Sky’s the limit for Pratik

The sky’s the limit for student Pratik Meghani after he was invited to present his final year Aeronautical Engineering project at a conference in the Czech Republic.

Pratik, who will graduate this summer, will give a talk at the Research and Education in Aircraft Design Conference in Brno, Czech Republic, in November.

His project is a 2D aerodynamic study on morphing in the Cessna 172SP, a four-seat, single-engine American aeroplane made by the Cessna Aircraft Company.

Pratik, who intends to undertake a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at an institution abroad, said the conference would greatly enrich his existing knowledge and experience of his research area.

He said: “I am excited to present my final year project as a research paper at the conference.

“This unique opportunity will aid my professional development and enable me to meet specialists who will give me an insight into several fields of the aerospace industry.

“I would like to thank the University of Brighton for funding this trip and giving me a chance to represent them on an international stage.”

Pratik added that he would like to specialise in design and propulsion systems for major aircraft companies in the future: “My career goal is to work at one of the big aerospace giants like Bombardier, Airbus or Boeing.”

As an international student, Pratik said he would be “forever thankful” to the University of Brighton for helping him adjust to life in the UK.

“The University has provided me with the necessary practical and technical skills to kick-start my journey to my intended career goal,” he said.

“The reward schemes on offer – including prizes and merit-based scholarships – have made me a competitive yet friendly individual who is full of confidence.

“The support of the lecturers and friends helped me settle into University life in the UK as an international student. I will be forever thankful to the University for the skills and competence I have gained during the course.”

Dr Wang and David Fitzsimons, Director of the European Remanufacturing Council

University links with China to prolong the life of goods

New ways to extend the life of resource-hungry products were discussed at a Sino-UK summit, co-organised by the University of Brighton.

The event, the first of its kind aimed at fostering cooperation in remanufacturing between the UK and China, was attended by representatives of the UK’s innovation agency ‘Innovate UK’, the British Embassy in China, the Welsh Government and China’s Ministry for Information and Industry Technology.

It was co-organised by Dr Yan Wang, Senior Lecturer in the University of Brighton’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, who works in the field of sustainable manufacturing and currently is a Visiting Scholar at China’s National Key Laboratory for Remanufacturing.

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Celebrating International Women's Day 2018

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2018

To mark International Women’s Day in 2018 we are celebrating the achievements of just some of the academics working here at Brighton.

Our Women of Impact web feature demonstrates how our academic staff are achieving great things, working on the complex challenges facing society, educating and inspiring the next generation and making an impact in communities. The varied and diverse career journeys illustrate the huge range of talent that we welcome at the University of Brighton.

Dr Konstantina Vogiatzaki – safeguarding our energy future
Dr Konstantina VogiatzakiDr Konstantina Vogiatzaki’s research seeks to unlock the physics and push the manifold operating limits of our modern energy systems in order to increase their efficiency, regulate their fuel consumption and minimise their harmful emissions.

New engine approach has cut fuel by up to 30 per cent

Scientists have unveiled new engine technology that will significantly increase fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Researchers at the University of Brighton and industry partners Ricardo have demonstrated that by storing and injecting liquid air into split-cycle engines, fuel consumption is reduced by up to 30 per cent while NOx fumes and particle emissions are also reduced.

The new technology would enable long-haul freight lorries to fully comply with inner-city emission restrictions, saving hauliers thousands of pounds per year. It also has potential cost-saving benefits for other diesel-fuelled industries including marine and rail.

Researchers say while the current trend for passenger cars is towards battery-powered vehicles, HGVs are hard to electrify. Batteries would take up more than half a long-distance truck’s payload, increasing costs and requiring yet more vehicles on the road to deliver the same quantity of goods.

Dr Rob Morgan, Reader in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, and the lead researcher, said: “Even if a significant breakthrough in battery technology were achieved in the future, the strains on the recharging infrastructure and powergrid may still be prohibitive.

“On any sensible scenario, diesel-fuelled power generation will be around for many years. Our research is a potential game-changer.”
The technology, called CryoPower, realises a new thermal-power engine cycle – air is compressed in one cylinder, then heated by burning a fuel and expanded in a second cylinder. By splitting these processes into separate cylinders, the engine is more efficient and can be controlled to minimise toxic emissions such as NOx.

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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.

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.”

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.