Engineering Projects

Some of the engineering projects I am involved with are described under student projects on my "Research" pages. This page describes a few of the others.

The impact loading due to balloons and inflatables (Dynamic Displays / MMO)

This has been a field investigation to assess the difference between the loads imparted to a lamp post by the impact of an inflatable versus that of a balloon. A still taken from a video recording of a typical test run is shown below.

Tomato-shaped inflatable immediately before impact on the instrumented test post


Take-Off Platforms (TOPS)

In Canada people tend to buy a separate (and, hence, relatively expensive) gas powered snowblower and lawnmower. This project was concerned with the design of a standard single platform and drive system to which snowblower and lawnmover attachments could be simply mounted and then taken off after use. The technology would also allow the use of other devices, such as a pump or power generator. It is anticipated that the combined snowblower / lawnmower could be manufactured for roughly the present cost of each of the individual machines.


De-moulding of fine confectionery (Masterfoods)

This project focussed on the use of sound to cause resonance of confectionery moulds in order to improve the de-moulding of the chocolate. Experimental work, together with finite element analyses of the mould vibration modes, allowed an assessment of the usefulness of this approach.


Use of heat extracted from an rink to heat an adjacent building floor slab

This project was to design a system to permit recovery of heat from an outdoor ice rink for re-use in heating a floor slab of an adjacent building. An efficient method for recovering energy from the hot wastewater in the showers in the building was also included in the system design.


Development of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for commercial survey work

A design for a new rear-propeller driven UAV has been completed, including feasibility, concept generation, detailing and market analysis. This UAV platform will be very generic, allowing the use of many different surveying / remote sensing payloads and at a significantly lower cost than present surveys using small commercial aircraft.

The final design has a three-surface configuration with a wingspan of 10.8 m. The wings have high-lift devices (plain flaps and leading edge slats) with an aspect ratio of 8. The canard is positioned slightly below the line of the wing and the T-tail places the horizontal stabilizer outside the effect of the wing and canard.