Bear in the air

Scientists here at Brighton carried a cuddly colleague with them as they boarded an aircraft for zero-gravity flights.

‘Captain Bright One’, our University’s teddy bear mascot, flew with researchers as the pilot took the plane on an upward trajectory and then reduced thrust and pushed the stick to achieve weightlessness.

The researchers used the European Space Agency (ESA) flights to test a ground-breaking system that has the potential to revolutionise the way heat can be managed – a crucial requirement for satellites and other space craft.

The research is being led by Professor Marco Marengo, Professor of Engineering. He said: “Due to the complete absence of air and the violent extremes in temperature in space, satellites, for example, require a thermal radiation screen in order to limit both the excessive heat from the sun and release of heat to the cold of outer space.”

His team is developing a novel ‘pulsating heat pipe’ system which dissipates heat using an evaporator and a condenser connected through a meandering capillary tube. They needed to test the system in weightless conditions to ensure it will operate successfully when it is used in outer space.

ESA has granted the team access to the International Space Station to test the system further and it likely will travel with British astronaut Tim Peake when he undertakes his second space mission sometime after 2020.

The news follows the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council granting the team £900,000 to develop the system further.

Photos of the Captain Bright One teddy were taken by research team member Dr Nicolas Miché, leader for the University’s Aeronautical Engineering courses.

For more information on the team’s research, go to: http://bit.ly/2jU7UZG

Prestigious Fellowship for Morgan

Professor Morgan Heikal was today named as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering alongside a glittering list that includes some of the world’s leading innovators and business people.

The Royal Academy of Engineering is the UK’s national academy for engineering, bringing together the most successful and talented engineers to advance and promote excellence in engineering.

Professor Heikal leads the Advanced Engineering Centre here at the University of Brighton. The vibrant centre produces ground-breaking research into internal combustion engines, thermal systems for ground and space applications, and the development of laser-based diagnostic measurement techniques, which are fundamental to modelling and computational simulation.

Clearing 2017

Good luck to everyone receiving A-Level results tomorrow!

If your exams have gone differently from the way you expected, or you have had a change of heart about the course you want to do then Clearing can be a great way to start that journey.

Our Clearing hotline will be open on Thursday from 7am
Call us on 01273 644000

Full advice about Clearing can be found on the University of Brighton website:
www.brighton.ac.uk/clearing

Get to know us better and visit us at a Clearing information day.
You’ll meet academics from your subject, take a tour of your campus and facilities and get advice about student finance, university life and accommodation.
Find out more about Clearing information days.

We’re in the driving seat

University of Brighton students are at the home of British motor racing – Silverstone – to test their prototype racing car against teams from around the world.

The vehicle, designed and built by engineering students as part of their degree programmes, is being tested in this year’s annual Formula Student, Europe’s educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. This is the first time the university has entered.

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Backed by industry and high-profile engineers, the competition runs until Sunday (23 July) and aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative young engineers. Universities from across the globe compete in static and dynamic events to demonstrate their understanding and to test the performance of their vehicles.

Sponsored by Santander Universities, the University of Brighton students, led by Dr Daniel Coren, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, tested earlier prototypes at Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex.

The university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris made a pit stop there to meet the team. She said: “I was extremely impressed by the students’ engineering skills and talent. I wish them every success in the competition.”

Dr Coren said: “Formula Student is an opportunity for students to work as a team on a high-profile project with interaction with academic and industry partners. It is a stepping stone for students’ ambitions for a successful career in engineering. One recently got a job at Jaguar and all are aspiring to join the automotive engineering industry.”

The car has been manufactured in-house using the university engineering laboratory facilities and a range of rapid prototyping techniques including CAD/CAM CNC machining, 3D printing, laser cutting, plasma cutting, and, as Dr Coren put it “blood sweat and gears, with students working on the project evenings and weekends”.

Dr Coren said: “It has been designed to satisfy the IMechE Formula Student technical regulations, but also as an educational tool which will be used as part of our undergraduate studies, in particularly, as part of our Vehicle Design Module. As such, it features an ‘exposed structure’ bodywork concept allowing the main structural features to be seen, and also, clear body panels which allow students to see inside the car – the anatomy of a racing car.

“As part of a commitment to research-informed teaching, it is planned  that for each forthcoming season we will apply particular focus on technical areas that reflect our growing and established research themes; such as automotive aerodynamics and advance propulsion systems.”

Team leader Pria Sabharwal, graduating this year in Aeronautical Engineering, said: “It’s been really hard work but at the same time really rewarding – I’ve loved it at Brighton.” Pria said being female in what is traditionally a male-oriented field had been a bonus: “We were invited to the Williams factory and they specifically asked for female engineers. And things are changing. When I started my course there were only five females but now there are 20.”

The students formed ‘Brighton Racing Motors’ to design and build their car, named Apex, to give them experience of running a mock business. Apex is a bespoke design incorporating aerodynamic bodywork, a tubular frame chassis, a motorcycle engine, and fully adjustable suspension, which will be driven by the students at speeds up to 70 mph. It must comply with stringent rules set out by the competition organisers. The team has made use of the advanced engineering and rapid prototyping facilities the university, including wind tunnel testing, engine simulation, 3D printing, plasma cutting and CNC machining.

Dr Coren said: “Tremendous effort from innovative students and support from technical and academic staff has been catalysed by sponsorship provided from Santander Universities, allowing key technical features, especially aerodynamic bodywork, to be incorporated into their new car. Support from businesses in the local community has also contributed to this team effort, including Juarez Fabrication, Pipecraft, and Family Store, allowing the team to make history by building the first ever University of Brighton Formula Student car to compete at Silverstone.”
To follow the progress of the team go to:  http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/brightonracingmotors/ or https://www.facebook.com/BrightonRacingMotors/ or email Dr Coren at d.coren@brighton.ac.uk
The public can attend the Silverstone event – go to: http://www.imeche.org/events/formula-student
To see more about our engineering courses, go to: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/studying-here/subject-areas/engineering-and-construction/engineering/index.aspx and for more information about Formula Student, go to: http://formulastudent.imeche.org/formula-student/

Now that data is ubiquitous, how do we make it useful?

We are proud to welcome back one of our distinguished alumni and honorary graduate, Professor Mandy Chessell, for the final Distinguished Lecture series of the year on Tuesday 6 June, 5-6pm in Huxley 300.

As digital technology sweeps through every aspect of our lives, data has become ubiquitous. The problem is that much of this data is useless because it no longer has enough context with it for people, processes and analytics to understand what it means.

This is an amazing opportunity to hear Professor Chessell examine current data management practices and tools and explain why data loses its context. She proposes an alternative and open approach that will expand our ability to use data to its full extent. She also looks at the issue of providing appropriate protection and governance to valuable intellectual property and sensitive data.

Professor Chessell CBE FREng CEng FBCS is an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, member of the IBM Academy of Technology and Fellow of the Royal Academy. Read her profile.

Find out more and book your place at the lecture here.

Rising star collects award

Dr Frank Browne, School of Computing Engineering and Mathematics PhD graduate, was presented with the Institute of Physics (IOP) Nuclear Physics Group Early Career Award 2016 at the recent IOP conference in Birmingham.

Dr Browne gave a talk about his winning research on ‘The lifetimes of the first excited 2+ states in neutron-rich Zr-104, 106’.

Soon after graduating from the university last summer he landed a research job at the RIKEN research institute in Japan, renowned for recently discovering a new element, nihonium.

Dr Browne, 29, said he “loved” studying in Brighton but equally loves working in Japan: “I am at the same facility where I carried out the experimental work of my PhD. It’s the world’s premiere nuclear physics research facility and, as such, it is where some of the big breakthroughs in the field are happening, being a part of that is really exciting.”

Racing into our first Formula Student competition

For the first time ever at the University of Brighton, we have a Formula Student team with an official entry accepted for the IMechE Formula Student competition! 

Our team of students from across the engineering division, working as Brighton Racing Motors, having been working hard, designing and engineering a new car as part of their studies. The culmination of their all their hard work is a race meeting at the Silverstone National Motor Circuit in July to test their prototype against student teams from around the world.

The team now have an online presence where you can follow their progress as they work towards the target of preparing their car in readiness for the competition:

Blog: http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/brightonracingmotors/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrightonRacingMotors/
Twitter: @FS_Brighton99

You can catch up with our team face to face and see their progress as part of the Engineering Project Exhibition in the Cockcroft Hall, between 2 and 6 pm today.

For more information about Formula Student at the University of Brighton, or if you would like to get involved, please feel free to get in touch with Dr Daniel Coren directly or pop into our lab in the Cockcroft engineering workshop area for a chat.

For more details about the Formula Student competition:
http://www.imeche.org/events/formula-student/about-formula-student

Here is a taster of the what the event is all about.

Rising star wins national award

A rising star in the field of nuclear physics has won a national award – and a job at the world’s top nuclear research centre.

University of Brighton PhD graduate Dr Frank Browne has received the ‘Nuclear Physics Early Career Award’ from the Institute of Physics (IOP). And soon after graduating from the university last summer he landed a research job at the RIKEN research institute in Japan, renowned for recently discovering a new element, nihonium.

Dr Browne, 29, won £250 and the opportunity to present his work at the IOP nuclear physics annual conference at the University of Birmingham, starting 3 April.

He explained his research: “The popular image of the atomic nucleus is that of a jumble of protons and neutrons (collectively known as nucleons) arranged in a spherical shape at the centre of the atom. However, in reality the nucleons are arranged in well-defined shells, much like the electrons are in atoms. The arrangement of these shells can cause the nucleus to take on different shapes.

“In a nutshell, through the application of an array of novel radiation detectors developed by the universities of Brighton and Surrey, I was able to measure how much like a rugby ball some unstable nuclei looked like. This measurement paves the way for more robust theoretical descriptions of how the protons and neutrons behave in the nuclear medium. It also validates this novel technique for future experiments at next-generation accelerator facilities.”

Dr Browne, from Norfolk, said he “loved” studying in Brighton but equally loves working in Japan: “I am at the same facility where I carried out the experimental work of my PhD. It’s the world’s premiere nuclear physics research facility and, as such, it is where some of the big breakthroughs in the field are happening, being a part of that is really exciting.”

Dr Browne is a current recipient of a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship for Overseas Researchers, one of just 120 awarded from more than 1,200 applicants. And from March next year he will take up his position as a Special Postdoctoral Researcher at RIKEN.

Dr Browne’s supervisor, Professor Alison Bruce, the university’s Professor of Physics, said: “The level of Frank’s achievement is recognised by him being awarded two prestigious fellowships at the world renowned Riken facility.

“I have enjoyed watching him develop from a tentative new PhD student to his current position where he is defining his own research programme using state-of-the-art world class research facilities.”

For information on related courses at the University of Brighton click here and for more information on the university’s nuclear physics research click here.

GROUP PHOTO: Pictured at RIKEN are Dr Browne (right), Professor Bruce (rear) and Dr Oliver Roberts and Dr Cristina Nita, both Research Fellows at the university at the time.

Brighton’s Robot Warriors

University of Brighton undergraduate students Katie Henderson and Jodie Nye battle it out against fellow contestants in the brand new series of BBC’s Robot Wars.

Katie and Jodie, who are both studying for a BSc (Hons) Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, are long-standing fans of the show and will be one of the few all-female teams to have taken on the challenge with their robot ‘Ms Nightshade’.

Speaking about her experience Katie said: “It was an honour to represent the University of Brighton and also to promote female engineers. I worked on the design and Jodie and I collaborated on putting our robot together. I knew I wanted our robot to be different and something that had not been seen on the programme before and to be able to defend itself and attack from all angles.

“The biggest challenge was managing our time to meet the deadlines for the project whilst continuing to focus on our courses. We really underestimated the time needed to build and test the robot, but got there in the end.”

Jodie commented: “The whole experience has been incredible. I can’t compare it to anything that I have ever done before. The most valuable thing for me apart from gaining the practical skills from constructing and assembling the robot was the chance to develop presenting and communication skills from appearing on the programme.

“Being part of an all-female team was a real honour. I am so grateful to the University for the support it gave us to make what for me had always been a childhood dream.”

The latest series of Robot Wars starts on BBC 2 on Sunday 5 March.

Pictures credit: BBC/Mentorn Media Scotland/Alan Peebles

Take a sneaky peak around our brand new Advanced Engineering Building

uniofbrightonIt’s here… the first sneaky peak around our brand new Advanced Engineering Building!#Construction is on target for completion by May and the official #opening in September #2017. This project will provide our #engineering #students with specialist teaching #facilities and #modern workshop spaces. There will also be cutting edge #laboratories including a dedicated combustion engine #research area and test cells.


#uniofbrighton #university #uni #campus #student #studentlife #studentspaces #development #building #architecture #design #Brighton #hellobrighton