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A major activity during the academical year 2000-2001 covered by this Report has been the preparation of our submission for the Government's Research Assessment Exercise. This has involved a great deal of data gathering and has been a huge workload for the staff responsible. The submission included a detailed survey of how we operate and the resources that we provide. In addition to factual information on grant income, student numbers, research publications and other 'outputs', details of our interaction with industry and of our work on the development and support of research staff and students, we had to report on the progress during the five-year assessment period of our fifteen research groups. At the time of writing, the results of RAE2001 have just been announced and the Department obtained the highest possible grade of 5*A, the 'A' meaning that over 95% of eligible staff were submitted as research active. Now that the results are a matter of public record, I think that it would be interesting to bring the heart of our written submission to a wider readership and accordingly I am including it in this Annual Report.
We have decided, starting from this year, to modify the form of the Annual Report. In future, it will consist of the collected publications of the Department, preceded by general comments, but will not include the detailed commentary on the publications that we have given in past years. We have found that this level of detail is not of interest to many of those who receive the Annual Report; also, detailed up-to-date information is available on our website. Those who do wish to pursue specific subjects are warmly invited to consult a member of staff directly, or my office, as the initial point of contact.
The Research Assessment covered the period to 31 December 2000 and so some of the Department's successes during that part of the academical year covered by this Report are mentioned in the following pages. Particular themes have been the steady increase in research grant income (which now exceeds income from the Higher Education Funding Council received via the University) and the consolidation of industrial support. We have been particularly pleased that Rolls-Royce plc has further increased its commitment to the Department by the establishment of a University Gas Turbine Partnership with Professor Ann Dowling as its first Director. As mentioned last year, this partnership builds on more than a quarter of a century of our collaboration, during which the Company has supported research that has led to significant technological advances. The remit of the new partnership is to enhance fundamental knowledge by an integrated approach to the fluid mechanics and thermodynamics of the gas turbine and its associated systems.
Professor Mark Welland, Head of our Nanoscale Science Laboratory, has been appointed first Director of the new Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Nanotechnology. A very large research grant has been made by the Research Councils to support this work and it is planned that the new IRC will be established in a purpose-built laboratory on the West Cambridge site. The Department has also benefited from the EPSRC's Strategic Equipment Initiative, in receiving a number of major earmarked grants, and work on enhancement of our Schofield Centrifuge Centre, made possible by a major grant from the Strategic Research Infrastructure Fund, has also been completed.
We have had an unusually large number of senior appointments and promotions during the year from the 1999-2000 exercise which took effect on 1 October 2000. The following were promoted to personal chairs from 1 October 2000: Dr Bolton, Dr Campbell, Dr Cipolla, Dr Collings, Dr Pellegrino, and Dr Cardwell; and Dr Fitzgerald, Dr Kingsbury, Dr Platts and Dr Williams were promoted to Readerships.
Also, Dr Howard Hodson was elected to the Chair of Aerothermal Technology, which became vacant on the resignation of Professor Nick Cumpsty who joined Rolls-Royce, and Dr Ian Hutchings from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy was elected to our new GKN Chair of Manufacturing Engineering. Professor Peter Guthrie was appointed to a new Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair for Sustainable Development, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, AEA Technology and the Government.
There were many individual honours to members of staff during the year. Professor Howard Hodson received a Silver Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of his 'outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to British engineering, which has led to market exploitation.' His research has led to the development of a high-lift turbine which has up to 25 per cent fewer aerofoils and higher efficiency than previously. Dr Neil Harvey of Rolls-Royce (and formerly CUED) also received a Silver Medal for translating the technology from research concept to successful engine application.
Professor Ann Dowling has been awarded the Ackroyd Stuart Prize of the Royal Aeronautical Society for the year 2000 for her paper 'Vortices, sound and flames - a damaging combination.' This paper is the written version of her 1999 Lanchester Lecture to the Society and gives an overview of the research on combustion instability in her Acoustics Group.
Professor Keith Glover has been awarded the 2001 IEEE Control Systems Award for his 'pioneering and fundamental contributions to robust controller design.' The citation mentions the importance of the Glover-Doyle formulas in control system design that established a permanent place for H infinity optimization in control theory and which are 'among the most important mathematical works of recent decades.'
Professor Ken Wallace was awarded the 2001 American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Outstanding Design Educator Award. He is only the fourth person to receive this high recognition, and the first from outside the US. The award was announced on September 11th at the Awards Luncheon during the combined Design Engineering Technical Conferences in Pittsburgh. This ceremony was overshadowed by the terrorist atrocities earlier the same day, but a further informal ceremony took place in the Department later when I was able to present the Gold Medal to Professor Wallace on behalf of ASME.
The Royal Academy of Engineering's Prince Philip Medal has been awarded this year to our Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alec Broers. The Duke presented the medal to Sir Alec at a short private ceremony in our Board Room at the end of November 2000. In March 2001, it was announced that Sir Alec Broers had been nominated to become the next President of the Royal Academy of Engineering for a five-year term from July. In April, the Vice-Chancellor was also Sue Lawley's guest on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs!
Dr Hugh Hunt and Dr Richard Prager were each awarded a Pilkington Teaching Prize this year in recognition of excellence in teaching. Candidates are nominated from within the four departments of the School of Technology and the prizes were presented by the Vice-Chancellor at a special awards ceremony in July.
There were numerous Best Paper awards to members of the Department, and our retired colleague, Dr Jeff Lewins, was awarded the annual Compton Award of the American Nuclear Society for his contributions to nuclear engineering education. Compton (of photon scattering fame) did his graduate work in Cambridge so this is a particularly appropriate honour for Jeff. The award carries a financial grant which at Dr Lewins' request will be used to permanently endow the Institution of Nuclear Engineer's annual prize for undergraduates.
This year's CUEA conference (organised by the Programme for Industry) was held in September on the theme of Working with Industry: People, Practice and Research. The principal speaker was Dr Mike Lynch of the software company Autonomy plc. His lecture was available to non-CUEA members attending the University's Alumini weekend, and was well-supported. Next year we plan to repeat this arrangement and the whole of the annual CUEA event will become part of Alumini Weekend activities. The CUEA's President, Baroness Platt of Writtle, retired in September, and the Association presented her with an antique picture of the Senate House and King's College to mark her long period of service. I would like to record Lady Platt's great contribution to the work of our Association over many years, and particularly her support for women in Engineering. Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, who was an undergraduate at Trinity, has been elected as the Association's new President. He graduated from the Department in 1950 and we warmly appreciate his continuing interest in our affairs.
Two of our senior colleagues are now college masters. Professor Ffowcs Williams is Master of Emmanuel College and, during the year, Professor Mair was elected Master of Jesus College. Professor Dowling was appointed a Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and she also became a council member of EPSRC which is the principal source of Government funding for research in our field.
I am sorry to record the death in September 2000 of John Shaw, a University Lecturer in the Department for many years. John took part in the great expansion of the Department in the post-war years. He became a founder member of University College (now Wolfson College) and played a leading role in the development of his College. After retirement he was regularly seen in the Department, continuing to supervise and teach design and drawing. The death of Mr Philip Turner was also reported in February 2001. He was our Senior Design Engineer for many years and started in the Department in 1959, retiring in 1982. He had made many major contributions to our laboratory equipment and most particularly to the development of the geotechnical centrifuge on which he worked closely with Professor Andrew Schofield. Dr Christopher Grigson also died during the year. He lectured in the Department from 1953-62 and was a member of the electrical group.
I have pleasure in reporting that Professor Keith Glover was elected by the Engineering Faculty Board to succeed me as Head of Department from 1 October 2002. Professor Glover has an outstanding international reputation in his field of control engineering and, for the past several years, has been Chairman of the Council of the School of Technology, which is the Cambridge body that distributes University funding to departments, including this one. I am delighted to welcome him as my successor and, accordingly, I now have pleasure in signing this Annual Report for the last time.
D E Newland
Extract from the Department's return for the Research Assessment Exercise 2001 describing the work of our 15 major research groups
The SPEECH, VISION and ROBOTICS group is led by Professors Steve Young and Roberto Cipolla (who was promoted in 2000). Currently in addition it has 1 reader, 1 senior lecturer, 3 lecturers, 2 research workers and 23 research students. The Group occupies purpose-built laboratories with a network of about 40 UNIX workstations. Its research focuses on the solution of problems in speech recognition, computer vision and robotics, and medical imaging. In speech, significant progress has been made in extending the application of hidden Markov models to on-line adaptation and discriminative training while achieving improved statistical reliability. These methods have been applied in large vocabulary speech recognition, and applied particularly to spontaneous conversational speech and broadcast news. The group's speech recognition programs have continued to win, in 1997, 1998 and 1999, international evaluations organised by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the USA, beating competing programs from other world-leading research organisations including Bell Labs and IBM. The technology is also being integrated into Microsoft's products following their acquisition of the University spin-off company Entropic. An interesting different application of this research has been its successful use for multimedia document retrieval on the internet. In computer vision and robotics, novel geometric techniques have been used to recover the shape and motion of surfaces from the outlines they present in two-dimensional images. New geometric algorithms have enabled shape and motion to be modelled from live video images and applied for visual tracking and guidance by robotic systems and for the development of 3-D models from a limited number of 2-D images. Research on medical imaging has led to the development of new very-fast algorithms for the acquisition and presentation of 3-D medical ultrasound data. These algorithms have been incorporated in the Stradx ultrasound system which is now used by several international research laboratories. The algorithms are very fast and have been specially effective within the timescale of a busy ultrasound hospital clinic. Stradx is now recognised as one of the best ultrasound systems available for the volume measurement of living anatomical structures.
The Group's future strategy will continue to focus on the underlying mathematics of machine learning, modelling and data manipulation in parallel with the continued development of state-of-the-art applications. Integration will be a particular theme to bring together advances in speech and vision modelling with multimedia and the interaction between computers and their users.
The CONTROL ENGINEERING group is led by Professor Keith Glover FRS, FREng and Dr Jan Maciejowski (reader) and has 1 other reader, 2 lecturers, 3 research workers and 13 research students. The group specialises in fundamental theoretical research on feedback control systems (particularly quantifying uncertainty in feedback systems), but has also vigorously pursued the validation of new theoretical results by applying these to practical engineering problems. This has led to major collaborations with DERA and Ford, including control algorithms for the flight controller of DERA's VAAC Harrier research aircraft and extensive collaboration with Ford on engine management and emission control systems. The latter has been carried out in collaboration with Professor Collings in our Energy Group (see below) and has brought a substantial investment to the Department for a sophisticated state-of-the-art laboratory for engine testing. The Control Group is a founder-member of the EPSRC-sponsored Research Network on Aerospace Control and, in addition to collaborating with DERA and Ford, it has worked during the assessment period, usually on controller and software design, for Ricardo plc, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, McLaren International, PI Technology, Cambridge Control Ltd, Predictive Control Ltd, and Analyticon Ltd. There have also been frequent academic exchanges with colleagues in many other university control groups.
Important topics for the Group's continuing and future research include feedback system design, the robustness of nonlinear control system behaviour, the predictive control of constrained systems and problems of system identification. The recent appointment of a new lecturer, recruited from the University of California at Berkeley, strengthens research on the control of hybrid systems which has major applications in, for example, air traffic control systems, unmanned flying vehicles and highway systems.
The COMMUNICATIONS and SIGNAL PROCESSING group is led by Professors Andy Hopper FREng and Peter Rayner and has 2 readers, 4 lecturers (1 vacant), 1 Royal Society research fellow, 4 other research workers and 48 research students. Professor Hopper uses the term sentient computing to describe his systems approach to computers and communications. His research group, which has 23 graduate students, works on wireless systems, their associated protocols, middleware and distributed computing for a wide range of artefacts and everyday systems. Recent results include the successful deployment of a novel fixed wireless access system in Cambridge providing very fast broadband communication links between users. An important field is the design of sensor-driven communication systems which respond to changing position and provide a location-aware environment together with the development of computer architecture to manage these very complex systems. The communications group is accommodated in a new purpose-built laboratory in the Department and has attracted substantial industrial funding, including a donation exceeding £2M from AT&T, a funded lectureship from ARM plc, and some £1.5M in new research grants
Professor Rayner leads research on signal processing which focuses on detection and estimation problems in communications as well as such diverse fields as DNA sequencing, nuclear spectroscopy and speech enhancement. There are 25 research students in this field. Their main emphasis is on the development of fundamental new processing methods and the Group has established a strong international reputation in Markov Chain Monte-Carlo methods. These allow the optimum sequential processing of non-stationary, non-Gaussian processes and offer significant advantages compared with existing techniques based on the extended Kalman filter. They provide the fundamental basis for a major part of Autonomy plc's business software. Research work in the Group led to the formation of Cedar Ltd whose equipment is used by many major film, recording and broadcast companies for audio restoration and enhancement. A further major development in the Group is the dual-tree complex wavelet transform which is being applied in many areas of image processing. Future research will continue to concentrate on fundamental principles but particular application areas will include mobile communications and multi-media systems.
The SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE and NANOTECHNOLOGY group is led by Professors Bill Milne, Mark Welland and Piero Migliorato with Dr. John Robertson (reader), who all received promotion during the assessment period. This group (which has 3 lecturers, 16 research workers and 26 research students) has obtained more than £5M of research grants, with balanced support from industry. Professor Milne and Dr. Robertson focus on engineering applications of thin 'semiconductor' films. Field emission from arrays of nanometre-scale carbon tubes give multiple, separately addressable, electron beams, thereby greatly increasing 'e-beam' writing speeds for submicron lithography. Such field emission can also excite phosphors creating flat panel video display units (VDUs) with area and viewing angles of conventional VDUs. Carbon nano-tubes also create compact super-capacitors (about 1000 F) of great use in power electronics. Submicron amorphous diamond films protect memory disks from damage allowing optical read/write heads to 'fly' closer to the discs for ultra-dense data storage. Revolutionary ultra-fast amorphous silicon transistors have been patented. Novel low temperature (less than 150°C) silicon deposition opens prospects of silicon-on-plastic electronics. Novel micro-electro-mechanical systems include: micro-accelerometers; micro-sensors for measuring airflow; and SiN-based connectors for precision alignment of optical fibres. Research on innovative 3-D packing schemes for increasing the functionality of VLSI devices is now giving way to new research on high-performance optical/ microwave/electronic communication networks for Internet applications. Professor Welland leads research on nanotechnology, ranging from fundamental properties of materials to the fabrication of nanoscale devices. Electron-beam lithography (accelerating potentials of about 400 kV) with beam diameters of about 0.5 nm in the Department's Nanotechnology Laboratory facilitates research at the leading edge with device features less than 10 nm. Scanned-probe microscopy has allowed the controlled room-temperature manipulation of single molecules leading to measurement of forces between molecules in the liquid phase and also concepts of a 'transistor' using a single molecule manipulated to lie between metallic electrodes in an analogue of a bipolar transistor. Exciting concepts of ultra-dense data storage using domains of electron spin instead of magnetic domains are being evaluated. Professor Migliorato is University Director of an 'embedded research' initiative with Seiko Epson. Fundamental simulation tools, widely used in the industry, are created using precise complex physical models of polysilicon devices, thereby significantly extending conventional CAD for silicon integrated circuits. Novel deposition and crystallisation techniques aim towards higher performance with lower cost. Polysilicon technology will find many applications: portable computers, mobile phones, displays, smart cards, etc. An exciting new development will combine polysilicon technology and biological systems to produce cheap, disposable, intelligent biosensors with enormous potential for health-care, drug testing and forensic analysis. EPSRC has recently funded the group for an ambitious collaborative programme with Cambridge's Institute of Biotechnology; support from the Newton Trust and Epson provides the enabling technology.
The PHOTONICS and SENSORS group is led by Professors Bill Crossland (DERA Research Professor of Photonics) and John Carroll FREng, and has 5 lecturers, 7 research workers and 28 research students. Research concentrates on next-generation technologies for displays, photonic devices for communications and sensors. The group's seminal systems for autostereoscopic displays project different images to each eye making 2D views appear 3D, without special glasses. These displays are now exploited commercially. Latest research (with DERA) demonstrates novel autostereoscopic techniques for both flat-panel displays and holographic volumetric imaging. Conventional liquid crystal displays (LCD) have narrow cones for viewing; pioneering combinations of photoluminescence and LCD technology, giving large-area flat panels with conventional television quality, are now being exploited commercially. International collaborations recognise the group's success in combining silicon very large scale integration with liquid crystals, so-called LCOS (Liquid Crystal Over Silicon) devices. New LCOS chips will capture changing image data and compress to bandwidths compatible with mobile telephony, yet the same chips control LCD microdisplay of video output. LCOS technology not only enables such miniature video communicators to be made, but facilitates many new 3-D display systems, including optical image recognition and processing for use in, for example, product inspection and head tracking, and with many potential applications in cars and aeroplanes. LCOS can generate optical gratings for electronically steering/forming light beams in fibre-optic transmission networks or all-optical packet switches at the heart of the internet. Currently such a fibre-to-fibre optical switch is under commercial evaluation in major research laboratories. Designs are being extended from a '1 to 8' to an 'n to n' fibre switch where n is of the order of 1000, making use of both LCOS and novel techniques for widening the optical acceptance angle into each fibre. The award of the IEE Rayleigh Book Prize recognized the group's work for telecommunications on computer modelling of semiconductor lasers, work which has now moved into tuneable lasers for multi-wavelength (wavelength division multiplexing, WDM) optical systems. Fresh attention has been given to arrays of planar waveguides, components which select and control channels in WDM transmission networks. The group has microfabricated fluxgate magnetic sensors with the highest bandwidth and sensitivity yet reported for miniature, room-temperature devices. Patents are pending on APEKs biomedical sensors (Acoustic Pulses which interrogate molecules' Electron Kinetics).
The ELECTRONICS, ELECTRICAL ENERGY and POWER group is led by Professor Gehan Amaratunga (who rejoined the Department from Liverpool in 1997) and has 2 senior lecturers, 3 lecturers, 7 research workers and 30 research students. Its research emphasis is moving from electrical machinery towards energy conversion and power electronics. The group's research now concentrates on technologies for reducing global energy consumption by increased efficiency through electronic control of power transfer and utilisation, integrated design of electrical machines and drives, integrating solar energy with power distribution, and the use of superconductivity. Efficient switching is one key to controlling electrical power. The trench gate IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) is an outstanding semiconductor device for this. This research provides the foundation for collaborations, from 1995, with Dynex Semiconductor (formerly GEC Plessey Power Semiconductors), leading to successful commercial trench gate IGBTs operating at 1-2 kV. New research is extending this range. Pioneering techniques will group devices so as to share current and voltage and reach power levels of use in electrical railways. Research in motors and drives for consumer appliances progresses with the group leading a project, within EPSRC's Power and High-Voltage Integrated Microelectronics initiative, on electronic power control systems for small motors (about 1kW). Here motor, drive, circuit and microfabricated devices are integrated to develop cost effective brushless drives for quieter, energy-efficient appliances. Industrial support comes from Dynex, VA-Tech Reyrolle, Toshiba, Semelab, Pye, Philips, Fuji Electronics and Infineon. Large 3-dimensional finite-element models (FEM) of non-linear electromagnetic machines can now be run on PCs, thanks to a subtle use of symmetry. Similar improvements in FEM for heating/drying systems using electromagnetic radiation has led to substantial improvements in these systems' electrical efficiency. Research has started on combining photovoltaic energy generation with power conversion electronics to optimise both safety and distribution. Research on new organic solar cells has been supported by EPSRC (from May 2000). There is associated research on engineering applications of superconductivity at the Superconductivity IRC led by Professor A.M. Campbell supported by Dr D. A. Cardwell (promoted Reader in 2000) - see the entry under MATERIALS below. For example, a 400A 2kV fault current limiter was fabricated under a LINK project. In collaboration with EURENCO a superconducting non-contact bearing has been made for a 40 kg flywheel which is part of a 15 kWh energy storage system. Within the Materials group, there is a significant programme on new superconducting materials. Members of Professor Amaratunga's group have filed 14 patent applications during the assessment period. Several of these are being currently exploited by a spin-off company Cambridge Semiconductors Ltd.
The ENERGY group is led by Professor Ann Dowling FREng, supported by Professors Shôn Ffowcs Williams FREng, Nick Collings and John Young; the two last were appointed to their chairs during the assessment period. The group has 1 reader, 1 senior lecturer, 4 lecturers, 12 research workers and 21 research students. Emeritus Professor Ken Bray FRS, the previous group leader, remains an active contributor. The group's research is concerned with the effective generation and use of energy, targeted towards a cleaner, quieter and more sustainable world. In this field, environmental concerns have become major drivers of new technology.
Research has focused on i.c. engine emissions, gas turbine combustors, and novel energy-producing cycles and fuel cells. The emphasis of Professor Young's group is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by optimum cycle selection and developing the capability of non-polluting energy-generation processes. A theme of this research is optimisation, with nuclear power production being one of the options. Professor Collings leads research on the development of high-frequency instrumentation for on-line measurement of emissions. This instrumentation is marketed by Cambustion Ltd, which originated in this group and which is now a significant force in the engine instrumentation field. Working in collaboration with members of the Control Engineering group (see above), it has been possible to develop enhanced and robust engine control algorithms which are particularly important for achieving low emissions and high efficiency under part-load operating conditions. There has been strong support from the Ford company. The present excellent experimental facilities including state-of-the-art engine dynamometers have been added during the assessment period using equipment and instrumentation purchased under a JREI (joint research equipment initiative) award. Future plans include further improving petrol engine management systems and new research on minimising particulate emissions in diesel engines.
Professor Dowling is the first Director of the Rolls-Royce University Gas Turbine Partnership, which has just been set up, and involves an integrated approach to the thermodynamics and fluid mechanics of gas turbine and compressor systems. This new Partnership reflects the substantial and increasing collaborations between the Energy, Fluid Dynamics and Turbomachinery Groups in the areas of aerodynamics, noise and vibration, combustion, heat transfer and advanced cycles. Within the Department, Professor Dowling leads research on gas turbine combustors where the emphasis is on controlling instabilities which arise because of the lean mixtures burnt to minimise emissions. The objective is to allow aero and industrial gas turbines to operate stably while emitting low levels of pollutants. Controlled experiments have been made possible by the construction of a major new experimental facility which models a typical combustor at half scale. Good analytical models of one-dimensional instabilities have been developed as a result of this research and are already being used in industry. The research is now turning to more complex flow patterns, combining CFD with low-order flow models, to devise active and passive means of controlling damaging instabilities. Research on control algorithms is in collaboration with control engineers from our own Department and from MIT, and includes model-based and adaptive control strategies in a major experimental programme.
Computational fluid dynamics also plays an important part in our combustion modelling, which has been applied at large industrial scale on applications that include explosions in confined spaces. This research is funded by EPSRC, through several collaborative EU projects, and by several industrial partners. Work on exterior noise-generation processes, such as helicopter blade noise and tyre-road interaction noise is providing new insight into the generation mechanisms. A joint project to design a novel quiet aircraft is planned in collaboration with MIT.
The FLUID DYNAMICS group is led by Professor Bill Dawes FREng, who was appointed to the Francis Mond Chair of Aeronautical Engineering in early 1996. It has 2 readers, 1 senior lecturer, 3 lecturers, 7 research workers and 16 research students. Within the group is located a specialised CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) Laboratory. This conducts research into all aspects of the CFD process including three-dimensional computational geometry, geometry parameterisation, and optimisation, mesh generation for arbitrary 3D domains, steady and unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations, large eddy simulations, noise generation, combustion and acoustic-coupled instabilities. The emphasis is on physical modelling to help solve real industrial problems. The CFD Laboratory has recently formed a collaboration partnership with Rolls-Royce to develop the company's codes and systems. The group also collaborates strongly with other groups in the department, especially the Energy, Turbomachinery, Structures and Design groups. Unusually for a university, the group has excellent, high quality wind tunnel facilities, which are used together with CFD to solve a very wide range of fluid mechanics problems. This combination of computational and experimental resources has put the group in a strong position to interact with the oil and gas as well as the aerospace and power-generation sectors of industry. The Group enjoys good EPSRC and EU support and participates in two Defence Aerospace Research Partnerships, accredited by OST. PUMA relates to modelling unsteady flows (in both turbomachinery and externally) and M* is concerned with modelling turbulence (again internally and externally). All the group's research emphasises the importance of close coupling between computation and experiment, with all members of the group working together in the same laboratory. Overall their research impinges on many important practical areas: blade cooling and life in gas turbines, fan noise, compressor stall, design optimisation, gas turbine combustion, flow disturbances caused by the wakes of large aircraft, the interaction of boundary layers with shocks on supersonically moving bodies, the noise of turbojets and high-speed helicopter blades (with the Energy Group), the design of safer parachute and gliding devices, the erosion of river beds by wave action, liquid metal flow in production processes, and magnetohydrodynamics. Increasingly the protection of the environment provides strong motivation to deploy fluid mechanics in new ways: for example, the group has industrially-funded projects on the important problems of aero-engine noise and the instabilities of low NOxcombustors.
In 2000, the Sir Arthur Marshall Institute of Aviation was set up in the Department, with Professor Dawes as its Director. The Institute's purpose is to establish inter-disciplinary projects in the field of aviation engineering and provide a mechanism for coordinating liaison with a wide range of high-tech industries, nationally and internationally. This initiative is funded by the Marshall Group of companies and is already providing an important forum for collaboration and outreach.
The TURBOMACHINERY group is led by Professors John Denton FRS, FREng and Howard Hodson and has 3 lecturers (1 currently vacant), 8 research workers and 15 research students. It is based in the Whittle Laboratory. Professor Hodson was appointed to the Rolls-Royce chair formerly held by Professor Nick Cumpsty FREng who left the group at the end of 1999 to become Chief Technologist in the company. Both he and Sir John Horlock FRS, FREng (a former leader of the group) continue to participate in the research of the laboratory. The group works on the aerodynamics of compressors and turbines for aircraft engines, steam and gas turbines and numerous other potential turbomachinery applications. There are close links with industry, both in the UK and overseas, and industry supports most of its research. Links with Rolls-Royce who located their University Technology Centre in Aerodynamics at the Whittle, are specially strong. The laboratory has excellent computational and experimental resources, the latter unparalleled in UK universities, and research students are encouraged to use both of these. CFD codes developed in the department are widely used by the turbomachinery industry worldwide (about 50 different companies and research establishments) and by many universities (including Oxford, MIT, ETH Zurich and BUAA Beijing). Recent research has concentrated on applying 3-D design techniques to improving the performance of turbines and compressors, and many machines designed on these concepts are now in service. As blading design becomes more sophisticated, new computational models include increasing complexity, such as leakage flows, the interaction between blade cooling and mainstream flows, and the interaction between aerodynamics and heat transfer. Also miniaturised on-chip instrumentation allows much more detailed experimental measurements to be made on machinery rotating at high speeds. The development and application of this new instrumentation will become an increasing part of the Whittle Laboratory's experimental research.
The MECHANICS group is led by Professor Robin Langley, who joined the Department from Southampton University at the beginning of the assessment period. He is supported by Professors Jim Woodhouse (awarded a Personal Chair in 1999) and David Newland, FREng, and the group includes 3 readers, 1 senior lecturer, 2 lecturers, 1 research worker and 13 research students. Its two main research themes are Dynamics and Vibration and Vehicles and Roads. Each theme combines computational and analytical mechanics with experimental research to advance the understanding and design of complex mechanical systems. In Dynamics and Vibration there is a wide range of current work including: structure-borne noise, rail-wheel dynamics, ground-borne vibration, brake squeal, tribology, musical acoustics, impact dynamics, the dynamics of offshore mooring lines, and vibration analysis by wavelets. The general style of research is to develop fundamental insights rather than simply build very large computational models, and this has led to fruitful and important interaction between different projects. For example, world leading research on the physics of the violin bowing process has led to new developments in the understanding of brake squeal. A major research theme involves statistical energy methods of vibration analysis, and Cambridge developments are being incorporated into commercial software by Vibro-Acoustic Sciences in the USA. New algorithms for time-frequency analysis by harmonic wavelets are being used increasingly by other vibration research groups throughout the world; our own Geotechnical Group uses the software for earthquake analysis. Long term work on gear noise and vibration has culminated in a new research text (Gear Noise, J.D. Smith 1999), and a recent major award to Dr John Williams (see RA6) recognises his outstanding contributions to tribology. Work in Dynamics and Vibration has significant funding from the government and industry, including EPSRC, the MoD, BP-Amoco, Shell, and Bosch. Research in Vehicles and Roads is coordinated through the Cambridge Vehicle Dynamics Consortium (Director: Dr David Cebon), which has funding from 9 major industrial companies in addition to EPSRC support. Its multidisciplinary research programme includes work on vehicle-road interaction, failure mechanisms in asphalt road materials, and the use of active control to prevent vehicle roll over (currently being implemented on a 5-axle articulated Volvo/Shell tanker vehicle donated by consortium members). The major research contributions made by the group have recently been collected in a definitive text (The Handbook of Vehicle-Road Interaction, Cebon, 1999).
The MATERIALS group is led by Professor Norman Fleck, supported by Professor A M Campbell, Director of the Cambridge IRC for Superconductivity, and includes 1 reader, 2 senior lecturers, 3 lecturers, 1 assistant lecturer, 14 research workers and 18 research students. The major initiatives are in Micromechanics and in Materials for Design, together with a major contribution to the work of the IRC in Superconductivity. The Cambridge Centre for Micromechanics (Director: Professor Fleck) brings together experimental and theoretical studies of the mechanics of materials based on a detailed recognition of their microstructure. It is funded by the EPSRC, EU and US Government. Research highlights are the invention of microarchitectured materials: these are materials with a lattice microstructure on the millimetre length scale, with much higher specific stiffnesses, strengths and heat transfer capability than competing foams. A design guide on metallic foams, and accompanying finite element design software have been published. A theory of strain gradient plasticity theory has had widespread recognition and impact. Design methods for composites, ferroelectrics and powder compaction have been derived and constitutive models have been disseminated in finite element software. In all these areas, the research in Cambridge is pre-eminent in the UK. There are active collaborations with US groups at Harvard, MIT and Princeton, and leading European centres at Delft, Stuttgart, Grenoble and Copenhagen. Novel computational methods for materials and process selection have been developed in conjunction with the Engineering Design Centre (see below) and have received widespread recognition.They are now described in most general Materials texts and handbooks. Materials selection software developed by the group is marketed by the spin-off company Granta Design Ltd which is supported by a £1M investment from ASM International (formerly the American Society for Materials). The company is working towards a definitive electronic information system for materials and processes for manufacturing enterprises. Its customers include INP Grenoble, TU Berlin, MIT, Harvard and UCLA. Research in superconducting materials (see the Electronics, Power and Energy Conversion group, above) in the Cambridge IRC for Superconductivity has led to materials with properties that rival those of the best comparable materials from overseas laboratories. Future research will concentrate on the design, optimisation and modeling of multi-functional materials, including cellular materials of octet truss geometry, on advanced manufacturing techniques including rapid prototyping and process modelling of alloys and granular media (new rapid prototyping equipment has just been obtained under the JREI initiative), constitutive modelling of ferroelectric and shape-memory alloys, and the modelling of biomechanical behaviour.
Research by the DESIGN group is carried out in the Engineering Design Centre (EDC) which is directed by Dr. John Clarkson with the support of Royal Society Research Professor Mike Ashby FRS, FREng and Mr. Ken Wallace FREng. The design group includes 1 reader, 3 lecturers, 13 research workers and 15 research students and is advised by six Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professors: Roy Farmer, Peter King, Meirion Lewis, Ian Liddell FREng, John Parnaby FREng and Ivan Yates FREng. In addition, Professor Peter Guthrie FREng has recently been appointed to an AEA/Royal Academy Professorship of Sustainable Engineering and will be spending a proportion of his time working in the EDC. During the assessment period, a purpose-built extension has been added to the Department to accommodate the whole of the EDC, which for the first time operates under one roof and with very good CAD facilities. Its work reflects the UK industry's need for the best design methods and tools to achieve competitiveness, wealth creation and environmentally-sustainable technology. Research contributes directly to the following six "sectoral drivers" identified by the Technology Foresight programme: manufacturing, production and business processes, transport, aerospace, materials, and the environment and health.
The EDC's research programme has five inter-linking themes: (1) design synthesis (generating conceptual and embodiment designs), (2) design optimisation (seeking preferred "optimum" designs), (3) materials selection (managing material and product data and its presentation for design use), (4) knowledge management (providing tools for capturing and sharing knowledge in design teams), and (5) usability engineering (providing design tools to encourage effective design for the elderly and disabled). The EDC was started in 1991 as part of a 10-year EPSRC engineering design research initiative, and is one of only three centres that have enjoyed the full 10-year funding, receiving over £4 M in grant aid during this period. Additional funding from industry and research student support (in cash and in kind) has approximately doubled EPSRC support and now the EDC has 12 industrial partners: Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, GKN Westland, Caterpillar, Lotus Cars, Smith and Nephew, Cambridge Consultants, Papworth Industries, Panasonic, The Post Office, IDEO and Tangerine. Important new support has come from a University Technology Partnership funded by Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems and includes Sheffield and Southampton Universities. The total level of support ensures that the EDC's research programme will continue at its present level for the foreseeable future. Over 700 publications have resulted from 10 years' research, including a number of text books, design guides and software tools.
The GEOTECHNICAL, PETROLEUM AND SUSTAINABILITY group is led by Professor Robert Mair FREng supported by Professors Malcolm Bolton, Andrew Palmer FRS, FREng and Peter Guthrie FREng. In category A, the group also has 1 senior lecturer and 2 lecturers. It has one other new lecturer, 5 research workers and 30 research students. Research in geotechnical engineering is directed by Professor Mair, who was appointed in 1998 and is a director of the Geotechnical Consulting Group and a world authority on ground engineering. His group's research on tunnel construction includes field measurements, centrifuge and numerical modelling of innovative techniques of compensation grouting to control foundation movement, the effects of tunnelling on piled foundations and buildings, and tunnelling machine performance. It is concerned also with the stability and safety of old tunnels, rail and road embankments and underground pipelines affected by ground movement in landslides and earthquakes. Research on environmental geotechnics and contaminated ground has concentrated on the dynamics of pollution migration, its detection by novel fibre-optic sensors, and the development of remedial and clean-up technologies. Professor Malcolm Bolton is Director of the Schofield Centrifuge Centre, which is a major experimental resource in the Department. It has an 8m-diameter beam centrifuge capable of applying high-frequency dynamical excitation to soil specimens under conditions of 50 g acceleration. A new dynamic actuator to simulate earthquake-induced soil liquefaction became fully operational during the assessment period and has been applied to studies of bridges, tower structures and clay-core rockfill dams. Research on the fundamental mechanics of granular and porous media include grain crushing and rearrangement, the micro-structure of interlocking grains, and creep and ageing processes. The Department's geotechnical expertise has been recognised by a recent £2M JIF (joint infrastructure fund) award for a new Centre for Geotechnical Process and Construction Modelling. This will provide a major extension to the experimental facilities at the Centrifuge Centre and the new building is now nearing completion.
Research on petroleum engineering is led by Professor Palmer who holds the Jafar Research Professorship in Petroleum Engineering. Professor Palmer was appointed shortly before the assessment period began, after a distinguished career in offshore consultancy with his own firm, and his group's research focuses on many difficult problems encountered by the offshore industry as a result of the threefold interaction between the sea, the seabed and the structure attached to the seabed. Currently there are research projects on the statistical description of reservoir size, pipeline stability and reliability, seawater flow from over-saturated sand into a wellbore, riser/seabed structural interactions, and the vortex-excitation of pipeline spans. The environmental considerations of the petroleum industry and research on pollutant migration below ground were the starting points of a now growing programme of environmental research and have been a factor in the Department being awarded funding for a chair in sustainable development by a consortium led by the Royal Academy of Engineering and AEA Technology plc. Professor Peter Guthrie FREng, a practising civil engineer and a director of Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick, was appointed to the new chair in 2000 and is expected to play a major role in leading this research forward in collaboration with other research groups in the Department and outside it.
The STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING group is led by Professors Chris Calladine FRS, FREng and Sergio Pellegrino (who was promoted in 2000) and includes 1 reader, 3 senior lecturers, 3 lecturers (1 currently vacant), 3 research workers and 30 research students. Research is being conducted both on civil engineering structures and on advanced structures for aerospace, offshore and biological applications. The main themes are (1) lightweight and deployable structures, (2) structural dynamics and vibration, (3) reinforced concrete and composite steel-concrete structures, (4) methods of assessing the reliability of existing bridges, and (5) biological structures. Professor Pellegrino leads research on lightweight and deployable structures. Several deployable communication antennas have been designed, built and tested successfully for aerospace applications, including projects for the European Space Agency, Matra Marconi Space, Astrium, and Israel Aircraft Industries. New designs of deployable radar and solar array structures are being developed with DERA at Farnborough, and a scheme for deploying pre-rolled pipelines is being developed with TWI. Bi-stable structures with embedded actuation are being developed, with EPSRC funding, in collaboration with Rolatube Ltd and Arup. Research on the wind-excitation of flexible structures has been proceeding for some time, and was extended in 2000 to people-excitation when the problems of the Millennnium Bridge became known. This work involves collaboration with other groups in the Department, and dynamical studies of two bridges in Paris are being carried out to explore their susceptibility to pedestrian excitation. Research on the vibration of mooring lines for deep-water facilities is being conducted in association with BP-Amoco and Noble Denton. Research on concrete and composite steel-concrete structures includes the development of new design methods (with Railtrack and Tarmac as partners) and the use of new materials (such as Kevlar) for prestressing new and repairing existing structures (with Linear Composites Ltd and Dupont). Good conceptual analysis and numerical modelling, supported by experimental confirmation, is the hallmark of all of the work of this group, and it is also the key to rationally-based computer software which has been developed for assessing the strength of existing road bridges; currently it is used by 30 county highway authorities in the UK, and some more overseas. Research on reliability analysis is leading to methods intended for the same widespread application. Lastly, a related research theme has been the application of structural engineering principles to the mechanics and interaction of biological macromolecules. Professor Calladine's work on the structural mechanics of DNA and protein molecules is widely cited. It exploits the idea of mechanical bi-stability to explain the flexibility and deployment of these systems, and is the subject of the group's collaboration with the Biochemistry Department in Cambridge and with CSIRO in Australia.
The MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING Group is headed by Professor Mike Gregory with the support of Professor Ian Hutchings, who was appointed to the GKN Chair of Manufacturing late in 2000. Professor Hutchings was formerly a reader in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy and he is currently chairman of the St John's Innovation Centre in Cambridge. In category A, the manufacturing group has 1 reader, 3 senior lecturers, 2 lecturers, and 1 assistant director of research (excluding management staff entered under UOA 43). There are 14 research workers and 34 research students. The group continues to pursue a multi-disciplinary approach to research, reflecting its integrated view of technologies, systems and business, and has established itself as a new Institute for Manufacturing as anticipated in the last RAE submission. Research activity has more than doubled over the period of assessment.
The Institute's research programme has five main clusters and three integrating themes with common infrastructure and facilities. The clusters are Strategy and Performance, Technology Management, International Manufacturing, Manufacturing Automation and Control, and Production Processes. The Strategy and Performance team has pioneered structured approaches to the planning of manufacturing strategies and the design of performance measurement systems and was awarded alpha 5 at the mid-term review of its EPSRC rolling grant. The Centre for Technology Management has developed new tools for the assessment of technology management and product introduction processes extending the traditional boundaries of technology management beyond the R&D function into engineering, manufacturing and business areas. This Centre runs the EPSRC's national Technology Management Network and the annual Cambridge Technology Management Symposium, now in its sixth year, which attracts an international group of senior academics and industrialists. The International Manufacturing research activity has made significant contributions to understanding the configuration of international manufacturing networks and delivered a suite of tools for industry covering aspects of location selection, mobility, alliances and plant network design. A unique international community for the field has been created with links to 14 countries. Research in Manufacturing Automation and Control has been established since the last review and is making excellent progress addressing the crucial link between manufacturing strategies and manufacturing system design. Work in holonics, diagnostics and automation systems forms the basis of a major new activity in internet-enabled manufacturing and the group has recently been invited by MIT to be the European Centre for a £3M project to develop the next generation of intelligent product tracking technologies.
The creation of an appropriate research infrastructure is particularly important in this emerging multi-disciplinary approach to manufacturing. The annual research methodology workshop, addressing issues of methodology across the engineering/management interface, is in its seventh year, and typically attracts 30-40 participants from 15-20 universities. It provides an important forum for the Department's research students as well as for the wider community. Cooperation and collaboration are further fostered by three cross-institute themes: Industrial Futures, Industrial Sustainability and Internet-enabled Manufacturing. Established initially as interest groups, these activities are now evolving as significant cross-institute thematic activities. Recently the Industrial Futures activity has been awarded an EPSRC grant to take forward aspects of the work of the Manufacturing Foresight 2020 Panel and to build upon a network of Manufacturing Foresight groups representing 16 countries which was established in 2000. The establishment of an Industry Links Unit as part of the Institute has strengthened and formalised its already extensive links with industry. The established pattern of research projects is being developed systematically to provide practical tools for industry as well as more conventional academic outputs.
Future research plans involve strengthening all the research centres of the Institute, particularly the centres for Manufacturing Automation and Control and Production Processses following the appointment of Professor Hutchings.
FUTURE RESEARCH PLANS
We anticipate major developments in all our 15 research areas. The advantages of being an integrated engineering department include encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration and we envisage continued and growing overlap between our research groups. The collaboration between our Energy Group and the Control Group on the control of IC engines that was beginning in 1996 has been greatly strengthened and proved highly effective. Similar collaborations between our materials and nanotechnology groups, and between research groups in petroleum, energy and environmental engineering are expected to be equally fruitful.The growth areas of the technology of personal and global communications, new techniques of three-dimensional data processing with applications in opto-electronics and the development of new display technologies have all proceeded apace, and the centre for communications that was envisaged has been embodied in our new Laboratory for Communications Engineering in new purpose-built accommodation and with a very active research group under Professor Hopper. In addition, progress expected in computational fluid and solid mechanics is proceeding well, and Professor Dowling's research on aircraft gas turbine combustion instability has already been adopted in the aircraft engine industry where reducing emissions has accentuated combustion instabilities. The Whittle Laboratory and the Department's Cambridge Centre for Micromechanics provide UK centres for the development of new mathematical tools in all aspects of computational mechanics. The Department has been strengthened by strong new industrial funding from Rolls-Royce in the form of a new University Gas Turbine Partnership. A second Rolls-Royce professorship will be created shortly and new lectureships in turbomachinery and combustion will be funded 50% by the University and 50% by Rolls-Royce. Research in our Engineering Design Centre on procedures, data and software for the capture and retrieval of design experience and for achieving environmentally-benign engineering ("green design") will continue to have top priority. The BAE Systems/Rolls-Royce University Technology Partnership for Design was set up in 1998 (jointly with Sheffield and Southampton Universities) and is making a major contribution to this objective. The new initiative in petroleum engineering that began in 1996 has been a major factor in the establishment of an AEA Technology/Royal Academy chair of sustainable engineering in the Department, and this will become a very important part of our long-term research strategy. The appointment of Professors Mair, Hopper and Guthrie during the assessment period, all of whom have major industrial experience, demonstrates our conviction that a realistic approach to engineering research and teaching requires people who have up-to-date knowledge of the industrial interface. Professor Mair's expertise in geotechnical engineering has enlivened our research in soil mechanics and the provision of a new building with experimental facilities at our Schofield Centrifuge Centre from JIF funding will further strengthen our research base in civil engineering. The Manufacturing Institute proposed in 1996 is now fully established and providing a multi-disciplinary industry-friendly environment for teaching, research and the development of industrial expertise in all aspects of manufacturing. Collaboration between the research groups of Professors Migliorato and Welland and our Institute of Biotechnology has already led to a new EPSRC project on biosensors, and we see the combination of microelectronics, micromechanics, nanoscience and biology as offering very important new opportunities for our future work.
The above is part only of the Department's submission on Forms RA5 and RA6. Copies of the full text can be provided on request.
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