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School of Engineering Sciences Annual Review 2010

Introduction The School of Engineering Sciences (SES) at the University of Southampton is a world-leading integrated research, teaching and enterprise organisation covering a wide range of engineering disciplines. Undergraduate educational programmes are offered in aeronautics and astronautics, mechanical engineering and ship science, which have been ranked number one in The Guardian League Table for the second consecutive year.


The School has 94 full time equivalent academic staff with a further 77 research fellows and enterprise consultants and over 230 PhD students. The School is organised into nine research groups, with one of our major strengths being the ability to integrate research expertise across the School. We have an established reputation in land, sea, air and space transportation engineering, and to define the research agenda for the 21st century we have engaged in four cross-cutting strategic thrusts: bioengineering, energy technology, hydrosciences and tiny technologies. We have rapidly expanded our research activity in advanced tribology with the National Centre for Advanced Tribology (nCATS) now established as a focused research group with seven full time academic staff. A major new multi-disciplinary computed tomography centre supported by a large £1.9 million grant from EPSRC is coming into service this year. More details about both activities can be found elsewhere in this review. SES was instrumental in the procurement of the UK’s most powerful University-owned supercomputer, ‘Iridis 3’, which is the fastest Windows-powered computer in Europe. In the latest UK research assessment exercise, the School scored highly for our range and quality of research. The School, together with the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, was entered in Unit 28 of the assessment. In total, 20 of our staff were graded at the highest (4*) rating for ‘world-leading’ research and 60 at the next category (3*) of ‘internationally excellent’. This places us second in the RAE ‘medals’ table and second in the ‘Power’ ranking (Research Fortnight) for Aeronautical/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering. The University of Southampton as a whole is a notable centre for excellence, joining Imperial College and the University of Cambridge in the top three for the range and quality of its research in engineering subjects. Postgraduate taught (PGT) and research (PGR) programmes form an integral part of the School’s research strategy. The MSc programmes relate directly to research strengths within the School, with dissertation research carried out within the appropriate research groups. This year has seen a continued expansion of our MSc student numbers and in particular our MSc in Sustainable Energy Technology is proving to be very popular. Postgraduate research students are the lifeblood of the School of Engineering Sciences’ research community, and form a high priority in the School’s research strategy. The intake of new PhD students is increasing and is currently around 65 per annum. The Research Institute for Industry (RIf I), which incorporates the Wolfson Unit for Maritime Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics, is the industry-focused arm of the School, providing applied research, development and enterprise to industry, with a history of successful associations with leading technology companies worldwide. The School is also fortunate to be able to draw on advice from a diverse and highly experienced Industrial Advisory Board, which meets regularly to review teaching, research and enterprise developments, and to advise on strategy. This has been an exciting and stimulating year for the School of Engineering Sciences, with internationally recognised success across all aspects of its research, educational and enterprise activities.



Picture: James Roche

1. Striking Gold in Vancouver Page 8


2. Birdman glides to success Page 9 3. Developments in Bioengineering Page 18 4. Continuing maritime research Page 20 5. World-class capability Page 28




Picture: Chris Taylor

Highlights of 2009


New Centre for X-Ray Imaging


Striking Gold in Vancouver


Birdman glides to success


National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)


Space Situational Awareness


Autonomous vehicles


Sustainable technologies


Flow, turbulence and air quality


Developments in Bioengineering


Continuing maritime research


Research and development in Engineering Materials


The Research Institute for Industry (RIfI)


Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics


World-class capability


Research Groups







Highlights of 2009

• The School of Engineering Sciences is a partner in the £90M ‘SILOET – Strategic Investment in Low carbon Engine Technology’, led by Rolls-Royce. The Southampton projects, run through the School’s Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Computational Engineering, are looking at the development of the virtual engine including integrated decision support and simulation tools. • Professor Jim Scanlan received the Rolls-Royce Best Engineering and Technology Application for Technical Innovation Award for the DATUM (Design Analysis Tool for Unit-cost Modelling) project. His team developed a novel software tool for cost modelling that is now in routine use at Rolls-Royce for costing of new concept designs.

This photograph is reproduced with the permission of Rolls-Royce plc, copyright (c) Rolls-Royce plc 2010


• The School of Engineering Sciences was awarded a £1.5m five year extension for University Technology Centre in ‘Ship Design for Enhanced Environmental Performance’ by the Lloyd’s Register Education Trust Board of Trustees.

• Our undergraduate courses in aeronautics & astronautics, mechanical engineering and ship science were ranked number one for the second consecutive year in The Guardian League Table.

• Dr Rosie Boltryk was successful in her application for an EPSRC First Grant to investigate the levels of trauma that can be sustained by cardiac cells.

• University of Southampton student Alex Kinnaird rocketed into first place in a national essay-writing competition after also being short-listed for engineering undergraduate of the year. In December 2009, Alex was one of three Southampton students among the five finalists of the EADS Astrium space technology innovation competition.

• A unique research collaboration between the University of Southampton’s Schools of Engineering Sciences and Medicine won the Royal Aeronautical Society Best Paper Silver Award 2009. The paper entitled “Systematic review of the impact of emissions from aviation on current and future climate” presented the most comprehensive review of the impact of aviation on climate this century.

• Peter Wright, a final year PhD student in the Materials Research Group, won the “Tsai Award” for best student at the International Conference on Composite Materials in Edinburgh for his work presenting the world’s first observations of composite failure using synchrotron computed tomography.

• Following on from the recent successful sound archive project, an EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment has been awarded to allow further work on developing easy access for early sound recordings, in collaboration with TaiCaan Technologies, EMI archive and the British Library Sound Archive.

Funding In 2009, £9.8m of new research grant income was obtained. At year end, the School’s grant portfolio was valued at £33.3m. In addition approximately £5.4m is held in grants with another University of Southampton School as the lead. Funding is obtained from a diverse range of sources, with 49% coming from Research Councils, 22% direct from industry (often leveraged by third party funding), 8% from the European Union, 11% from other UK government agencies and 10% from other sources. The School welcomes enquiries regarding its activities.


New £2.1m Centre for X-Ray Imaging The fiction of Superman’s instant 3D X-ray vision is fast becoming a reality across numerous scientific disciplines, with the imaging capabilities of X-ray computed tomography (CT) now reaching far beyond the more widely known medical domain. The last decade has seen a dramatic enhancement in the technologies available for rapid CT scanning of objects of interest to many scientific disciplines, from rodents to rocks to rockets. Whilst taking high resolution three dimensional images via CT scanning has become almost as rapid as taking a polaroid photograph, there is a price for scientists and engineers using the technique; few are prepared for the enormous volume of information that is produced and the extensive analysis required. The newly established µ-VIS Centre in the Materials Research Group brings together teams of scientists and engineers that have immediate need of CT imaging with world-leading experts in high performance computing and the art of image processing, along with a suite of advanced, flexible CT imaging hardware. It will be an efficient, multi-disciplinary centre for 3D imaging science, exploiting the latest technologies in cost-effective supercomputing and data handling methods, leveraging Southampton’s extensive experience in eScience, unifying and simplifying the interaction between user, instrument and data.


When included with facilities already available at Southampton, the centre will support the entire imaging process for samples as small as an ant’s head, up to a large car engine; from initial experimental concept and training, through data capture and analysis, to new scientific knowledge. Over 40 academics, led by Professor Ian Sinclair, drawn from over half of the Schools of the University are committed to this initiative. Four core themes are identified in Engineering, Biomedical, Environmental and Archaeological Science, aligning with Research Council UK priority areas such as Energy, Living with Environmental Change, Nanoscience, and Ageing: Lifelong Health and Wellbeing. With its training and user outreach components, the centre will support the next generation of application-led scientists and engineers in the opportunities that rapidly evolving 3D imaging technologies present. The centre draws together research interests in both a ‘bottom-up’ (PhDs and post-doctoral scientists performing experiments) and ‘top-down’ (applicants, international advisors and the research group leaders) manner, providing a vibrant focus for interdisciplinary development.

UK’s fastest supercomputer takes off

Research Centres and Strategic Partnerships

The University of Southampton installed England’s fastest, and greenest, university-owned supercomputer, the result of its ongoing multi-million pound investment in high performance computing to support its researchers. IRIDIS3 is Europe’s fastest Microsoft Windows-powered computer, comprising 2000 quad-core Intel Nehalem processors, and is ranked 74th in the world overall. The School of Engineering Sciences’ Microsoft Institute for HPC, led by Professor Simon Cox and Dr Kenji Takeda, has worked with Microsoft and Microsoft Research for over a decade to bring HPC to Windows. The Institute continues to work on applying the full spectrum of Microsoft technologies to make scientists and engineers more productive. IRIDIS3, which also runs Linux, is used across the School for projects ranging from quieter, cleaner aircraft and advanced wind turbine design, to environmental modelling and drug delivery device technology.

The School has an expanding number of centres of excellence and partnerships, which include: • Airbus Noise Technology Centre (ANTC) • National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) • Rolls Royce University Technology Centre for Computational Engineering • DePuy International University Technology Partnership in Bioengineering Science • Lloyd’s Register University Technology Centre in Ship Design for Enhanced Environmental Performance • Royal National Lifeboat Institution Advanced Technology Partnership on Maritime Engineering and Safety • The Ministry of Defence/Lloyds Register Centre of Excellence for Marine Structures • Microsoft Institute for High Performance Computing


Striking Gold in Vancouver Amy Williams’ Gold Medal winning performance in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver was a huge achievement for the Performance Sports Engineering research team in the School of Engineering Sciences. Research engineers have been working with British Skeleton and UK Sport in helping athletes prepare for major competitions since October 2006. Rachel Blackburn and James Roche, both Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded EngD students working under the supervision of Dr Stephen Turnock, have been supported by UK Sport as part of its work with British Skeleton. The four-year project has combined experimental work, the latest computational analysis techniques, and testing in the University’s R J Mitchell wind tunnel with the aim of improving understanding of bob skeleton performance. Competition within the sport is fierce and the margin of victory can be as little as 0.01 of a second. One fundamental element of the programme that British Skeleton’s Performance Director Andreas Schmid, a former world champion slider himself, was keen to perfect was the sled. Now affectionately known as ‘Arthur’, Amy’s sled was originally known by codename ‘Blackroc’ after its co-designers. Amy Williams explains: “It gives you such confidence going to a major competition knowing that your equipment is world class and your preparation methods are at the cutting edge of your sport. All you need to worry about is delivering on the day. I’m really grateful to all the scientists and engineers at the University of Southampton and BAE Systems who helped make me and ‘Arthur’ such a successful team.”


As in the other sliding sports of bobsleigh and luge, the start is crucial. Once on the sled the sliders must find the best line and steer smoothly through each turn to keep their speed high. Sliders lie face-down and head-first and steer through subtle movements of their legs and trunk. There are two individual skeleton events, one for men and one for women. The events consist of two days of competition with two heats held on each day. The individual with the lowest combined time over the four runs wins. Dr Scott Drawer, Head of Research and Innovation at UK Sport, says: “Like most top competing nations the British Bob Skeleton Association, in partnership with UK Sport, has worked with various science and technology partners – including the University of Southampton and BAE Systems – over the past four years to ensure the best programme is in place for their athletes. This has included cutting edge techniques in terms of the athletes’ physical conditioning and preparation, as well as the kit and equipment for use in competition.” In addition to supporting British Skeleton, the School of Engineering Sciences currently has one Engineering Doctorate and three PhD students supported by UK Sport to allow in-depth study of other sports in a research-based environment. The University of Southampton’s Wolfson Unit has been awarded Innovation Partner status by UK Sport, which means it is recognised by UK Sport as providing services that meet the world class standards of excellence in performance science and innovation required to make an impact on the UK’s best athletes and coaches.

Jason Bradury flying in the International Worthing Birdman competition

Birdman glides to success The School of Engineering Sciences was asked to design and build two aircraft for Five TV’s The Gadget Show to fly in the International Worthing Birdman competition. The team, led by Dr Alexander Forrester and Dr Kenji Takeda, and comprising PhD students and research fellows had only one month to complete the project. Initial concepts were quickly refined into a detailed three dimensional computational geometry (utilizing the SolidWorks software employed throughout the undergraduate design courses in SES), enabling a 1/5th scale model to be produced in less than 24 hours with rapid prototyped and laser-cut components. The aerodynamic and aero-elastic behaviour of the model was evaluated in the University’s R J Mitchell wind tunnel and resulted in a slight re-sizing of the wing and re-positioning of the rear spar. Computational fluid dynamics simulations of the 3-D geometry on the School’s “Spitfire” Windows-based computational cluster were used to assess the effects of the wing tip devices seen on the final design.

The wing spars comprised lightweight carbon fibre tubes, and SES’s Research Institute for Industry were tasked with ensuring that these tubes would bend in flight for stability yet withstand the initial high loading immediately after launch. Computer controlled hot wire cut ribs, reinforced with laser-cut plywood, slotted onto the spars were then covered with a polyester film. The whole aircraft weighed just 20kg and the structure performed precisely as predicted. After practice flights in the SES flight simulator, the aircraft were flown by television presenter, children’s author and trained pilot Jason Bradbury. His task was to take a short run-up, leap onto the aircraft in a prone position as he reached the end of the pier, and then operate a pitch control lever to pull out of the ensuing dive. In front of a 20,000 strong crowd, his second flight of 30.07m was the furthest in the Leonardo da Vinci class.

Dr Alexander Forrester commented: “Five TV has given us the opportunity to use our advanced computational and experimental engineering methods in an exciting and approachable context and we have found it extremely rewarding. This is just the sort of thing we should be doing to get young people involved in engineering.” The success of this year’s entry is being used as the basis for a fourth year undergraduate group design project to develop an improved aircraft for the 2010 competition.

SES team: Dr Alexander Forrester, Dr Kenji Takeda, Jennifer Forrester, Dr David Toal, Andy Cook, Giles Endicott, Alex Purdue, Stephen Powell and Lindsay-Marie Armstrong.

“It was glorious: the machine did exactly what it was designed to do. It was seriously wonderful and I’ll never forget it as long as I live.” Jason Bradbury, Television presenter, children’s author and trained pilot

National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) Tribology is the science of friction, lubrication and wear of surfaces in relative motion. It is relevant to a wide array of issues in everyday life, including orthopaedic implants, consumer products (such as skin and hair care), and improved energy efficiency and lower emissions in transport and manufacturing.


The National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) was officially launched on 11 November 2009 by the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Don Nutbeam. It is the first multidisciplinary tribology centre of its kind and brings together researchers from eight schools across the University: Engineering Sciences; Biology; Medicine; Mathematics; Chemistry; Electronics and Computer Science; Statistical Sciences Research Institute S3RI; and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC); as well as having close networks with industry, including 28 core partner companies. nCATS is addressing combining multiscale modelling, analytical and experimental techniques to develop a better understanding of tribological processes at the molecular, micro and nano scales and to use this knowledge to link this to micro-system performance as well as predictive models concerned with macro contact. This opens the door to a vast array of applications from small-scale sensors and analysis, channels with microstructured walls for microfluidic devices, tribologically functional coatings or patterned substrates, to even controlled cell growth for tissue engineering. nCATS Director Professor Robert Wood welcomed more than 150 guests from academia and industry to the launch event,

including Professor H. Peter Jost CBE, who is credited with coining the term ‘tribology’. Over two thirds of the centre’s core partner companies were also represented.

Delivering excellence The centre has access to a range of multidisciplinary laboratories across the university, an electron microscopy centre, tissue engineering and newly refurbished tribology laboratories, plus nCATS has recently brought in £0.5 million of new experimental equipment, nCATS has already shown significant academic presence as a group in terms of journal publications and conference attendance: approximately 70 papers have been published or accepted so far and staff and students have been involved in organising and attending over 40 national and international conferences and workshops. The centre has also been successful in securing £3.4m of research and consultancy income from a wide range of agencies including the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, Ministry of Defence, European Union, European Defence Agency, National Physical Laboratory and the wider industrial sector. Current research projects include: Antifouling Coatings for Warships; High Strain Body Armour; Charge Based Diesel

Lubricant Formulation; Instrumented Indentation Testing of Advanced Tool Materials and Coatings; and Bearing Health Monitoring for Wind Turbine Gearboxes. Now officially a research group in its own right within the School of Engineering Sciences, the number of nCATS PhD students has increased substantially and there are several new PhD projects in the pipeline for future years. In addition, the centre is expanding its teaching portfolio by introducing an MSc programme in Advanced Tribology. Over the coming years nCATS is aspiring to develop next generation tribological coatings; biomimetically inspired surfaces; and small devices, for example lab-on-a-chip, for condition monitoring, self-sensing and self-healing mechanisms. nCATS has also submitted a successful application to host the 1st Faraday Discussion on Tribology, and we are looking forward to this prestigious event in July 2012. nCATS is becoming a key location for tribological innovation for companies to test and develop new products, and is available to the industrial community for consultancy work via the Research Institute for Industry (RIƒI). It also welcomes companies to become nCATS partners to help steer and develop the centre.

For further information, including our areas of expertise, staff, facilities, projects and collaborations, please visit our website at

Space Situational Awareness


Astronautics research highlights

State-of-the-art Space Debris Simulation The collision between a US Iridium satellite and a defunct Russian military satellite in February 2009 was a wake-up call for the space industry. In response to this Dr Graham Swinerd and Dr Hugh Lewis used tools they had developed to quickly understand the characteristics of the event and the possible risks to other spacecraft from the resulting space debris. The team revisited a 2003 study, which simulated the break-up of an Iridium satellite after a collision with a 1kg projectile, to investigate the risk to the remaining Iridium satellites. February’s collision differed from the 2003 study in that it involved two large satellites travelling in different directions and generating two separate clouds of fragmentation debris. Although the risk to the remaining Iridium satellites peaked within days of the collision, some residual risk remains. An ongoing concern is the risk to satellites operating at similar altitudes to the Iridium constellation. The University’s debris model, DAMAGE, along with other models, has shown that this altitude region is likely to suffer an increasing number of accidental collisions this century. This data was used by the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and its delegates on the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) as part of the School’s continuing support for space policy-makers. Under the University’s growing Space Situation Awareness research programme.

NEO impact assessment Large numbers of asteroids and comets orbiting the sun come close to, or cross, the Earth’s orbit. These Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) pose a dangerous impact hazard; a natural disaster as catastrophic as earthquakes, floods or hurricanes. There is growing awareness that even a small object (50m diameter) falling to Earth would cause a regional disaster, with loss of life and cost to infrastructure greater than more ‘conventional’ disasters. The frequency of such an event is not insignificant – the last one occurring in an uninhabited region of Siberia in 1908. This incident flattened 2000km2 of forest, an area equivalent to that inside the M25 London orbital motorway. Unique work at Southampton, by Nick Bailey and Drs Graham Swinerd and Hugh Lewis, is aimed at assessing the social and economic cost of the impact of small to moderate sized objects (50 to 500m diameter). A worst-case scenario is an ocean impact of an object around 500m, which would cause a disaster on a global scale, principally because of the impact-generated tsunami able to propagate the impact energy efficiently to very distant shores.

• Researchers from the Astronautics group at SES, along with Clyde Space Ltd and Mars Space Ltd (a spin-off company of the University of Southampton), have begun work on the design and manufacture of a miniaturised pulsed plasma thruster which will fly on a CubeSat. The work is funded by ESA (European Space Agency) under the Innovation Triangle Initiative (ITI) and the thruster will double the life of the CubeSat in a 600km low earth orbit from 3 to 6 years by providing drag compensation. The average power is 0.3W, the mass is less than 150g and the dimensions are 90.17 x 95.89 x 27 mm, inclusive of the electronics. • The Astronautics Research Group is expanding its capability in stable spacecraft structures following successful industrial collaborations with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). This research is complemented by work on the control of on-board sources of microvibrations within spacecraft currently being carried out by the team. • The group have also established a strategic partnership with EADS Astrium, working together on the development of effective procedures to correlate computational structural models with experimental data. This collaboration also includes work on deployable structures, linking to the group’s work on new technologies such as hybrid inflatable structures and morphing inflatable structures, with applications ranging from active debris removal to UAV’s for disaster monitoring. • Southampton students are playing a key role in the European Student Moon Orbiter (EMSO). This will be the first lunar spacecraft to be designed, built and operated by students across Europe and represents a unique and inspirational opportunity for university students. Its purpose is to place and operate the spacecraft in a lunar orbit, acquire images of the Moon and transmit them back to Earth. This exciting project is being undertaken with SSTL and the European Space Agency, and is expected to launch in 2014.


Autonomous vehicles AVCS Laboratory An Autonomous Vehicle Control System (AVCS) Laboratory has been established to bring together researchers interested in using rational agent architectures to form the “brains” of vehicles such as unmanned aircraft, autonomous underwater and ground vehicles and spacecraft. The new rational agent architectures developed in AVCS have logic based spatial-temporal awareness that they are able to combine with reasoning about how to achieve the short and long term goals of the autonomous vehicle on a mission. A special feature of these agents is that they can read papers in “system English” documents to learn how to do things on their mission.

Value-driven design for unmanned air vehicles The £0.9m DECODE (Decision Environment for COmplex DEsigns ) project led by Professor Jim Scanlan, Professor Andy Keane, and Dr Kenji Takeda, is pioneering the Value-Driven Design approach to systems design. This project will provide breakthrough capabilities by providing innovative design exploration and optimisation supported decision making. The team, comprising two research fellows and four PhD students, is demonstrating this with rapid design and build of small, low-cost unmanned air vehicles.


Risk and reliability of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) In January 2009 the Autosub3 vehicle collided with ice during its fourth mission under the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica. Following this accident, Professor Gwyn Griffiths and Dr Mario Brito (NOCS) used the Expert Judgement – Extended Kaplan Meier method, developed last year, to reassess the probability of actually losing the Autosub3 vehicle. After analysis, and consequent risk mitigation, the remaining two missions were authorised, and the vehicle survived. A further study of the reliability of two commercial AUVs, conducted jointly with California Polytechnic State University, elicited statistical distributions on loss likelihood from experts and showed that for these two AUVs reliability was currently lower than that of military Unmanned Air Vehicles. A Markov chain approach has now been devised to partition risk between the eleven stages of AUV deployment.

Underwater gliders A study by Professor Gwyn Griffiths with Drs David Smeed and Lucas Merckelback of NOCS on the state of technology, and potential military oceanography applications, of undersea buoyancy-driven vehicles (gliders) completed for the Ministry of Defence, was followed by a two-day workshop at HMS Drake for Navy and industry personnel. Glider deployments from the Canary Islands continue as part of the NERC RAPID climate change programme.

Sustainable technologies

New hybrid electric vehicle simulation A new hybrid electric vehicle simulation system that includes hardware-in-the-loop is currently being developed by two PhD students. The system will be used as a test bench for evaluating battery performance in realistic conditions. It will also be used to develop energy management strategies for hybrid electric vehicles.

Electro-active materials The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is funding a £1m project investigating the behaviour of electro-active materials in harsh operating environments and the growth of conductive filaments within materials under humid conditions.

Thick-film technology Multi-parameter water quality sensors typically cost between £7000 and £15,000 whilst single parameter instruments can cost around £1000-£2000. Both types of equipment require notoriously high maintenance, technically expert staff and a high turnover of replacement parts. Researchers in the School of Engineering Sciences have been working for some time on a multi-parameter (DO, pH, temperature, conductivity and Oxidisation Reduction Potential) sensor built using ‘thick-film’ technology. These sensors are printed using layers of specialised inks and can be produced for as little as £20 each. The sensors were originally developed with environmental monitoring in mind but work has recently focused on other industrial applications, such as measuring the pH of printing inks and the conductivity profiles of molten metal. The Environment Agency has many potential uses for such sensors, from taking in-situ measurements in the field during routine sample collection to deployment alongside passive samplers to provide better estimations of environmental concentrations and uptake rates. They are providing funding to revisit research in this area and further optimise the sensors for environmental sampling.


Flow, turbulence and air quality Researching air pollution in an urban environment Air pollution is a serious problem in the UK – it is estimated that it hastens the deaths of up to 24,000 vulnerable people a year in Britain and many thousands more require hospital treatment. A team of researchers in the Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics (AFM) group are continuing their work on the simulation of wind flow around buildings and through streets, and the consequent dispersion of pollutants. This is as part of the Natural Environment Research Council’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS). Much of this work is being done in collaboration with CD-adapco, a world-leading supplier of Computational Fluid Dynamics software, with whom NCAS and thus the AFM group has a substantial free-licensing agreement.


A major development has been the demonstration that advanced large-eddy simulation techniques (LES) can yield predictions of the levels of pollutant concentration arising in an urban environment from a street level source some distance away that simpler approaches cannot achieve.

This is an excellent example of how computational expertise originally developed in engineering can be transferred to atmospheric science to address problems of increasing societal importance.

Far superior results have been achieved by using the UK Meteorological Office’s operational weather forecasting model to provide the larger-scale unsteady input conditions required to drive the smaller-scale LES computations. This work is being used by researchers at the Universities of Reading (Meteorology) and Leeds (Earth & Environment) in related studies on urban meteorology.

Pollution dispersion simulation around Marylebone Road, London.

Sharkskin-inspired riblets for pipelines

UK Turbulence Consortium

Fluid flow over a surface with specially designed riblets experiences less drag; this is known as the ‘sharkskin effect’. Such drag reduction technology has the potential to improve the energy efficiency of pipelines and hence reduce the carbon footprint of the associated operations. Professor Ajit Shenoi and Dr Mingyi Tang from SES, with Brian Jones and Sean Song from London Offshore Consultants, undertook a feasibility study for National Grid, looking at application technologies, design/operational issues and cost benefit, and offered advice on concept verification and a potential development programme.

Better understanding and control of turbulent fluid flow has wide-ranging applications across engineering, environment, and the life sciences. The UK Turbulence Consortium (UKTC), funded by EPSRC, has been managed from Southampton since the School of Engineering Sciences’ inception in 1999, and has now been extended through to 2014. The UKTC involves 28 collaborating academics from 15 UK institutions and is managed by Dr Gary Coleman. The overarching objective of the UKTC is to facilitate world-class fundamental turbulence research using national high-performance computing (HPC) resources such as HECToR. This involves performing ‘numerical experiments’ with direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large-eddy simulation (LES), and using the resulting data to answer basic questions regarding the physics and modelling of turbulent flows found across a range of engineering and geophysical applications. The consortium also serves as a forum to communicate research and HPC expertise within the UK turbulence community, and to help UK science remain internationally competitive in this aspect of HPC-based research. Subjects currently being addressed by UKTC members include: turbulence transition; canonical wall-bounded and boundary-free turbulence; complex-geometry flows; complex-background, interaction & free-surface effects; compressible flows and aeroacoustics; and multiphase flows. Developmental work is also being undertaken to prepare for future HPC architectures.

Geoffrey Lilley Symposium A one-day Symposium on Noise and Turbulence was held at the University on 11 December 2009 in honour and celebration of the 90th birthday of Emeritus Prof. Geoffrey Lilley. Prof. Lilley was Head of the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics from 1964 until 1982. The Symposium held at Southampton was sponsored by the School of Engineering Sciences, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and the Solent Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the last of which Prof. Lilley has been President for over 20 years. It was attended by over 60 delegates, including former and present colleagues, collaborators and students, some of whom had travelled across the world to attend. The delegates were treated to an illuminating account of Prof. Lilley’s career and his outstanding contributions to his field of study, as well as more recent developments in aeroacoustics. At the banquet held in the evening after the Symposium Prof. Lilley gave an account of his involvement with the noise certification of Concorde back in the 1970’s, which required not only technical ingenuity but also diplomatic skills when dealing with the politicians of the day. Prof. Lilley was awarded an OBE in 1981 and in 1983 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Aeroacoustics Medal of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). For many years after his retirement from Southampton he worked with colleagues at NASA in the USA. In 2004 the University conferred the award of an Honorary DSc on him and recently he was made a Fellow of the AIAA.


Developments in Bioengineering

In situ assessment of cartilage for early detection of osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis is a slowly progressing disease that can remain undetected for several decades before pain arises. According to the NHS, 8.5 million people in the UK suffer from this degenerative disease of the joints, which can restrict movement and flexibility and lead to debilitating discomfort, especially in the elderly. As people are living longer, not just in the UK but worldwide, this is a significant epidemiological issue with impact on both quality of life and the economy. At present osteoarthritis is usually investigated through x-ray, which will only show changes in the joints when the degeneration of the cartilage is already quite far progressed; or through biopsy, an invasive process that further damages the cartilage . Dr Martin Stolz, Lecturer in Orthopaedic Tribology at the National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) is working towards the creation of a new generation diagnostic device based on nanotechnology that will fit into a standard arthrocopic tube. This will allow early detection of these diseases in situ, without the need for a biopsy, and, if successful, will further drive the development of new and effective strategies and more tailor-made treatments. The key to producing such nanotools is the development of a new, smaller and more robust sensor that can be used in the harsh environment of the operating theatre. The new clean room facilities in Southampton offer excellent opportunities to develop such cutting-edge nanotechnology-based clinical devices and enable us to be at the frontline in developing this technology.


Cells on the bone Computational modelling and experiments are being combined in a systems biology approach to amino acid transfer in the placenta. This is a major step forward to identifying foetal growth restriction which has a considerable impact on health in later life.

Skin deep – a new wrinkle in Dynamic modelling to biotribology: cosmetics improve Diabetes care meet advanced tribology A significant proportion of people with Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Its main role is to ensure cohesion and protection of the internal body structures, acting as an interface to the external environment. Understanding and predicting the biophysics of skin is essential for developing novel solutions for a wide range of industries including textiles, sport equipment, robotics, cosmetics and medical products. Human tactile sense involves complex tribological actions of contact and relative motions between the skin and the surface to be sensed. The mechanics of wrinkles, which have intrinsic (morphogenesis and aging for instance) and extrinsic (sun) causes, is critical in determining how these interactions operate. Dr Georges Limbert, newly appointed Lecturer of Mathematical Modelling in Biotribology and part of the nCATS team, says: “Wrinkles are the result of a complex interplay between material and structural properties, boundary and loading conditions the exact nature of which remains to be elucidated.” The variability of these properties and conditions from individual to individual (according to the anatomical site, gender, race, etc) or from the researcher’s use of various experimental measurement techniques calls for stochastic computational models to help in unravelling the respective contributions of each of these uncertain variables. Altering the local mechanical properties of the various skin layers (by using nanoparticles) could lead to novel skincare products capable of reducing and/or preventing the formation of wrinkles.

Type 1 diabetes find it difficult to maintain good blood glucose control. Improving a person’s understanding of how their lifestyle, particularly physical activity, can affect their blood glucose levels is essential for good health and avoiding or reducing the long-term complications of diabetes. Diabetes UK-funded PhD student John Joseph ‘JJ’ Valletta is trying to dynamically model the effect of physical activity on capillary blood glucose concentration. The research, supervised by Dr Andrew Chipperfield and Professor Christopher Byrne in the School of Medicine, aims to improve the understanding of how an individual’s quality of blood glucose control is influenced by their lifestyle, particularly by their level of physical activity.

Bioengineering research A recent internship at Lein Applied Diagnostics, funded through the Knowledge Transfer Network for Industrial Mathematics, was spent improving the correlation model between blood glucose level and measured eye parameters. Experiments on flat and curved pieces of glass were carried out to identify the sources of errors affecting these measurements and significant results in improvements on the quality of the captured data, and hence the blood glucose level measurements, were achieved. The outcome of this work on ‘non-invasive glucose measurement’ has contributed towards the development of a pain free, accurate and cost effective diagnostics and measurement tool. This will improve quality of life for millions of people and help towards making quality healthcare more accessible. The success of this internship has also led to further collaborations between SES and Lein Applied Diagnostics.

In this project patients are using SenseWear Pro3 Armbands to allow the researcher to, for the first time, measure the amount of energy each person used in his or her normal daily routine. The participants also wore a continuous blood glucose-monitoring device for one to two weeks at a time and were asked to manually record their insulin injections and to keep a food diary. This project is helping us to understand how to improve diabetic patients’ quality of life, and will hopefully lead to more effective therapies to improve people’s everyday lives.


Continuing maritime research

The School of Engineering Sciences works closely on technology transfer, linking fundamental research with industry, including the Advanced Technology Partnership with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution on Maritime Engineering and Safety (RNLI ATP). Maritime research highlights • A novel vibration controller which utilises the smart material-Magnetorheological Elastomer (MREs) has been invented by former PhD student Dr Won Jun Choi, Dr Yeping Xiong and Professor Ajit Shenoi and patented in the UK. The system can control the vibrations of a propeller shaft in real-time by applying a magnetic field with various strengths. • Dr Yeping Xiong’s undergraduate project student, Jonathan Gravina, won the prestigious national Donald Maxwell Undergraduate Award of the Society of Maritime Industries for his individual project on smart vibration isolator using MREs. This is the first time that a Ship Science student has won this national award. • Dr James Blake is developing sustainable materials for large scale composite boatbuilding with support from Proquinor in Brazil and Bioresin in Australia. This is the only completely sustainable resin replacement research


in the world. Through a number of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies, a castor oil-based polyurethane resin system is undergoing static, dynamic and durability testing, the results of which are fed back into product development. • Hydroelasticity 2009, the 5th International Conference on Hydroelasticity in Marine Technology, was held at the University of Southampton in September 2009. 80 delegates from North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe attended, with papers presented on the dynamic behaviour of ships; offshore structures; floating bridges; air cushion supported structures and marine risers; and examining analytical, numerical and experimental methods for the evaluation of environmental loads. The papers appear in the Conference Proceedings published by the University of Southampton.

Redefining standards for global shipping Most people are familiar with the term ‘black box’ in the context of aircraft accident investigations. The ‘black box’ records detailed information about the aircraft systems, environment and cockpit communication, and the record can survive a catastrophic incident. Less well known is a similar device carried aboard ships, the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR). IMO is the United Nations agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships, and is the body that defines the VDR performance standard. The European Maritime Data Management (EMDM) project began in 2007, funded through the European Community’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The project consortium comprised the University of Southampton, Kelvin Hughes, Kongsberg Maritime and Consilium Navigation, Avenca, Euroquality and Sodena, the EC Joint Research Centre. Professor Philip Wilson in the School of Engineering Sciences led key research to improve VDR standards. After conducting a series of intensive surveys, reviews and analysis the project’s final output was an EMDM amended version of the IMO VDR performance standard. IMO has now adopted this as the starting point for the development of an amended standard for new ships, due to be released in 2011.

Picture: Nigel Millard

International FluidStructure Interactions Symposium An International Symposium on Fluid-Structure Interactions was held at the University of Southampton on 7 September 2009 in honour of Professor W. Geraint Price and in recognition of his contributions on the subject. 80 delegates from North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe attended. Invited papers were presented covering the range of activities across the wider context of fluid-structure interactions, including hydroelasticity and wave-induced loads on ships and offshore structures. The papers appear in a special issue of the Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment edited by Professor Penny Temarel.

The hunt for NEMO continues…

Structural steel deck structures

The EPSRC-funded NEMO project achieved national recognition in 2009. The research into bio-inspired design and operation of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) entitled ‘Nature in Engineering for Monitoring the Oceans’ is led by Professor Gywn Griffiths, with Drs. James Blake and Stephen Boyd and Dr Alan Murphy (Newcastle University).

A new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has been set up between Structural Metal Decks Ltd (SMD) and the Schools of Engineering Sciences (SES) and Civil Engineering and the Environment (SCEE), led by Dr Stephen Boyd in SES. SMD Ltd design, manufacture and install steel decking that, when filled with concrete, forms a composite slab that is used as flooring in modern civilian construction builds. The KTP has been established to provide expertise in design and testing, with new profile design features already tested at the University and being implemented into products. The long traditions of design and testing of civil engineering structures in SCEE, and the School’s expertise in experimental mechanics and numerical modelling of composite and thin walled sandwich structures, including evolutionary and parametric design optimisation methods, provide the knowledge base from which SMD Ltd can develop their product and expand their share of the UK and global market.

Southampton Undergraduate Ben Smith received the British Petroleum – Society for Underwater Technology (BP-SUT) 2009 award for his research project looking into the feasibility of extracting energy from an unsteady flow for the powering of a flexible bodied AUV. The capture of energy was facilitated by exploitation of the Karman Gait exhibited by fish when migrating up-stream. It is envisioned that this bio-inspiration could lead to extended operational range and reduce power installation requirements.


Research and development in Engineering Materials Engineering Materials research highlights • Professor Marco Starink’s team recently solved the problem of predicting the grain size of severely plastically deformed metallic alloys with low stacking fault energy (the model is published in 2009 in Acta Materiala). They have also derived a model for the thermodynamics and strengthening created by co-clusters; this strengthening mechanism, which was hitherto unknown, has implications across a technologically important range of ternary and higher order alloys. This work is expected to lead to improved understanding of the mechanical properties of metastable medium and high strength metallic alloys. • A new EPSRC and DSTL project will characterise material performance under blast and impact conditions with a future vision to provide materials that can better protect soldiers and vehicles in military operations such as those in Afghanistan. The team investigating ‘full-field datarich experimental approaches to explain composite material and structural performance and its damage tolerance’, is led by Professor Janice Barton, working with Professor Ajit Shenoi, Dr Stephen Boyd and Dr Stavros Syngellakis. • Funding has been received from JISC to set up the Materials Data Centre. The aim is to develop a system that will benefit researchers, educators and industry by providing a wide range of datasets from materials research across the web to help drive forward materials technology. The MDC will deliver a facility to conserve and expose data, the real value of which will become apparent as semantic web technologies become established, at which stage the ever-increasing body of experimental data will provide new opportunities for knowledge discovery within and across disciplines. This collaboration is between the Materials Research Group and the School’s Microsoft Institute for High Performance Computing.


• The Danish Research Council for production techniques is supporting a collaborative project led by Professor Janice Barton, SES, and Professor Ole Thybo Thomson, University of Aalborg. The project will develop new methodologies for determining the behaviour of sandwich structures when exposed to thermal gradients. This research has significant application for improving wind turbine blades, rapid response craft and aerospace structures.

New standard problem for simulations of magnetic media Researchers in the School of Engineering Sciences have been working with IBM Zurich, and the University of Hamburg on a new standard problem for simulations of magnetic media used in the hard drives of iPods and PCs. As computer simulations are increasingly used in research and device design, it becomes ever more important to ensure that the simulation software is intensively tested and bug free. The use of standard problems for simulation evaluation and benchmarking has been common practice within the micro magnetic community since 1998. The clearly defined standard problems are solved numerically through the new simulation packages and/or different computational methodology. If results agree this inspires some confidence in the reliability of these new tools. There is significant interest within the academic and industrial community in how spin-polarised currents interact with magnetisation, and how this might potentially open the door to a step change in data storage technology and a paradigm shift from data processing using electrons to data processing using the spin of electrons. It was therefore important that a new standard problem was created to help test this. The team at Southampton came up with four different finite difference solutions to this multi-physics test which were computed and compared with the finite element solution provided by the team using Southampton’s nmag simulation package. The test problem they came up with has now been selected by the micromagnetic community to become only the fifth standard problem since 1998.

Nanostructured materials Continued industrial collaboration to develop the processing of nanostructured titanium (Ti) for use in medical implants has been secured from Innovation China UK. The aim is to produce nanostructured Ti alloys at room temperature through severe plastic deformation. This process increases the strength of various Ti alloys for future biomedical applications. Excellent progress has been made in the characterisation of the mechanical properties of the CP-Titanium processed by ECAP (equal channel angular processing).

Nano Co-Ni coating (hexagonal structure) Materials Researchers have synthesised hexagonal structured cobalt-nickel coatings using advanced electrodeposition. The new coating potentially has important commercial applications to replace conventional hard chromium coatings with their associated environmental concerns.

Optical fibre-based arc imager Due to increased industrial demand the Materials group has recently re-established the high current arcing test facilities. This has included the acquisition of a new optical fibre based arc imager which is capable of framing at 1 MHz, with over 500,000 images. Current research is supported by ABB Italy and Hyundai Industries.

CNT structured surface Research within the Materials group has shown that carbon nano-tube surfaces coated with metallic coatings are able to be used in MEMS devices to enable high frequency switching. This ground breaking study has shown for the first time the capability to “hot switch” over millions of cycles.

In-situ monitoring of tapestries using engineering techniques Professor Janice Barton and Dr Alan Chambers are working with the National Trust, Historic Royal Houses and English Heritage, with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to use optical sensors to monitor the strain in historic tapestries. Data from the sensors can then be used to inform conservation decisions and make timely repairs. A tapestry has been created by textile students at Winchester School of Art designed to show the connection between art and science. The colours used reference historic tapestries, namely the 14th Century Apocalypse Tapestries and the 15th Century Devonshire Hunting Tapestry “The Boar and Bear Hunt�, and the inclusion of text also harks back to historic tapestry tradition, as well as aiding communication of the meaning of the tapestry and the project itself. The creation of the tapestry was an opportunity for sensors to be fully integrated within a tapestry, something difficult to do with existing historical tapestries. An Institute of Physics Public Engagement Award enabled the team to set up an exhibit at INTECH Science and Technology Centre in Winchester that explains strain measurement, and the science between optical fibre sensors and imaging techniques. The team is now monitoring a tapestry in-situ at the National Trust’s Hardwick Hall. This experiment moves the work from the controlled conditions of the laboratory to the environs of a historic house. Data is transmitted to the University for processing, along with data on temperature and humidity, and will lead to better understanding linking degradation with temperature and humidity changes.


The Research Institute for Industry (RIf I) The Research Institute for Industry (RIf I) is the industrial arm of the School of Engineering Sciences and delivers solutions to industry through consultancy and applied research services. Knowledge and expertise is supplied by dedicated consulting engineers within RIf I and from world-leading researchers across the School of Engineering Sciences.


Profile RIfI has access to the largest School of Engineering Sciences in the UK, offering the highest standard of facilities and expertise over the entire range of engineering sciences. Interdisciplinary projects can be tackled and bespoke teams of experts assembled to meet the needs of industry. Our clients are from many business sectors including: aerospace; automotive; ship/marine; manufacturing; energy; and biomedical. Our capabilities include: cryogenics; materials; electromechanical engineering; electrochemical engineering; bioengineering; tribology and surface engineering and engineering design and computational modelling.

Recent Clients Armacell; National Nuclear Laboratory; Le Creuset UK Ltd.; GE Aviation; MOD; BP International; BAE Systems; Schlumberger; National Grid; Eaton Aerospace.

Client Feedback “Overall I can say that working with RIf I has been fantastic, top work with top people. Thanks to you all. The work carried out was first rate and we will be using RIf I in the future” “It was much quicker to agree the contract with Southampton than with any other university” “The service we have received on a number of projects has been excellent”

OTEC – power and fresh water from sea water

The Energy Technology Research Group (ETRG) and the Research Institute for Industry (RIfI) are collaborating on the design and production of an Ocean Thermal Energy Capture (OTEC) device. This will be a large scale model intended to illustrate the concept of OTEC and enable experimentation with variable physical parameters. The OTEC model consists of water at the sea surface being contained in a chamber and then warmed by the sun to a temperature of approx 25°C. As it warms it evaporates through a turbine, thus producing electricity. The vapour then condenses in a separate chamber that is cooled by deep sea water to approx 5°C. When it leaves the “condenser” it is pure, potable water. The project is being funded by the Energy Island Group, a partnership of industrial and academic experts in ocean engineering, infrastructure and construction management, OTEC and other renewable technologies, and including SES. The Group aims to commercialise OTEC technology, thereby providing large-scale renewable power and desalinated water worldwide. By accessing the world’s biggest solar thermal collector, our seas, OTEC is a system that is capable of producing enough energy and water for the entire planet and with a net cooling effect on our increasingly heating oceans. The Energy Island Group:– Energy Island Ltd. Vega Consulting – School of Engineering Sciences – Halcrow Group Ltd. – Noble Denton Group Ltd. – Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc.

Case Studies • Rotork Controls Ltd manufacture actuators that use worm and wheeled gears. The efficiency of worm gears is known to be compromised by the high friction generated within the sliding contact due to poor lubrication. Through mathematical modelling, lubricant property investigation and sliding wear tests, RIfI defined bespoke lubrication regimes for the worm/wheel gear contacts. This study has enabled Rotork to design a new generation of actuators utilising worm/wheel gears with an increased system efficiency of up to 20%. • RIfI was commissioned by a leading orthopaedic company to conduct a large series of Finite Element Analyses (FEA) in order to assess the mechanical performance of different designs and identify the best performing system. A novel methodology was developed combining Computed Tomography Imaging, Computer Aided Design, FEA and Rigid Body Dynamics simulations. The study highlighted qualitative and quantitative performance improvements of the new designs and aided the client in achieving a regulatory CE marking (European health and safety conformity mark) for the best performing design. • Hard chromium coatings have many applications due to exceptional hardness, low surface friction and wear and corrosion resistance. However, the current technology in coating production requires the use of the toxic and carcinogenic substance chromium (Cr(VI)). The EU ‘Restrictions of Hazardous Substances Directive’ has limited the use of Cr(VI) since 2006 and in the USA, the ‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration’ has plans to ban the use of Cr(VI) by 2010. RIfI applied expert knowledge in electrodeposition and tribology characterisation to synthesise metal composite coatings. A range of nanosize particles were incorporated into a nickel matrix. Tribology tests on these composite coatings have shown them to exhibit comparable properties to hard chromium. The coatings are currently being assessed for commercial scale-up by one of the UK’s leading coating specialists.

“We had good service from RIf I helping us to meet an unusual but key part of our project. Good communication on all aspects of this work”


Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7052 e-mail: Web:


Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics


With its experienced staff of engineers, the Wolfson Unit operates a consultancy service in ship design, yacht design, small craft design, naval architecture, marine technology and industrial aerodynamics, providing tank testing, wind tunnel testing, consultancy, design software, onboard systems and innovative research to a world wide customer base. Oil spill response 2010 Vikoma International, part of the Aberdeen based Energy Environmental Group, has been chosen to work with NOFO (Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies) to develop new solutions for oil spill response in the challenging sea conditions in the region. Vikoma is working with the Wolfson Unit to test theories and models, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and advanced flow visualisation techniques, before potentially developing a prototype system for testing by NOFO. Mike King, Managing Director of Vikoma International explained, “We believe the research will lead to a new generation of oil containment and recovery technology.” The development programme ‘Oil Spill Response 2010’ or ‘Oljevern 2010’ operated by NOFO, has a significant budget to bring new products into the market. The priority of the programme is to develop new and improved oil recovery technology that can operate in higher seas and stronger currents than equipment currently on the market.

Engineering team of the year shortlist

Wolfson Unit involvement in Jacques Vabre Top 3

The Wolfson Unit was shortlisted for the Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2009. The short-listing was for the work completed as part of a UK Sport Research & Innovation and British Cycling (BCF) project with the aim of developing understanding and the application of aerodynamics for cycling with a requirement of deliverables for Beijing 2008. A multidisciplinary team incorporated engineers from the Wolfson Unit with staff from British Cycling, TotalSim and Frazer Nash Consultancy, where the Wolfson Unit provided expertise in experimental fluid dynamics and research testing procedures for the project. The Wolfson Unit continues to work with a range of Olympic sports as UK Sport partners. The Unit has made extensive use of the University of Southampton wind tunnel facilities for sports including downhill skiing, as part of their aerodynamic development programme for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games, as well as supporting the successful Bob Skeleton research effort.

The Wolfson Unit congratulates the skippers and designers of the Top 3 finishers in the Jacques Vabre. Guillaume Verdier and VPLP Yacht Design for Safran and Groupe Bel and Owen Clark Design with Ecover 3. The Unit is proud to have conducted tank testing and other consultancy services for these projects in the Open 60 IMOCA class. It has developed a range of yacht testing services over the last 40 years, and in recent times has been world leading in testing techniques and technologies in the experimental testing and performance evaluation of these Open style boats. To date, a number of projects have been conducted involving Open 60, Volvo 70 and one off designs in the racing yacht field.

Green trawlers The potential for reducing fuel consumption of fishing vessels was quantified by the Wolfson Unit in a project funded by the Irish Government, and coordinated by Noel O’Regan of Promara. Current regulations have resulted in fishing vessels of wide beam and very full form. Their high resistance characteristics require powerful engines, but this has been tolerable until the recent increases in fuel costs. This project examined the potential fuel savings that could be made if some length-related regulations could be relaxed. A typical modern vessel of 19.8 metres was compared with a design of 23.9 metres produced by S C McAllister. Tests in calm water and representative seastates demonstrated resistance reduction of up to 60% at a given speed.


World-class capability

Wind Tunnels The University of Southampton’s School of Engineering Sciences has an enviable low-speed wind tunnel complex. The flagship 3.5m x 2.6m R J Mitchell moving ground tunnel is used by Formula 1, World Rally, IRL and CART racing teams, UK Sport and worldleading aerospace companies. The 2.1m x 1.5m wind tunnel includes a low-speed 4.6m x 3.7m section for wind engineering and yacht studies. The 0.9m x 0.6m x 4.5m tunnel is equipped with 3D traversing system and dynamometer. Advanced flow diagnostics include particle image velocimetry, laser-doppler and hot-wire anemometry, as well as pressure and force balances. Complete projects can be undertaken, involving the combination of consultancy and wind tunnels test. The Wolfson Unit MTIA (WUMTIA) has considerable experience in performing this type of work. Projects can also be run in collaboration with academics in the School.


Engineering Design and Manufacturing Centre (EDMC)

Transport Systems Research Laboratory (TSRL)

The School’s Engineering and Design Manufacturing Centre (EDMC) provides design and manufacturing services to students and staff, as well as in consultancy work through RIf I. Its facilities include four CNC controlled machining centres, CNC controlled electro-discharge machining, laser cutting, a range of welding facilities, standard machine tools and a fully resourced student workshop. Model making for ships, wind tunnel and UAVs is a key component of EDMC activities with a dedicated technician and workshop. Computer aided design and manufacture facilities are operated by two dedicated technical staff. Support for all electrical systems within the SES laboratories is also provided by EDMC with two specialist technicians.

The TSRL is a large laboratory dedicated to material and structural performance and in particular the application of data-rich optical and infra-red experimental mechanics techniques to complex structures. The facilities in TSRL include a full range of testing machines with 6 Instron servo-hydraulic machines covering loading capacities of up to 200 kN, a four column Denison Mayes servo-hydraulic test machine up to 200 kN, two Instron servo-mechanical machines up to 50 kN and an Instron Electropuls for testing at loads below 1 kN and at very high frequency. The TSRL also houses a multiaxial loading frame capable of accommodating three actuators. The Instron VHS 100/20 high speed tensile testing machine in TSRL is the only machine in the UK that has been adapted for use with composites. The machine is capable of loads of up to 100 kN at 20 m/s. There are also facilities for shearography (Laser Optical Engineering), photoelasticity, optical fibre sensors, and electrical resistance strain gauges. Three thermal chambers enable application of load and temperature together over a temperature range -100 to 450°C. A specialist high temperature vacuum chamber (capable of temperatures up to 1000°C in vacuum) allows oxidation and creepfatigue evaluations including initiation and propagation assessment in advanced metallic systems. Mixed mode/complex loading capabilities, together with 4 point probe D.C.P.D. monitoring and replication techniques are also available. There is also a full range of manufacturing facilities for composite materials, including an autoclave and facilities for resin infusion, vacuum consolidation, resin transfer moulding and wet lay-up.

Other laboratory facilities The School has a range of other facilities including: • Towing test tanks for ship resistance and renewable energy research • Bioengineering Laboratory (cell culture, tissue characterisation, microscopy and fabrication of Lab-on-a-Chop devices) • Electron Microscopy Centre (microstructural characterisations of materials by high resolution imaging, crystallography and nano/micro-area chemical analysis) • Structural Dynamics Laboratory (with particular focus on modal analysis and mechanical environment testing) • Astronautics Laboratory • Multi-phase Flow Laboratory (water spray systems, fuel oil injection for internal combustion engines, pharmaceutical powder systems and fundamental experiments on miscible interfaces) • Nano Metrology Laboratory (temperature controlled to 20 degrees within +/- 1 degree) • Electro-mechanical Laboratory (including the High Current Arcing laboratory) • Thick film unit (manufactures thick film sensors and circuits) • Electrochemical Engineering Laboratory (energy conversion techniques, coatings, corrosion, nanomaterials and electrochemical reactor design) • Solar Test and Reference Facility (STaR) • Solar Cell Characterisation Laboratory • State-of-the-art flight simulators See for more information.


Research Groups Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics


Fundamental research into fluid dynamics with applications to aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and flight dynamics.

Research relating to instrumentation, actuators, sensors, control, and metrology.

Particular strengths: transitional and turbulent flow simulation; mechanisms of near-wall turbulence; computational and experimental aeroacoustics; flow, turbulence and pollutant dispersion in the environment; race car aerodynamics; flight simulation.

Astronautics Emphasising a systems-engineering approach to space physics and spacecraft engineering. Particular strengths: electric propulsion; space environmental effects; remote sensing; multi-functional spacecraft structures; modelling solar high energy radiation environment; guidelines for mitigation of space debris.

Bioengineering Sciences Laboratory and clinical research into orthopaedic biomechanics and regenerative medicine. Particular strengths: mechanobiology of skeletal tissues; advanced computational analysis (finite elements; rigid body analysis; probabilistic techniques); non-destructive testing; fluoroscopic assessment of knee kinematics; computer assisted surgery.

Computational Engineering Design Multi-disciplinary research using a range of analytical, computational and experimental techniques. Particular strengths: use of flow and structural computational methods for design; evolutionary optimisation, construction of advanced cost-prediction systems; optimisation of meta-modelled, approximate or noisy systems; analysis of robustness.


Particular strengths: micro-system technology; low voltage electrical systems; automotive systems; precision engineering.

Programmes The School of Engineering Sciences offers a wide range of three year Bachelors (BEng) and four year Masters (MEng) undergraduate programmes in: • Aeronautics & Astronautics • Mechanical Engineering • Ship Science We offer one year MSc programmes in:

Energy Technology

• Advanced Mechanical Engineering

• Aerodynamics and Computation

Fundamental and applied research underpinning energy and sustainable-energy technologies.

• Maritime Engineering Science

Particular strengths: combustion; cryogenics; applied superconductivity; electrochemical engineering; electromechanical energy; photovoltaics; energy management and control.

• Race Car Aerodynamics • Sustainable Energy Technologies Postgraduate research programmes, leading to doctoral degrees, are available in all our research groups.

Engineering Materials Materials research for applications in aerospace, automotive, energy systems, electronic devices, biomedical devices and microsystems. Particular strengths: electronic materials; electrochemical engineering; fuel, solar and redox flow cells; damage and degradation processes in composites and metals; materials and processes for micro and nanosystems.

Fluid-Structure Interactions Experimental and computation studies for marine applications. Particular strengths: experimental Mechanics, underwater systems engineering; ocean engineering science; ship design; lightweight and composite structures, hydroelasticity, computational fluid mechanics; dynamics of marine vehicles.

National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) Next generation tribological design issues and surface interactions that occur with minimal loss and impact on the environment. Particular strengths: tribology; fouling, friction and corrosion; surface engineering; tribology of renewable energy systems; biotribology; tribology at a molecular, micro and nano scale.

Staff Professors

Senior Lecturers

D S Barrett J M Barton (Deputy Head of School) I P Castro S J Cox H Fangohr S B Gabriel G Griffiths (joint with National Oceanography Centre, Southampton) G E Hearn M Hill A J Keane T G Langdon K Luo T Markvart J W McBride P A S Reed N D Sandham (Deputy Head of School) J P Scanlan R A Shenoi I Sinclair S M Spearing (Head of School) M Starink N G Stephen (Deputy Head of School) M Taylor P Temare S R Turnock O R Tutty S M Veres F C Walsh P A Wilson R J K Wood Y Yang X Zhang

A Bhaskar N W Bressloff J R Calvert A R Chambers A J Chipperfield S Gu D A Hudson I Karlin B G Mellor P B Nair R N Richardson G T Roberts S M Sharkh S Syngellakis K Takeda A R L Tatnall

Emeritus Professors C Beduz A F Molland W G Price J T Xing

Readers G Aglietti J K Atkinson M Browne G N Coleman S J Newman J Shrimpton G G Swinerd

Lecturers M K Al-Mosawi D Bavykin J I R Blake R Boltryk S Boyd Z Chen K Djidjeli T Fischbacher A I J Forrester N Gao J W Kim H G Lewis G Limbert M Molinari C Ponce-de-Le贸n Albarr谩n M Ratoi R Sandberg A Shah A Sobester M Stolz P Stoodley J Swingler M Y Tan T G Thomas P J Thurner M M Torbati A Vorobev S Walker L Wang S Wang J Wharton Z-T Xie Y P Xiong E Young

Reg Platt Lecturer in Civil Aviation Z Hu

RCUK Lecturers L Jiang X Zhang

RCUK Fellow D Taunton

Research Institute for Industry P J Boltryk J O Bello B B Crunkhorn J A Forrester X Li C T J Low P C McDonald B G Mellor S Quinn M M Torbati Y Tsui F C Walsh (Director) R G A Wills

Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics D M Buckland I M C Campbell (Deputy Head of School) B Deakin C M H Harmer M P Prince J L Robinson M Scarponi P A Weynberg A M Wright

Technical support staff R Barnes D Beckett T Bostock D Cardwell C Chalk A Chitty B Clarke R Dooler A Giles M Harley T Hartley

P Herring S Klitz I Mears G Mills S Pilcher J Rabbetts T Roberts E Roszkowiak P Sellen M Sellwood C Stafford N Stocker M Street M Thomas M Tudor-Pole C Wagg M Webb T Webster D Williams C Williams

Business Development Manager C Styles

School Manager C Allee

Contacts The school welcomes enquiries regarding its activities. For further information please contact: School of Engineering Sciences University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom Research enquiries: Professor Neil Sandham Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 4872 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 3058 Email: General enquiries: Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 9296 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 5167 Email: Business Enquiries: Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 7052 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 7051 Email:

31 +44 (0)23 8059 9296

School of Engineering Sciences Annual Review 2010  
School of Engineering Sciences Annual Review 2010  

School of Engineering Sciences Annual Review and Research Brochure 2010