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1,210 Projects

  • 2013-2022
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • UKRI|EPSRC
  • OA Publications Mandate: No
  • 2015

10
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M023303/1
    Funder Contribution: 201,085 GBP

    To reduce whole-life costs of the railway system (through increased asset life, reduced maintenance) and generate performance improvements (such as increased service availability and reliability), it is important to select the optimum material composition for railway components. Selecting the optimum materials for wheels and rails is a complex task with many conflicting requirements, including: a range of failures mechanisms, variety of operating and loading conditions and the associated financial implications. This research will establish a comprehensive scientific understanding of the metallurgical characteristics of rail and wheel steels to enable scientifically-informed choices. It will take account of both the specific requirements arising from the peculiarities of railway wheel-rail contact and the economic trade-offs at a system-wide level. Recent development of 'High Performance' (HPRail) rail steel by Tata Steel has shown that improvements in the resistance to both wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) can be achieved through judicious choice of alloying elements to alter the microstructural characteristic of the steel. However, the understanding of reasons for the success of such steels requires further fundamental research to establish how the different constituents of steel microstructures react to the forces imposed at the wheel-rail interface. The results of such research will help establish the design rules to engineer steel microstructures that provide a step change in the resistance to key degradation mechanisms with greater predictability of the deterioration rates. The project combines the skills of an interdisciplinary team from four Universities (based at the Universities of Huddersfield, Cambridge, Leeds and Cranfield), necessary to deal with the complexity of the phenomena,

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M021505/1
    Funder Contribution: 720,619 GBP

    Structural application of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials is one of the key factors leading to technological innovations in aviation, chemical, offshore oil and gas, rail and marine sectors. Motivated by such successes, FRP shapes and systems are increasingly used in the construction sector, such as for bridges and small residential buildings. An obstacle to a wider use of FRP materials in structural engineering is the current lack of comprehensive design rules and design standards. While the preparation of design guidance for static actions is at an advanced stage in the USA and EU, the design against dynamic loading is underdeveloped, resulting in cautious and conservative structural design solutions. Knowledge on the dynamic properties (natural frequencies, modal damping ratios, modal masses and mode shapes of relevant vibration modes) of FRP structures and their performance under dynamic actions (such as pedestrian excitation, vehicle loading, wind and train buffeting) needs to be advanced if to achieve the full economic, architectural and engineering merits in having FRP components/structures in civil engineering works. This project will provide a step change to design practice by developing new procedures and recommendations for design against dynamic actions. This will be achieved by: 1) Developing an instrumented bridge structure at the University of Warwick campus that will provide unique insight into both static and dynamic performance over the course of the project, and beyond; 2) Providing novel experimental data on dynamic properties and in-service vibration response of ten full-scale FRP structures; and 3) Critical evaluation of the numerical modelling and current vibration serviceability design approaches. The data collected will be delivered in a systematic form and made available, via an open-access on-line database for rapid and easy dissemination, to academic and industrial beneficiaries, as well as to agencies supporting the preparation of institutional, national and international consensus design guidance. Outcomes from this project will provide the crucial missing information required for the reliable design of light-weight FRP structures, and pave the way towards this structural material becoming a 'material of choice' for future large-scale bridges and other dynamically loaded structures. This medium to longer-term impact is aligned with national plans for the UK having a sustainable and resilient built environment.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 1652620

    New methods of construction are needed to advance the capability of aircraft structures, meet business demands & reduce manufacturing costs. One is the use of bonded assemblies for primary structure. FAA currently requires that unless the strength of the structure can be proven to match or exceed the design requirements, it must have mechanical fasteners to prevent critical failure. Bonded structures allow a significant reduction in weight due to using thinner skins. If 'Chicken rivets' are mandated, then this negates any benefit in terms of weight saving. The only current reliable way of testing the bonded assembly strength is proof loading - expensive & unrealistic for testing every part. An NDE method of testing a bonded assembly is needed to allow the use of lightweight bonded primary aerostructures. This must allow assessment that the desired strength is achieved, or identify areas of a weak-bonded area to allow repair. The project will investigate the application of phased array inspection approaches to determine bond strength, firstly studying current best practise with linear phased arrays and moving on to compare this to the recently developed nonlinear phased array approach.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M027287/1
    Funder Contribution: 429,107 GBP

    With the widespread use of small mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablets, power efficiency has become a very important design criterion for hardware manufacturers like Intel, AMD, Infineon, ST, Qualcom, Nvidia, etc. This is due to the limited energy storage capacity of mobile devices, imposed by constraints on their size and weight, as well as by problems of heat dissipation. Similar considerations of power efficiency apply to implanted medical devices, wearable computing, UAV (unmanned airborne vehicles), satellites and sensor networks. Since chip design has become more and more automated, electronic design automation companies consider energy efficiency as a prime concern in circuit design. However, so far, there has been hardly any use of formal mathematical methods in energy efficient circuit design. Instead, the main techniques used in practice were either based on simulation or on semi-formal approaches reasoning about patterns and structural properties. Typical work areas are the following: 1. Power estimation (based on simulation), 2. Power verification (of structural (i.e., non-dynamic) properties), 3. Power optimisation (coarse high-level reasoning about size and structural patterns), and 4. Formal power verification (model checking applied to coarse abstractions based on activation/deactivation of blocks on the chip). In this project, we bring modern formal mathematical methods into automated circuit design. This yields a new domain of "5. Formal power optimisation". Here, efficient circuit design is achieved via solving the controller synthesis problem. This is to construct a controller that achieves (in every context) a combination of several objectives: (a) the functional correctness of the induced behaviour, as specified in the requirements specification, (b) a guaranteed limit on the peak energy consumption (i.e., an upper bound on the worst case), and (c) a low average energy consumption. While (a) and (b) are absolute constraints, the relative quality of the controller is measured in terms of how well it achieves objective (c). We solve the synthesis problem by applying modern mathematical techniques and tools from game theory (energy games, mean-payoff games), formal software verification (formal requirements specification and automata), and logic and algorithms (SAT and SMT solvers). Beyond theoretical advances and new techniques for the synthesis of energy efficient controllers, the project aims for practical application of controller synthesis in the new field of Formal Power Optimisation in circuit design. A prototype of a software tool that implements the new methods and applies them to power optimization in chip design will be evaluated on case studies provided by our industrial project partner Atrenta Inc.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N509103/1
    Funder Contribution: 1,957,400 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N005422/1
    Funder Contribution: 307,997 GBP

    A primary goal of organic chemists is the construction of molecules for applications as diverse as medicines, new materials and biomolecules. The field is constantly driven by the need for new, more efficient methods as well as ways to access molecules which may have previously been impossible. The most important tool at an organic chemist's disposal is undoubtedly catalysis, whereby the use of a small amount of a custom-designed catalyst can permit a reaction to occur under much milder conditions than otherwise, or opens up new chemical pathways altogether. For this reason, innovation in catalysis is central to innovation in organic chemistry. Nature's catalysis is performed by enzymes; evolution has made them phenomenally efficient. Often playing a leading role in enzymatic processes are 'hydrogen bonds', special types of electrostatic attraction which are important in facilitating the chemical reaction between two molecules by bringing them into close proximity with one another or by stabilising the pathway leading to product formation. My research seeks to employ these same interactions, but in the context of small molecules which we can readily synthesise and handle in the lab. This approach to catalysis is very exciting as it is still in its infancy yet offers exciting opportunities for both activation and control. This project will seek to take inspiration from a distinct field within chemistry called Supramolecular Chemistry, which explores the behavior of large molecules which are assembled from smaller ones using multiple weak 'temporary' interactions working in tandem. Hydrogen bonds are very important in this regard but there are a number of other key interactions such as ion pairs and pi-cation interactions which have been shown to be powerful in building up molecular structures. It is our aim to apply several of these interactions together in tandem to design new catalysts that will bind with our reactant in a very well defined orientation. The catalyst will also induce the substrate to react with another molecule, allowing the selective synthesis of one mirror image of a molecule over the other (so-called enantiomers). This is a very important pursuit in science, since the inherent 'handedness' of biological systems means that the different mirror image forms of chiral molecules often have very different effects in the body. This is of particular importance in pharmaceutical applications.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M02525X/1
    Funder Contribution: 341,698 GBP

    The product rule of the all familiar operation of taking derivatives of real valued functions has a plethora of generalisations and applications in algebra. It leads to the notion of derivations of algebras - these are linear endomorphisms of an algebra satifying the product rule. They represent the classes of the first Hochschild cohomology of an algebra. The first Hochschild cohomology of an algebra turns out to be a Lie algebra, and more precisely, a restricted Lie algebra if the underlying base ring is a field of positive characteristic. The (restricted) Lie algebra structure extends to all positive degrees in Hochschild cohomology - this goes back to pioneering work of Gerstenhaber on defornations of algebras. Modular representation theory of finite groups seeks to understand the connections between the structure of finite groups and the associated group algebras. Many of the conjectures that drive this area are - to date mysterious - numerical coincidences relating invariants of finite group algebras to invariants of the underlying groups. The sophisticated cohomological technology hinted at in the previous paragraph is expected to yield some insight regarding these coincidences, and the present proposal puts the focus on some precise and unexplored invariance properties of certain groups of integrable derivations under Morita, derived, or stable equivalences between indecomposable algebra factors of finite group algebras, their character theory, their automorphism groups, and the local structure of finite groups.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M014800/1
    Funder Contribution: 68,836 GBP

    This proposal focuses on the impact performance of state-of-the-art composites in the form of fibre-reinforced plastics (FRPs) with through-thickness reinforcement introduced via Z-pinning. The application of composites in primary lightweight structures has been steadily growing during the last 20 years, increasing the requirement for new and advanced composites technologies. Recent examples include large civil aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, high performance cars, such as the McLaren 650S, and civil infrastructure, such as the Mount Pleasant bridge on the M6 motorway. FRPs are made of thin layers (plies) of plastic material with embedded high stiffness and strength fibres. The plies are bonded together in a stack by applying heat and pressure in a process known as "curing". The resulting assembly is the FRP laminate. The main reasons for the increasing usage of FRPs in several engineering fields are the superior in-plane specific stiffness and strength with respect to traditional alloys and the long-term environmental durability due to the absence of corrosion. Another key advantage of FRPs is that they can be tailored to specific design loads via optimising the orientation of the reinforcing fibres across the laminate stack. FRPs are, however, prone to delamination, i.e. the progressive dis-bond of the plies through the thickness of the laminate. This is due to the fact that standard FRP laminates have no reinforcement in the through-thickness direction, so the out-of-plane mechanical properties are significantly lower than the in-plane ones. According to the US Air Force, delamination can be held responsible for 60% of structural failures in FRP components in service. Impacts are the main cause of delamination in FRP laminates with energies usually in the order of 20J, sufficient to produce multiple delaminations in FRP plates. A representative scenario for such energy level is that of a 2cm diameter stone impacting a laminate at a speed of 110 km/h. In aerospace impact scenarios can be much more severe. For example, the certification of turbofan engines requires the fan blades to be able to withstand an impact with a bird whose mass is in the order of a few kilograms at speed in excess of 300 km/h, with impact energies of thousands of Joules. Introducing through-thickness reinforcement in FRPs is a viable strategy for improving the through-thickness mechanical properties and inhibiting delamination. Z-pinning is a through-thickness reinforcement technique whereby short FRP rods are inserted in the laminate before curing. Z-pinning has been proven to be particularly effective in inhibiting delamination under quasi-static, fatigue loading and low velocity/low energy impact loading. Nonetheless, little is known regarding the performance of Z-pinned laminates withstanding high energy/high speed impacts, whose effects are governed by complex transient phenomena taking place within the bulk FRP laminates and multiple ply interfaces. Overall, these phenomena are commonly denoted as "high strain rate" effects. There is some evidence that Z-pinning is beneficial also for high-speed impacts, but this is not conclusive. The current lack of knowledge may be circumvented with overdesign and expensive large-scale structural testing, but this is not a sustainable solution in a medium to long-term scenario. This project aims to fill the knowledge gap outlined above, by combining novel experimental characterisation at high deformation rates with new modelling techniques that can be used for the design and certification of impact damage tolerant composite structures. The development of suitable modelling techniques is particularly important for industrial exploitation, since it will reduce the amount of testing required for certification of composite structures, with a significant reduction of costs and shorter lead times to mark

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M008053/1
    Funder Contribution: 598,783 GBP

    The UK Government has an ambitious target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, and energy demand reduction will have to play a major part in meeting this goal. While traditional research on mitigation of carbon emissions has focused on direct consumption of energy (how we supply energy, what types of fuel we use, and how we use them etc.), the role that materials and products might play in energy demand reduction is far less well studied. One third of the world's energy is used in industry to make products, such as buildings, infrastructure, vehicles and household goods. Most of this energy is expended in producing the key stock materials with which we create modern lifestyles - steel, cement, aluminium, paper, and polymers - and we are already very efficient in producing them. A step change in reducing the energy expended by UK industry can therefore only come about if we are able to identify new ways of designing, using, and delivering products, materials and services. Before firm recommendations can be made to decision-makers regarding the combined technical and social feasibility of new products and material strategies, a fundamental set of research questions will need to be addressed. These concern how various publics will respond to innovative proposals for product design, governance and use. For example, more energy efficient products may need to operate differently or look very different, while a significant shift from an ownership model to a service delivery model (e.g., direct car ownership to car clubs and rental) can also deliver considerable material efficiency and energy demand reduction. Will members of the wider public and key decision-makers welcome, oppose, or actively drive such supply chain innovations, and what are the implications of knowledge about public views for decision-makers in the corporate and government sector? Understanding the answers to these questions is the main focus of this project. The research led by Cardiff University, and partnered with the Green Alliance, will combine qualitative and quantitative social science methodologies - in particular expert interviews and workshops, deliberative research and a (GB) national survey. The project has 4 phases, spanning a 45 month period. Work Package 1 involves initial work with UK INDEMAND partners, and interviews with industry and policy representatives, to identify the assumptions being made about people and society in key pathways for materials energy demand reduction. Work Package 2 involves four workshops - held in Edinburgh, Cardiff, London and a rural location - where members of the public will deliberate the identified pathways to change. In Work Package 3 we will conduct a nationally representative survey of 1,000 members of the British public, further exploring public perspectives on ways of designing and changing our use of materials. A particularly innovative aspect of the project is a set of targeted policy engagement activities (in Work Package 4) where we will hold workshops, interviews and other direct stakeholder involvement, exploring the implications of the findings about public views with key decision-makers in UK businesses, policy and the political sphere (including Parliamentarians through the Green Alliance's Climate Leadership programme for MPs). Along with the empirical data gathered in Work Packages 1, 2, and 3, the activities in Work Package 4 will allow us to formulate clear recommendations for action on achieving a reduction in UK final energy consumption through bringing knowledge of social barriers and opportunities to bear on governmental policy and industry decision-making about innovative materials and products delivery/use.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 1725657

    This PhD project aims to explore business to business innovation, exploring how suppliers and customers can accelerate innovation to market in the business environment. It focuses on the management science behind innovation and how this is applied in the construction sector at a business level. It touches upon a procurement as a stimulus for innovation through the contracting process across the supply chain. Of particular interest is capturing good practices across businesses and lessons learnt. This research will examine processes of encouraging, stimulating and applying innovation from other sectors.

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1,210 Projects
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M023303/1
    Funder Contribution: 201,085 GBP

    To reduce whole-life costs of the railway system (through increased asset life, reduced maintenance) and generate performance improvements (such as increased service availability and reliability), it is important to select the optimum material composition for railway components. Selecting the optimum materials for wheels and rails is a complex task with many conflicting requirements, including: a range of failures mechanisms, variety of operating and loading conditions and the associated financial implications. This research will establish a comprehensive scientific understanding of the metallurgical characteristics of rail and wheel steels to enable scientifically-informed choices. It will take account of both the specific requirements arising from the peculiarities of railway wheel-rail contact and the economic trade-offs at a system-wide level. Recent development of 'High Performance' (HPRail) rail steel by Tata Steel has shown that improvements in the resistance to both wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) can be achieved through judicious choice of alloying elements to alter the microstructural characteristic of the steel. However, the understanding of reasons for the success of such steels requires further fundamental research to establish how the different constituents of steel microstructures react to the forces imposed at the wheel-rail interface. The results of such research will help establish the design rules to engineer steel microstructures that provide a step change in the resistance to key degradation mechanisms with greater predictability of the deterioration rates. The project combines the skills of an interdisciplinary team from four Universities (based at the Universities of Huddersfield, Cambridge, Leeds and Cranfield), necessary to deal with the complexity of the phenomena,

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M021505/1
    Funder Contribution: 720,619 GBP

    Structural application of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials is one of the key factors leading to technological innovations in aviation, chemical, offshore oil and gas, rail and marine sectors. Motivated by such successes, FRP shapes and systems are increasingly used in the construction sector, such as for bridges and small residential buildings. An obstacle to a wider use of FRP materials in structural engineering is the current lack of comprehensive design rules and design standards. While the preparation of design guidance for static actions is at an advanced stage in the USA and EU, the design against dynamic loading is underdeveloped, resulting in cautious and conservative structural design solutions. Knowledge on the dynamic properties (natural frequencies, modal damping ratios, modal masses and mode shapes of relevant vibration modes) of FRP structures and their performance under dynamic actions (such as pedestrian excitation, vehicle loading, wind and train buffeting) needs to be advanced if to achieve the full economic, architectural and engineering merits in having FRP components/structures in civil engineering works. This project will provide a step change to design practice by developing new procedures and recommendations for design against dynamic actions. This will be achieved by: 1) Developing an instrumented bridge structure at the University of Warwick campus that will provide unique insight into both static and dynamic performance over the course of the project, and beyond; 2) Providing novel experimental data on dynamic properties and in-service vibration response of ten full-scale FRP structures; and 3) Critical evaluation of the numerical modelling and current vibration serviceability design approaches. The data collected will be delivered in a systematic form and made available, via an open-access on-line database for rapid and easy dissemination, to academic and industrial beneficiaries, as well as to agencies supporting the preparation of institutional, national and international consensus design guidance. Outcomes from this project will provide the crucial missing information required for the reliable design of light-weight FRP structures, and pave the way towards this structural material becoming a 'material of choice' for future large-scale bridges and other dynamically loaded structures. This medium to longer-term impact is aligned with national plans for the UK having a sustainable and resilient built environment.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 1652620

    New methods of construction are needed to advance the capability of aircraft structures, meet business demands & reduce manufacturing costs. One is the use of bonded assemblies for primary structure. FAA currently requires that unless the strength of the structure can be proven to match or exceed the design requirements, it must have mechanical fasteners to prevent critical failure. Bonded structures allow a significant reduction in weight due to using thinner skins. If 'Chicken rivets' are mandated, then this negates any benefit in terms of weight saving. The only current reliable way of testing the bonded assembly strength is proof loading - expensive & unrealistic for testing every part. An NDE method of testing a bonded assembly is needed to allow the use of lightweight bonded primary aerostructures. This must allow assessment that the desired strength is achieved, or identify areas of a weak-bonded area to allow repair. The project will investigate the application of phased array inspection approaches to determine bond strength, firstly studying current best practise with linear phased arrays and moving on to compare this to the recently developed nonlinear phased array approach.

    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M027287/1
    Funder Contribution: 429,107 GBP

    With the widespread use of small mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablets, power efficiency has become a very important design criterion for hardware manufacturers like Intel, AMD, Infineon, ST, Qualcom, Nvidia, etc. This is due to the limited energy storage capacity of mobile devices, imposed by constraints on their size and weight, as well as by problems of heat dissipation. Similar considerations of power efficiency apply to implanted medical devices, wearable computing, UAV (unmanned airborne vehicles), satellites and sensor networks. Since chip design has become more and more automated, electronic design automation companies consider energy efficiency as a prime concern in circuit design. However, so far, there has been hardly any use of formal mathematical methods in energy efficient circuit design. Instead, the main techniques used in practice were either based on simulation or on semi-formal approaches reasoning about patterns and structural properties. Typical work areas are the following: 1. Power estimation (based on simulation), 2. Power verification (of structural (i.e., non-dynamic) properties), 3. Power optimisation (coarse high-level reasoning about size and structural patterns), and 4. Formal power verification (model checking applied to coarse abstractions based on activation/deactivation of blocks on the chip). In this project, we bring modern formal mathematical methods into automated circuit design. This yields a new domain of "5. Formal power optimisation". Here, efficient circuit design is achieved via solving the controller synthesis problem. This is to construct a controller that achieves (in every context) a combination of several objectives: (a) the functional correctness of the induced behaviour, as specified in the requirements specification, (b) a guaranteed limit on the peak energy consumption (i.e., an upper bound on the worst case), and (c) a low average energy consumption. While (a) and (b) are absolute constraints, the relative quality of the controller is measured in terms of how well it achieves objective (c). We solve the synthesis problem by applying modern mathematical techniques and tools from game theory (energy games, mean-payoff games), formal software verification (formal requirements specification and automata), and logic and algorithms (SAT and SMT solvers). Beyond theoretical advances and new techniques for the synthesis of energy efficient controllers, the project aims for practical application of controller synthesis in the new field of Formal Power Optimisation in circuit design. A prototype of a software tool that implements the new methods and applies them to power optimization in chip design will be evaluated on case studies provided by our industrial project partner Atrenta Inc.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N509103/1
    Funder Contribution: 1,957,400 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N005422/1
    Funder Contribution: 307,997 GBP

    A primary goal of organic chemists is the construction of molecules for applications as diverse as medicines, new materials and biomolecules. The field is constantly driven by the need for new, more efficient methods as well as ways to access molecules which may have previously been impossible. The most important tool at an organic chemist's disposal is undoubtedly catalysis, whereby the use of a small amount of a custom-designed catalyst can permit a reaction to occur under much milder conditions than otherwise, or opens up new chemical pathways altogether. For this reason, innovation in catalysis is central to innovation in organic chemistry. Nature's catalysis is performed by enzymes; evolution has made them phenomenally efficient. Often playing a leading role in enzymatic processes are 'hydrogen bonds', special types of electrostatic attraction which are important in facilitating the chemical reaction between two molecules by bringing them into close proximity with one another or by stabilising the pathway leading to product formation. My research seeks to employ these same interactions, but in the context of small molecules which we can readily synthesise and handle in the lab. This approach to catalysis is very exciting as it is still in its infancy yet offers exciting opportunities for both activation and control. This project will seek to take inspiration from a distinct field within chemistry called Supramolecular Chemistry, which explores the behavior of large molecules which are assembled from smaller ones using multiple weak 'temporary' interactions working in tandem. Hydrogen bonds are very important in this regard but there are a number of other key interactions such as ion pairs and pi-cation interactions which have been shown to be powerful in building up molecular structures. It is our aim to apply several of these interactions together in tandem to design new catalysts that will bind with our reactant in a very well defined orientation. The catalyst will also induce the substrate to react with another molecule, allowing the selective synthesis of one mirror image of a molecule over the other (so-called enantiomers). This is a very important pursuit in science, since the inherent 'handedness' of biological systems means that the different mirror image forms of chiral molecules often have very different effects in the body. This is of particular importance in pharmaceutical applications.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M02525X/1
    Funder Contribution: 341,698 GBP

    The product rule of the all familiar operation of taking derivatives of real valued functions has a plethora of generalisations and applications in algebra. It leads to the notion of derivations of algebras - these are linear endomorphisms of an algebra satifying the product rule. They represent the classes of the first Hochschild cohomology of an algebra. The first Hochschild cohomology of an algebra turns out to be a Lie algebra, and more precisely, a restricted Lie algebra if the underlying base ring is a field of positive characteristic. The (restricted) Lie algebra structure extends to all positive degrees in Hochschild cohomology - this goes back to pioneering work of Gerstenhaber on defornations of algebras. Modular representation theory of finite groups seeks to understand the connections between the structure of finite groups and the associated group algebras. Many of the conjectures that drive this area are - to date mysterious - numerical coincidences relating invariants of finite group algebras to invariants of the underlying groups. The sophisticated cohomological technology hinted at in the previous paragraph is expected to yield some insight regarding these coincidences, and the present proposal puts the focus on some precise and unexplored invariance properties of certain groups of integrable derivations under Morita, derived, or stable equivalences between indecomposable algebra factors of finite group algebras, their character theory, their automorphism groups, and the local structure of finite groups.

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    downloaddownloads71
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M014800/1
    Funder Contribution: 68,836 GBP

    This proposal focuses on the impact performance of state-of-the-art composites in the form of fibre-reinforced plastics (FRPs) with through-thickness reinforcement introduced via Z-pinning. The application of composites in primary lightweight structures has been steadily growing during the last 20 years, increasing the requirement for new and advanced composites technologies. Recent examples include large civil aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, high performance cars, such as the McLaren 650S, and civil infrastructure, such as the Mount Pleasant bridge on the M6 motorway. FRPs are made of thin layers (plies) of plastic material with embedded high stiffness and strength fibres. The plies are bonded together in a stack by applying heat and pressure in a process known as "curing". The resulting assembly is the FRP laminate. The main reasons for the increasing usage of FRPs in several engineering fields are the superior in-plane specific stiffness and strength with respect to traditional alloys and the long-term environmental durability due to the absence of corrosion. Another key advantage of FRPs is that they can be tailored to specific design loads via optimising the orientation of the reinforcing fibres across the laminate stack. FRPs are, however, prone to delamination, i.e. the progressive dis-bond of the plies through the thickness of the laminate. This is due to the fact that standard FRP laminates have no reinforcement in the through-thickness direction, so the out-of-plane mechanical properties are significantly lower than the in-plane ones. According to the US Air Force, delamination can be held responsible for 60% of structural failures in FRP components in service. Impacts are the main cause of delamination in FRP laminates with energies usually in the order of 20J, sufficient to produce multiple delaminations in FRP plates. A representative scenario for such energy level is that of a 2cm diameter stone impacting a laminate at a speed of 110 km/h. In aerospace impact scenarios can be much more severe. For example, the certification of turbofan engines requires the fan blades to be able to withstand an impact with a bird whose mass is in the order of a few kilograms at speed in excess of 300 km/h, with impact energies of thousands of Joules. Introducing through-thickness reinforcement in FRPs is a viable strategy for improving the through-thickness mechanical properties and inhibiting delamination. Z-pinning is a through-thickness reinforcement technique whereby short FRP rods are inserted in the laminate before curing. Z-pinning has been proven to be particularly effective in inhibiting delamination under quasi-static, fatigue loading and low velocity/low energy impact loading. Nonetheless, little is known regarding the performance of Z-pinned laminates withstanding high energy/high speed impacts, whose effects are governed by complex transient phenomena taking place within the bulk FRP laminates and multiple ply interfaces. Overall, these phenomena are commonly denoted as "high strain rate" effects. There is some evidence that Z-pinning is beneficial also for high-speed impacts, but this is not conclusive. The current lack of knowledge may be circumvented with overdesign and expensive large-scale structural testing, but this is not a sustainable solution in a medium to long-term scenario. This project aims to fill the knowledge gap outlined above, by combining novel experimental characterisation at high deformation rates with new modelling techniques that can be used for the design and certification of impact damage tolerant composite structures. The development of suitable modelling techniques is particularly important for industrial exploitation, since it will reduce the amount of testing required for certification of composite structures, with a significant reduction of costs and shorter lead times to mark

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M008053/1
    Funder Contribution: 598,783 GBP

    The UK Government has an ambitious target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, and energy demand reduction will have to play a major part in meeting this goal. While traditional research on mitigation of carbon emissions has focused on direct consumption of energy (how we supply energy, what types of fuel we use, and how we use them etc.), the role that materials and products might play in energy demand reduction is far less well studied. One third of the world's energy is used in industry to make products, such as buildings, infrastructure, vehicles and household goods. Most of this energy is expended in producing the key stock materials with which we create modern lifestyles - steel, cement, aluminium, paper, and polymers - and we are already very efficient in producing them. A step change in reducing the energy expended by UK industry can therefore only come about if we are able to identify new ways of designing, using, and delivering products, materials and services. Before firm recommendations can be made to decision-makers regarding the combined technical and social feasibility of new products and material strategies, a fundamental set of research questions will need to be addressed. These concern how various publics will respond to innovative proposals for product design, governance and use. For example, more energy efficient products may need to operate differently or look very different, while a significant shift from an ownership model to a service delivery model (e.g., direct car ownership to car clubs and rental) can also deliver considerable material efficiency and energy demand reduction. Will members of the wider public and key decision-makers welcome, oppose, or actively drive such supply chain innovations, and what are the implications of knowledge about public views for decision-makers in the corporate and government sector? Understanding the answers to these questions is the main focus of this project. The research led by Cardiff University, and partnered with the Green Alliance, will combine qualitative and quantitative social science methodologies - in particular expert interviews and workshops, deliberative research and a (GB) national survey. The project has 4 phases, spanning a 45 month period. Work Package 1 involves initial work with UK INDEMAND partners, and interviews with industry and policy representatives, to identify the assumptions being made about people and society in key pathways for materials energy demand reduction. Work Package 2 involves four workshops - held in Edinburgh, Cardiff, London and a rural location - where members of the public will deliberate the identified pathways to change. In Work Package 3 we will conduct a nationally representative survey of 1,000 members of the British public, further exploring public perspectives on ways of designing and changing our use of materials. A particularly innovative aspect of the project is a set of targeted policy engagement activities (in Work Package 4) where we will hold workshops, interviews and other direct stakeholder involvement, exploring the implications of the findings about public views with key decision-makers in UK businesses, policy and the political sphere (including Parliamentarians through the Green Alliance's Climate Leadership programme for MPs). Along with the empirical data gathered in Work Packages 1, 2, and 3, the activities in Work Package 4 will allow us to formulate clear recommendations for action on achieving a reduction in UK final energy consumption through bringing knowledge of social barriers and opportunities to bear on governmental policy and industry decision-making about innovative materials and products delivery/use.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 1725657

    This PhD project aims to explore business to business innovation, exploring how suppliers and customers can accelerate innovation to market in the business environment. It focuses on the management science behind innovation and how this is applied in the construction sector at a business level. It touches upon a procurement as a stimulus for innovation through the contracting process across the supply chain. Of particular interest is capturing good practices across businesses and lessons learnt. This research will examine processes of encouraging, stimulating and applying innovation from other sectors.

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