From education to employment

Academy strengthens university-industry collaboration with nine RAEng Industrial Fellowships

Nine mid-career researchers have been awarded RAEng Industrial Fellowships by the Royal Academy of Engineering, giving them the opportunity to gain industrial experience by working on a collaborative research project with industry.

The collaborations cover a wide range of engineering disciplines and industry partners, including the development and enhancement of miniaturised satellites, new methods to destroy global pollutants, and the use of state-of-the-art sensors to reconstruct facial expressions in virtual reality environments.

The RAEng Industrial Fellowships are intended to strengthen the links between universities and industry through the development of new collaborative partnerships. The awardees gain first-hand experience of working in an industrial environment, including knowledge of current industry practices, helping them to improve the industrial relevance of their research and teaching.

Each placement is for six months full time or one year part time with the scheme covering the salary costs of each awardee.

Over the past five years the RAEng Industrial Fellowships scheme has supported 47 researchers to complete placements with 44 different industrial partners, covering a wide variety of engineering disciplines.

The 2018 awardees, industrial partners and projects are:

Dr Federico Alberini, University of Birmingham and Johnson Matthey
Use of advanced diagnostic data for complex fluid process scale-up

Dr Alberini investigates how data measuring is essential to understand the behaviour of complex fluids and how such information can be used to generate better scaled-up approaches for the manufacturing of liquids products. Using rigorous experimental and modelling approaches, his work addresses design process challenges around generating adequate levels of data and efficient measurement.

Dr Halim Alwi, University of Exeter and Prismatic Ltd
Flight control for a high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

In collaboration with Prismatic Ltd, Dr Alwi aims to develop an efficient and reliable flight control system for high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles. His research will help to address flight control challenges such as ensuring low power consumption and efficient functioning in extreme conditions.

Dr Madeleine Bussemaker, University of Surrey and Arcadis UK/CE Geochem
Ultrasonic degradation of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are ultra-persistent pollutants that contaminate water sources and are highly stable and difficult to destroy. The only available commercial technique at present is very high temperature incineration. Dr Bussemaker aims to develop a laboratory scale process using ultrasonic waves as a scalable, destructive treatment for PFASs.

Dr Matteo Ceriotti, University of Glasgow and Alba Orbital
Attitude determination and control for PocketQube picosatellites

PocketQube is a standardised, modular platform for miniaturised satellites, with one unit measuring 5cm3. Dr Ceriotti’s research will develop an attitude determination and control subsystem for PocketQubes, allowing a satellite to be controlled and pointed in the desired direction, such as during Earth observation missions.

Dr Abigail Hathway, University of Sheffield and Ove Arup and Partners
Model Predicative control (MPC) for low energy building operation

Dr Hathaway explores how advances in model predicative control (MPC) can be applied to improving building performance with a focus on the control of naturally ventilated atria. By collaborating with industry, Dr Hathaway aims to identify the opportunities, and challenges, in implementing MPC more widely to support a low-carbon built environment.

Dr Matthew Himsworth, University of Southampton and Defence Science Technology Laboratory
Quantum sensing in dynamic environments

Quantum physics could enhance sensing in areas such as metrology and navigation. The defence industry requires a deep understanding of the operational limits of these technologies in dynamic environments. To achieve this, Dr Himsworth will collaborate with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory to develop and explore a robust cold-atom testbed for inertial sensing.

Dr Zafer Kazancı, Queen’s University Belfast and Bombardier Aerospace
Low-velocity impact analysis of composite sandwich panels using auxetic cores

Dr Kazancı is developing a new material model to analyse how sandwich-structured composites respond to low-velocity impacts. The research aims to show that cores constructed from auxetic lattices – structures or materials that get thicker when stretched lengthwise and thinner when compressed – provide superior impact performance compared to conventional core structures.

Dr Alistair McIlhagger, Ulster University and Bombardier
MODATex – Multi-optimisation and development of advanced textile composites

Dr McIlhagger is collaborating with Bombardier to develop new composite structures that can sustain high and complex multi-axial loadings. These composites will be designed using 3D woven carbon dry fire preforms together with combinations of other fibre placement technologies.

Dr Hui Yu, University of Portsmouth and Emteq Ltd
Dynamic facial expression reconstruction from upper half-face data

Dr Yu is developing a system for use in virtual reality that monitors facial performance in real-time by capturing data from the upper half of the face. The system combines state-of-the-art sensing technologies, machine learning and facial reconstruction methods.

  1. The RAEng Industrial Fellowships provide an invaluable opportunity for early- to mid-career academics to undertake a collaborative research project in an industrial environment. This scheme aims to strengthen the strategic relationship between the university and the industry host by providing an opportunity to establish or enhance collaborative research between the two parties.

    The next round of Industrial Fellowships will be launched in November 2018. In addition to a 6-month route, applicants will now have the option to hold the Industrial Fellowship for up to 2 years’ full time. The scheme is open to engineers from all disciplines and provides funding to cover the salary cost (up to £50,000) of the applicant, paid pro-rata against the amount of time to be spent at the industry host.

  2. Royal Academy of Engineering

    As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession.

We have three strategic priorities:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses
  • Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge
  • Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale.

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