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Research areas

The centre’s research focuses on development of tools and knowledge applicable to real world, industrial scale, engineering problems. This includes the basic science and mathematics necessary to ensure a solid theoretical base along with treatment of variability and uncertainty inherent in physical engineering systems.

The main areas of research for the centre 

  1. Thermo-mechanical modelling of current and future structural materials, including novel and sustainable materials. Development of computational models and supporting theoretical and analytical studies.
  2. Fundamental numerical methods development for solid and structural mechanics applications, including meshed and meshless methods.
  3. Treatment of uncertainty within numerical methods, including the development of data-driven Bayesian probabilistic and statistical methods, as well as classical hypothesis driven analyses.
  4. Experimental methods to support the development and application of advanced material and structural models.
  5. Application of numerical methods to support engineering analysis, design and optimisation of materials and structures subject to extreme or dynamic conditions.

The centre’s expertise in engineering allows for a variety of industry-focused problems to be addressed and realistic models considered; the mathematical modelling expertise allows for useful and robust models to be built; expertise in statistical experimental design allows modern methods in (Bayesian) experimental design, particularly computer experiments, to be used. Combining these activities allows for virtual experiments to be run, maximising the amount of information about which materials are likely to be useful in prototypes. Additionally, the centre can provide methodologies and tools for virtual experimentation and prototyping that can lead to better models and/or cheaper prototype development.

The activities of this centre will directly address three strategic challenge areas set by the University:

Manufacturing: Smart Manufacturing and Materials Innovation

Significant advances in digitisation offer new industry opportunities in terms of virtual product development, supporting the introduction of new materials, advanced manufacturing methods and smart multifunctional structures.

Sustainability: Clean Energy, Sustainable Growth, Circular & Bio Economy

Cost effective development of high-value lightweight structures, reducing energy required for manufacturing and operation. End of life recycling and reuse considered throughout the product development.

Digital: Digital Futures and Big Data

Future analysis environments will be designed to benefit from smart sensor inputs for boundary and initial conditions, as well as data driven probabilistic analyses. In addition, the digital twin concept requires individual digital instances of each item manufactured, forming a large data set with potential applications including machine learning.