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The structural use of composites in engineering from the 1980’s.

Thorne, A.M. (2016) The structural use of composites in engineering from the 1980’s. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

The application is based on works carried out in 5 distinct phases throughout a career at the University of Surrey spanning 36 years but with a 20 month gap in 1982 where I worked at Wimpey Laboratories undertaking research work on lightweight concretes. Initially, I was employed on an EPSRC NETCEM contract awarded to Prof Dave Hannant and Dr Jeff Keer where I developed and tested a replica of the Big 6 asbestos cement sheet. There was then a period where I was then employed on an advanced polymer composites contract awarded to Prof Len Hollaway. Although I had no specific technical knowledge of advanced polymer composites at this time I did have considerable expertise in conventional engineering materials and in experimental techniques. Within the period of this contract I gained sufficient knowledge and understanding to co-author a follow up contract. Additionally, I was able to contribute to the supervision of experimental techniques and the numerical modelling of structures undertaken by the PhD students in the research group at that time. Once taken on as a member of staff, albeit on a contractual basis, I undertook supervision and co-supervision of contracts that I had co-authored. I also applied for EPSRC starter funding available at the time. Whilst the application was not successful, Prof Len Hollaway and I were invited to take the principles of the application for reinforcing and strengthening conventional construction materials further and to expand them into a full application where we were subsequently awarded an EPSRC contract. Prof Len Hollaway and I were also requested by Prof Chris Clayton (then Head of Civil Engineering) to include other members of staff onto our contract applications. The first application included Prof Gerry Parke (then Reader in the Department of Civil Engineering) and the second application included a new member of staff Dr Toula Onoufriou (Reader in the Department of Civil Engineering). Both EPSRC applications were successful and resulted in fruitful contracts. We further included other new members of staff, albeit not successfully, on EPSRC applications for novel composite concrete beam configurations for which I took the principal investigator roll. I have since taken a proactive roll in investigating new areas of research, firstly with a PhD studentship in Electronic Engineering with Prof Graham Reed (then Reader in Silicon Wave Guide Applications in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering) and then with the Composites Group in the Materials Department. This link with Prof Steve Ogin incorporated Graham’s expertise for our investigations into measurements in composite materials and then damage detection in composite materials. The major thrust in all of the work throughout this latter period of my career has been in the development and application of FRP composites through research into aspects of applied physics, optoelectronics, materials science and engineering and structural mechanics. It has been made possible through grants and contracts to which I have acted as co-investigator and co-supervisor of PhD students. This has been through both my own research effort and through my participation in an inter-disciplinary research group of staff in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences spanning across the underpinning engineering disciplines. For the first 16 years, I was the primary member of this group with specific expertise in numerical modelling and simulation of engineering structures under mechanical and environmental loading conditions. Whilst I have been the primary lead in these areas over this period it has always been necessary to choose the Principal Investigator carefully to suit the funds applied for. In this early stage of the development into the research area we have been investigating fundamental materials research based on the formative crack density work conducted by Prof Steve Ogin, Prof Paul Smith and Dr Lynne Boniface. It was thus necessary to install Steve as the Principal Investigator over either Graham or myself for the applications to be successful.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects : Composites
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Thorne, A.M.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 21 December 2016
Funders : NA
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Depositing User : Anthony Thorne
Date Deposited : 05 Jan 2017 10:10
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 18:56
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/812877

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