Page 1

Reconnecting through research. World class facilities, worldwide connections

Welcome to Engineering and the Environment


Welcome back to the University of Southampton and to Engineering and the Environment. Formed in 2011, Engineering and the Environment encompasses a broad range of engineering disciplines as well as Ship Science, Audiology and Environmental Sciences. Our vibrant research community has a strong focus on addressing real world problems that affect and involve people and the environment.


To celebrate your return to the campus we invite you to explore our world class facilities. Some may be very familiar while others will highlight changes that have occurred since you graduated. This brochure outlines the facilities you are invited to visit, and how they are being used. Our investment in new facilities continues in the UK with the building of a new £116 million campus at the University’s Boldrewood site, soon to be home to the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute. This centre will draw on the University’s expertise in Ship Science along with other disciplines such as ocean science, law and business to form a nexus of excellence bringing together industry, teaching and research. Further afield, the University has recently opened an engineering campus in Malaysia, broadening our global horizons in the pursuit of academic and innovative excellence. The University’s growing emphasis on the importance of multidisciplinary research has driven us to bridge the conventional boundaries between research disciplines by collaborating with experts from across the University. As a result there have been major developments in biomedical technologies aimed at improving healthcare, decision-making concerning coastal management and the enhancement of athletic performance. Our Alumni are of great value to us; we would like to take time before the tours to hear your stories and give you the chance to hear about our successes. We hope that you enjoy the Anniversary Class Reunion 2013. William Powrie FREng, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment




1. Rapid prototyping Our new 3D printers will enhance our education programmes in the future. Page 4 2. Human vibration We are researching the effects of vibration on humans. Page 6 3. The wind tunnel Our enviable array of wind tunnels are used by students, staff and industry. Page 8 4. Flight simulator Built by students for students our fleet includes a wide variety of aircraft. Page 10


5. Âľ-VIS X-ray Imaging Centre Our imaging facilities are opening new avenues of research in engineering and across the University. Page 12 6. Anechoic and Reverberation Chambers We have one of the largest anechoic chambers in the country. Page 14



Rapid prototyping

Research student examining a 3D printed product


Two new rapid prototyping facilities, worth £300K, have been installed within the Engineering and Design Manufacturing Centre. These machines are designed to quickly produce a model of a physical part using three-dimensional computer aided design data. They provide greater design freedom, fast design process, more efficient materials usage and tool-less manufacturing. Location Engineering and Design Manufacturing Centre, Lanchester, Building 7 What is on display? −− Two 3D printers. −− Various 3D printed artefacts produced using the facilities. −− A collection of posters highlighting research within the unit. Key features of the tour Research led teaching Purchase of the prototyping machines is a significant investment in the Undergraduate curriculum within Engineering and the Environment. Students will be introduced to the exciting new 3D printing technology from Year 1 and will consequently be better equipped for employability in a changing world. Access to these facilities will enhance modules taught on the engineering degree programmes in line with the strategic ‘Transforming Education’ goals of the University. Furthermore, the facility is flexible and personalised, therefore students will be able to use their theoretical and practical knowledge to create designs, have them printed off within a few hours and walk out of the lab physically holding what they have designed.

Links to industry and enterprise The rapid prototyping techniques have been embraced by research and enterprise and have already produced a number of world firsts including the first 3D printed plane. In previous years particular types of aircraft wing, such as the elliptical wing that contributed to the success of the Supermarine Spitfire, have been too complex and expensive to build using modern manufacturing techniques. But with the introduction of 3D printing, these designs have been revisited. Outreach The facility will be critical for inspiring the next generation of engineering students currently considering University. We aim to attract prospective students by showcasing the machines on tours of the facilities. Overview of your tour The rapid prototyping facility will be up and running throughout the tours and visitors will have the rare opportunity to witness the production of printed artefacts. A collection of posters highlighting the fascinating research using the facility will be presented around the room, along with a selection of 3D printed artefacts produced in the laboratory.

Economical and efficient Through this revolutionary technology, material wastage is minimised, production lead times are decreased to a fraction of their conventional equivalent and therefore, costs are dramatically reduced. The ability to produce elaborately detailed designs, such as statue figure heads and machine parts at minimal extra cost is very exciting.

Further information To find out more email Professor Simon Cox,


Human vibration

Car passenger compartment being tested on the motion simulator


A collection of facilities that induce motion and vibration for human comfort, postural instability and motion sickness research. Location Human Factors Research Unit Laboratory, Building 19 What is on display? −− Motion simulator platform used for testing seats and the passenger compartments of cars and trains. −− Horizontal and vertical vibrators for studies of human subjects. −− A turntable capable of reproducing continuous or oscillatory motions. −− A tilting and translating cabin used for research into motion sickness and discomfort. −− Electrodynamic shakers which simulate motorcycle induced vibration. −− Posters displaying hand-arm vibration syndrome research and diagnostic equipment. Key features of the tour The effects of vibration The Human Factors Research Unit (HFRU) at the University has identified that vibration can extensively affect comfort, performance and health. Researchers use human participants to investigate the impact of vibration on these aspects and subsequently develop guidance for exposure and reducing the negative effects. For example, the researchers conduct laboratory measurements of vibration on vibratory tools (pneumatic and electric) to customer specifications, including electric hammer drills and chainsaws.

Here in the University’s Institution of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) there is a wide range of work for industry and government in addition to fundamental PhD research on the biodynamic, psychological, and physiological responses to vibration. The HFRU also contributes to standardisation, with many British, European, and International standards on human responses to vibration based on research in the Human Factors Research Unit. Diagnostic testing The HFRU offers diagnostic testing for the vascular and neurological components of the hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) including vibration-induced white finger disease. Tests are conducted by experienced staff and involve the determination of thermotactile perception threshold and the measurement of finger re-warming times. The tests provide a quantitative assessment of the neurological and vascular state of the hands. The results are compared to normal values for diagnosis. Overview of your tour The tour will guide visitors around a collection of the laboratory’s world class facilities. The motion simulator will be in action to provide a thrilling display of current equipment testing and visitors will also have access to view the tilting and translating cabin. Posters highlighting research on hand-arm vibration syndrome will also be on display.

Links to research for the transport industry Vibration induced by motor vehicles, trains, boats and aircraft can cause discomfort and motion sickness. The HFRU completes research on behalf of international companies serving the transport industry, to test seats and vehicle compartments for their impact on human comfort levels. Tests may be performed using human subjects or a dummy. The test procedure may be according to established protocols or tailored to the customers’ requirements.

Further information To find out more about the Human Factors Research Unit visit


The wind tunnel

Research students testing the aerodynamics of a model racing car

The R. J. Mitchell Wind Tunnel is the largest of the University’s three wind tunnels. It is an extensively equipped low-speed wind tunnel with a 3.6m x 2.5m working section, with moving ground and a maximum wind speed of 50 m/s. It is ideally suited for vehicle aerodynamic work. Location

Key features of the tour

R. J. Mitchell Wind Tunnel

The History of the Wind Tunnels The University of Southampton was one of the first in the country to have a moving ground system that could be used for testing motor racing cars. It was installed in the 1960s and attracted the business of Formula 1, Indy Racing League and CART racing teams, LMG GT/ GTS-class sports cars and world-leading aerospace companies. Over the years, demand for the facilities grew to such an extent that expansion became necessary.

What is on display? −− R. J. Mitchell Wind Tunnel. −− Bike rig for bike aerodynamics testing. −− Model racing car. −− Scale model of an aircraft landing gear mounted in the tunnel.


The then Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough donated their wind tunnel which is now the current tunnel on display at the tour (The R. J. Mitchell tunnel).

very recently played a critical role in the testing of bikes. New customers to the tunnel include a leading high performance car manufacturer.

For several years, the facility continued to attract business from Formula 1 and companies in the USA but eventually the racing car industry began to build their own Wind Tunnel facilities. The University of Southampton has therefore responded by diversifying the use of the tunnels and extended business to the marine and sport industry. They are also used frequently by undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Overview of your tour

Links to research, industry and sport The facilities are currently used by MSc and PhD students undertaking research into areas such as yacht sail and aircraft wing aerodynamics. They also provide links to the marine industry through the Wolfson Unit which conducts maritime consultancy work for yacht, ship and power boat manufacturers. The large wind tunnel has

Visitors will have the exciting opportunity to step inside the largest of the three wind tunnels and explore the racing car model and control room. Our expert technicians will provide a rare opportunity to experience the tunnels in action at low wind speeds.

Further information To find out more about the R. J. Mitchell wind tunnel visit


Flight simulator

Research student using a simulator flight programme


The Southampton flight simulator is unique in the UK, developed by students for students. Originally funded by BAE Systems, many third- and fourth-year group projects have been involved in developing the hardware and software for the simulator over a decade. It is used to test student design programmes and plays an important role in the design, testing and manufacturing aspects of an air vehicle. Location Fifth Floor, Tizard, Building 13 What is on display? −− Flight simulator funded by BAE Systems. The model includes two Harrier T4 ejector seats, taken from the actual aircraft used in a James Bond film. −− A multi-copter model used to take images and film material from the air will also be on display. Key features of the tour

Outreach The flight simulator contributes to the University’s outreach activities and aims to show potential students that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are both exciting and rewarding. Channel 4 documentary, The Dambusters (2003) The flight simulator team were approached by the makers of the documentary to build a unique, full-size, seven-crew Lancaster flight simulator that could be used to recreate a host of missions. The final simulation was incredibly convincing as the aircrew took to the virtual skies for a solid week of flying.

Teaching The investment of students and researchers into the Links with Human Factors research development of this facility has produced a significant enhancement of teaching on undergraduate courses and Helicopter pilots encounter problems landing in foggy conditions with poor visibility. The Human Factors consequent employability. Research Unit at the University has collaborated with the Undergraduate students are introduced to the simulator flight simulator team to develop an innovative head-up in their first year where they fly a variety of aircraft and display of the ground terrain to guide pilots when experience directly how key aspects of an aircraft’s landing. design influence its handling qualities. In their third year, as part of the aerospace design course, Overview of your tour students produce a full aerodynamic design for a microlight aircraft which they test-fly within the simulator. A professional test pilot visits the facilities to fly the students’ virtual aircraft and evaluates them on the same test flight scores he uses for real aircraft. The simulator is also used within student’s project work, both as a visualisation platform to develop and test external flight models produced in Matlab/Simulink and also as a hardware-in-the-loop framework for external kit. For example, autopilots and control devices used for the human powered aircraft project and also the fixed-wing and rotary UAS activity here at Southampton. Student project work also contributes to developing and extending the capabilities of the simulator itself.

An exciting simulation programme will be projected across the walls of the laboratory and visitors will have the opportunity to observe the flight simulator in action. A unique demonstration of the capabilities of the recently developed Multicopter will also be presented on the tour.

Further information To find out more about the flight simulator visit


Âľ-VIS X-ray Imaging Centre

Âľ-VIS researcher preparing an artefact to be scanned.


The µ-VIS Centre incorporates five advanced X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems, with the flagship scanner based in engineering representing one of the largest and highest energy CT systems in the UK at present. It is used to produce high resolution 3D images of the internal structure of objects. Materials that have been scanned by µ-VIS range from aircraft wings to fossils. Location µ-VIS, Eustice Building, first floor

What is on display? −− CT scanner. −− Five minute presentation on µ-VIS’ contribution to research into the Jurassic Pliosaur. −− Posters outlining research using the CT scanner. −− A collection of bones including an elephant skull. Key features of the tour World-class facilities The University has invested over £2m in the newly launched µ-VIS high resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT) facilities. The facility offers state-ofthe-art equipment and brings together teams of engineers and scientists that have immediate need of CT imaging, with world-leading experts in high performance computing and the art of image processing. The benefits offered by CT imaging The facilities at µ-VIS have the ability to comprehensively visualise inaccessible and/or opaque materials and structures in 3D. Their high resolution capabilities are essentially non-destructive which means that objects which either cannot be dismantled or are too fragile to take apart can be examined in great detail. The 3D characterisation produced is valuable for subsequent modelling.

Multidisciplinary research In collaboration with Archaeology, the research centre scanned the fossilised skull of a pliosaur, an extinct marine reptile of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Scans revealed the internal structure of the bones and are being used by Bristol University in the building of a computer model of the skull. This model will allow researchers to estimate the biting power of this immense carnivore. Combined investigation with Engineering has involved the study of individual carbon fibres in aircraft parts and work with Environmental research groups has involved the study of delicate plant roots which may be affected by climate change. 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 presents and provide a vibrant focus for interdisciplinary development. Overview of your tour Visitors will have the opportunity to experience an exciting overview of the research at µ-VIS. This virtual tour will highlight the group’s collaboration with Archaeologists in scanning the fossilised skull of the Pliosaur, a marine creature of the Jurassic period, along with various other applications of the high resolution CT scanning system.

Further information To find out more about the flight simulator visit


Anechoic and reverberation chambers

Student research in the anechoic chamber


The anechoic chamber is a room designed to eliminate sound reflections. The walls, ceiling and floor are covered by 8,000 foam wedges, each a metre long. The large reverberation chamber is designed to reflect sound equally across the room and can help researchers produce very high sound levels. It has non-parallel surfaces and diffusers to spread noise. Location

Reverberation chamber

Institution of Sound and Vibration Research, Building 15

Commercial Consulting Companies use the chamber to test the ‘acoustical absorbance’ of material, the sound transmission of materials and acoustic fatigue of components and structures. This has applications to car manufacturing, aircraft manufacturing, train manufacturing and general building practices, where designers aim to use materials that can absorb and protect people from noise.

What is on display? – Anechoic chamber. – Reverberation chamber. Key features of the tour Anechoic chamber Consultancy work If the ISVR consultancy service detect more noise than desired they work with the manufacturer to develop the product so that noise levels are reduced. The chambers were used in early July to test the noise produced by microwave ovens and other products tested recently include PCs, air conditioning units and computer back up devices. Links to Aircraft industry The noise levels of aircraft and jet engines are tested within the chamber. Engine models are built in the chambers and sound representing engine noise is played through them for noise levels to be measured. Student Research There are very few anechoic chambers in the UK which means that students studying Acoustical Engineering courses at the University have a significant advantage. They are able to design loud speakers and test them in the chamber to identify further development requirements.

Smaller chamber Behind the blue door there is a second chamber which can be used to test the transmission of sound through materials such as doors and double glazed windows. Links to aircraft and space industry: Engine models are built in the chambers and sound representing engine noise is played through them. Sound absorbing materials are then placed within the engine models in order to reduce the noise coming from the engine. Overview of your tour Visitors will be guided through the chambers by an expert research student. They will experience the fascinating sound environments of each chamber and hear about the ground breaking research currently being conducted within ISVR.

Further information To find out more about the anechoic and reverberation chambers email or visit


Our future The University of Southampton and Lloyd’s Register are working together to create a £116 million world leading engineering Centre of Excellence (ECE) on the University’s Boldrewood campus, at the heart of the Solent Maritime Cluster.


The ECE will define a completely new way of delivering engineering education and research to meet the major global challenges facing society. The ECE will involve the collocation of academics, c.350 Lloyd’s Register professional engineers and students. They will interact and learn together throughout all stages of knowledge creation, transfer and application. In a unique, vibrant, creative campus based environment; −− Students will mature rapidly into innovative engineers, able to apply their knowledge with confidence to new problems and situations, fully equipped to become the business and intellectual leaders of the future −− Knowledge created from blue-sky research will be shaped and informed by practical know-how and will be disseminated rapidly into new engineering applications throughout the world. −− Engineering skills will be combined with expertise from other disciples to forge clever new solutions to big problems, for example, through integrating technology with new business models, smart design and human/societal factors. Phase 1 of the project is due to be complete in 2014.


Our work Leading THE way in bioengineering Our bioengineering researchers are pioneering novel hip replacement implants to help prevent dislocation and problems with living tissue.

We are pioneering a new approach to encoding speech in cochlear implants (patent pending) which we hope will lead to substantial improvements in how well users can hear in background noise.

We have specialist flumes for researching issues related to fish passage and fisheries management.

Testing in world-class facilities Our students have access to world class facilities, like our towing tanks, where they can put their designs to the test.


Energy is embedded into the heart of Engineering and the Environment, from improving the performance of the shipping industry to generating sustainable energy from household waste.

Leading the way in sustainable energy Southampton is at the forefront of efforts to investigate the potential of new sustainable energy technologies.

We work closely with industry and other disciplines, with a common focus on the impacts and management of human activities on the natural environment.

Developing energyefficient machines The national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) is engaged in research vital to the development of future transport and energy-efficient machines, the control of emissions and lowmaintenance renewable energy systems.

19 engineering/reunion13

Relevant web links are shown throughout this brochure. Please also consult online for further details and/or any changes which have appeared since first publication of the Engineering and Environment revisited s or phone +44 (0)23 8059 4118 for more information.

Disclaimer The University of Southampton will use all reasonable efforts to deliver advertised programmes and other services and facilities in accordance with the descriptions set out in its prospectuses, student handbooks, welcome guides and website. It will provide students with the tuition, learning support, services and facilities so described with reasonable care and skill. The University, therefore, reserves the right if it considers it to be necessary to alter the timetable, location, content or method of delivery of events provided such alterations are reasonable.

Financial or other losses The University will not be held liable for any direct or indirect financial or other losses or damage arising from changes made to the event timetable, location, content or method of delivery of various services and facilities set out herein.

Force majeure The University will not be held liable for any loss, damage or expense resulting from any delay, variation or failure in the provision of services and facilities set out herein, arising from circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control, including (but not limited to) war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, interruption in power supplies or other services for any reason, fire, boycott and telecommunications failure. In the event that such circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the University arise, it will use all reasonable endeavours to minimise disruption as far as it is practical to do so.

Š University of Southampton 2013 This information can be made available, on request, in alternative formats such as electronic, large print, Braille or audio tape, and in some cases, other languages. Please call +44 (0)23 8059 7726 to request an alternative format.

University of Southampton Engineering Reunion 2013