Engineering a better society
The Cardiff University exhibition will highlight the crucial role of engineers in developing solutions to a diverse range of environmental, social, health and economic challenges. The exhibition will present examples of the University’s achievements across three key themes: energy; the environment and healthy living.
Cardiff approaches research as a collaborative and innovative enterprise, involving, amongst others, industrial partners, research organisations and other Universities. We are delighted that partner Universities Bath, Bristol, Exeter and Swansea will also feature in the exhibition.
Engineers are increasing our understanding of how our bodies work – how limbs operate, how we are injured by different structures and substances. They also develop technologies to help their colleagues in medicine and surgery, and technology to help us exercise efficiently and safely. The exhibits include projects which are improving treatments for joint conditions and helping to confirm safety standards to reduce head injuries among rugby players.
- Engineering for Life- Prof Wells/Prof Nokes
- Arthritis Research – Dr Cath Holt
- Health and Sport – Dr Mike Jones/Dr Peter Theobald
- Haptic Prof Bordas Exhibit
- Choc ALM – University of Exeter
Meeting the energy demands of a growing population is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Engineers are at the vanguard – developing advanced new energy technologies and addressing the increasing need for sustainable and low-carbon energy supplies. The exhibits show how engineers are making significant breakthroughs ranging from improving the efficiency of wireless communication amplifiers to projecting the energy-generating potential of major civil engineering projects such as the proposed Severn Barrage.
- Gas Turbine – Prof Bowen
- Energy – Smart Meters – Prof Jenkins/Mr Burchill
- National Grid Energy – Prof Haddad
- EPSRC Holistic Amplifier Design Project between the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff
Engineering has a special relationship with the environment – whether that involves harnessing the power of nature or creating the built environment in which we live. Engineers shape our world, and have a special role to ensure we work with the natural environment in ways which are sustainable. The exhibits show examples of engineering projects which are making our built environment safer and greener, and others which are using the earth itself to store waste safely and securely.
Energy and Environment
- Severn Estuary Exhibit – Prof Falconer/Dr Ahmadian
- SEREN Exhibit (COMPASS) – Prof Thomas/ Dr Koj/Dr Lewis
The BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car, launched by Richard Noble and Andy Green in October 2008 is set to take the World Land Speed Record (LSR) into a whole new speed regime. The team, including researchers from Swansea University at its heart, plans to take a manned vehicle to 1000 mph by 2013 increasing the current LSR (763mph) by over 30%. This target presents the team with massive scientific and engineering challenges, not least of which being how the car will stay attached to the ground at these speeds. The CFD (computational fluid dynamics) research team at The College of Engineering has been working on answering such questions, and predicting the overall aerodynamic behaviour of such a vehicle.’
For more info on the project please visit www.bloodhoundssc.com
Mechanical and Structural Performance Research Group
Professor Karen Holford, Dr Rhys Pullin, Dr C A Featherston, Prof R J Lark, Prof S L Evans, Dr M J Eaton and Mr D Simpson
- Cardiff experts have developed damage-detection methods for bridges, buildings and aircraft components, potentially saving thousands of lives and millions of pounds.
- Their latest systems include embedded sensors powered by energy harvested through vibration, and thermal gradients and data transmitted wirelessly.
- Their breakthroughs will reduce the weight of aircraft and therefore the environmental impact of flying.
Damage in structures such as buildings, bridges or aircraft components can have a devastating effect, and Cardiff School of Engineering has long been at the forefront of vital research to detect damage and prevent potentially catastrophic accidents.
Cardiff University’s achievements in this field have included working with industrial partners on projects such as developing bridge-monitoring technology (MISTRAS), automated fracture detection and location in landing gears (Messier-Dowty) and damage detection in composites using embedded sensors (Airbus and Boeing).
Cardiff experts are undertaking damage assessment research using acoustic emission in industrial applications such as bridges (now commercialised under licence agreement with Physical Acoustics Ltd and the subject of a Highways Agency Advice note) and aerospace landing gear.
Acoustic emission (AE) is the most sensitive damage detection technique, as it relies on detecting energy released from a crack during propagation.
Most recently, their work has focussed on energy harvesting (thermal/vibration/radio-frequency), embedded sensors, automated damage detection and nano-composites.
This exhibit is the culmination of over 20 years of laboratory and field research. Within this composite plane wing are four novel low profile AE sensors. The wing has been subjected to controlled impacts which were detected, located and then sized based on the detected signals.
Following impact the wing was subjected to fatigue loading. The sensors again detected and located the damage site. The video shows these results.
This technology advance can play a significant role in the future design and maintenance of all aircraft structures – potentially increasing the use of composite materials and hence reducing weight, resulting in reduced environmental impact.