Also failed implants are often just thrown away so there is no chance to learn why they may have failed. This was deemed unacceptable by Prof Joyce and Dr McCormack and the Select Committee agreed.
Professor Tom Joyce, Professor of Orthopaedic Engineering at Newcastle University said: “When we were looking at the metal on metal hip implants it became clear that the process of approving medical implants is murky to say the least. This was something that was causing unnecessary suffering to patients and adding cost to the NHS. Estimates suggest as much as £250,000,000 every year could be being wasted as patients need to have joints re-implanted because they fail. It seems ridiculous that we are not studying these failed devices to learn more about them, or making the approval process more transparent. The select committee agrees with several of our findings. If this report is accepted by Parliament and made into law it has the potential to help millions of people if other countries follow our lead.” Newcastle University’s bioengineering team led by Professor Joyce began investigating the problem of metal hips as far back as 2008 and have collaborated with the PEALS (Policy Ethics and Life Sciences) research centre to explore the concerns of patients.
All-metal hips have a higher than anticipated failure rate and rubbing between the ball and cup can cause metal to break off, seeping into tissue and causing complications. Half of the all-metal hips fail after about five years, when they should last for between 15-20 years.
Among the findings of the report, written by MPs, it states: “Greater transparency would improve public confidence in the system and support decision-making by patients and healthcare professionals. We are disappointed that there is a lack of transparency in the current regulatory system and we urge the UK Government to take a lead in increasing transparency.” The report also states: “Examination of explanted joints that have failed or caused problems in the body is one of the most valuable sources of data about how and why implants fail-they can be thought of as the 'black box'. We call for the conservation and analysis of explanted joints to be made mandatory as part of the NJR (National Joint Registry) reporting procedure.”
The full report is available at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/news/121101-medical-implants-report-published/. For further information contact email@example.com.
Dr John Appleby attended Siemens' university engagement event in London on Monday 15th October, held at the company’s new sustainability showcase building, the Crystal. Dr Jeff Neasham of the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Ingrid Henderson of the Careers Service also attended. As part of Siemens' Graduate workstream, the company has formed a UK University Engagement Strategy to engage proactively with targeted universities across the UK. Newcastle University is now one of only seven UK universities recognised as 'Preferred Partners' by Siemens, who are seeking to develop both graduate recruitment and research links with our engineering schools, especially Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. It is hoped that the collaboration with Siemens at local and national level will result in the setting up of student internships, graduate recruitment, sponsorship, and further research opportunities in addition to several existing links in each of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
Dr Barry Gallacher gave a keynote seminar at the EUROMECH "time dependent systems" conference which took place earlier this month. The title of Dr Gallacher’s talk was "The exploitation of parametric excitation in MEMS gyroscopes and magnetometers" and represents work carried out over several projects by Dr Gallacher, his colleague Dr Zhongxu Hu and postgraduate researchers Kiran Harish and Harry Grigg.
EUROMECH (European Mechanics Society) is an international non-governmental non-profit scientific organization. The objective of the Society is to engage in all activities intended to promote in Europe the development of mechanics as a branch of science and engineering. Mechanics deals with motion, flow and deformation of matter, be it fluid or solid, under the action of applied forces, and with any associated phenomena. Activities within the field of mechanics range from fundamental research on the behaviour of fluids and solids to applied research in engineering. The approaches used comprise theoretical, analytical, computational and experimental methods.
Dr Barry Gallacher and colleagues have been awarded a major EPSRC grant to carry out research into acoustic sensors in conjunction with the Medical School. The project, entitled “High Frequency Degenerate Mode Acoustic Sensors”, is expected to start next month and is backed by an EPSRC award of £777,939. It is hoped this will be supplemented by an additional £260,000 equipment grant. Dr Gallacher, who is the PI on this project, is supported by MSE colleagues Dr John Hedley, Dr Zhongxu Hu and Emeritus Professor Jim Burdess, together with Professor Calum McNeil and Dr Neil Keegan from the Medical School.
The purpose of the research is to investigate and characterise a completely new form of acoustic surface wave resonator and to apply the concept to the design and fabrication of ultra-robust inertial rate and ultra-sensitive mass sensors. The form greatly simplifies manufacture and packaging, uses a cheap substrate material, and, depending on the application, is robust to the influences of temperature, load and surrounding fluid. The applications are targeted at the defence and healthcare industries, both of which have recognised opportunities for creating a knowledge economy, influencing security, and promoting health and well-being. In defence there is a well established market for low performance rate gyros and the basic driver is cost. However there is an important gyroscopic application in guided munitions/shells which still seeks a satisfactory solution. Here the gyro (currently a fragile piece) has to be very low cost and structurally robust enough not to be influenced by the extreme inertia loads and vibration experienced during launch and in flight. Also, to be able to operate without the requirement of an evacuated case-all MEMS gyros operate under vacuum- would be a major packaging advantage. The proposed design offers a way forward for this application and will challenge low cost gyro applications in automotive and consumer markets.
A partnering agreement between Direct Rail Services and NewRail has led to NewRail being donated a Class 37 loco as part of its rail research work. The type 3 No. 37059 locomotive will be based at NewRail's full-scale test facility at Barrow Hill. DRS Managing Director Neil McNicholas handed the master key to Professor Mark Robinson, NewRail's director, on the 12 April. With a working, mainline-certificated loco, NewRail can now take its research to new levels. Having a working loco will enable NewRail researchers to broaden their work into the impact of freight train derailments and how wagons behave in derailment situations. NewRail plans to work with modified wagons in order to take readings. The loco will be used on main line outings as required and results will also inform the D-Rail project. The magazine article can be viewed here. Many thanks to The Railway Magazine and Chris Milner for permission to reproduce the article.
PhD student Sophia Stavrakakis takes time out with one of the pigs being studied as part of a pig locomotion research project to improve the health and welfare of pigs on farms across the UK. The research, funded by the British Pig Executive (BPEX), investigates lameness problems in pigs and is being undertaken jointly by the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering. The photo, which was taken during a break in the motion capture experiments at Newcastle University's experimental Pig Unit, is to be presented with the Gold prize at the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress (IPVS) photo contest in Korea in June 2012, where Sophia is due to present findings from the study.
Edward Draper, Innovations Manager for JRI Orthopaedics Ltd, has presented the School with a display model of the innovative VAIOS shoulder joint which the company developed in collaboration with Emeritus Professor Garth Johnson’s MSE research team. The VAIOS (Versatile Anatomic and Inverse Optimised Stable) shoulder was designed in partnership between Newcastle University, JRI and Professor Angus Wallace, a shoulder surgeon based at Nottingham University. The VAIOS was named as the best new (mechanical) product award at the British Engineering Excellence Awards in 2010 and won the Innovation Award at the Medilink Healthcare Business Awards in 2011. For more information on the VAIOS artificial shoulder joint see www.jri-ltd.co.uk/healthcare-professionals/vaios/.