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Research Group - Mechanical and Structural Performance
Research is conducted into the optimum small city car shape and structural design for primary pedestrian impact protection and less aggressive secondary throw characteristics. This is in response to increasing numbers of small city cars, often powered by electric motors whose shape and design poses a challenge with respect to pedestrian impact protection. The environments in which they are used are highly populated by vulnerable road users. The work utilises software to determine impact characteristics of differing car designs. A further aspect of the research focuses on novel fluids integrated into vehicle bumpers that are designed to dissipate energy and therefore reduce injuries in car impacts. In addition novel dampers have been developed using magneto rheological fluid that provides active damping.
Novel research that utilises the capabilities of microcontrollers in a range of applications including the monitoring of machines and optimisation of process plant operation is also investigated. Microcontroller devices used in this research offer an almost limitless potential in the engineering of product quality and process management and monitoring systems. The aim of “e-monitoring” solutions is the intelligent acquisition and analysis of data and the determination and communication of performance and associated fault diagnosis at source. The approach massively reduces data handling and storage requirements whilst providing real-time management functions using the internet. The resulting solutions, based upon embedded microcontroller architecture, have been integrated into a wide range of applications which include; machine tools, pneumatic systems, robotics and continuous processes such as water filtration and energy systems.
The group is also active in collaborating with colleagues across the School on aerospace and electric vehicle research topics.