Imperial College London

World’s first 3D printed bridge, and winning green idea: News from the College

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MX3D Printed Bridge under construction (photo by Thijs Wolzak)

MX3D Printed Bridge under construction (photo by Thijs Wolzak)

Here’s a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial.

From the unveiling of a 3D printed bridge to a green award for a feather idea, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

World’s first 3D-printed bridge unveiled

The bridge, unveiled at Dutch Design Week, was created by Dutch company

MX3D, who have collaborated with Imperial mathematicians and engineers through The Alan Turing Institute-Lloyd’s Register Foundation programme in data-centric engineering.

The bridge will be covered in a sensor network, so that everyone that walks, runs, or cycles over it will generate data about the behaviour of the structure. The team have developed a ‘digital twin’ of the bridge to help analyse the data form the sensor network data. They have also conducted extensive tests of the physical printed material and used statistics to understand more about the material itself.

Read more about the bridge’s construction and testing.

Big welcome for new postgraduates

Po=stgrad students at the eventNew postgraduates gathered on Queen’s Lawn on 19 October for a celebratory networking reception with other students and staff from the Graduate School.

Students were addressed by the Director of the School, Professor Sue Gibson, who provided an introduction to the College and an overview of the services and support available. The President of the Graduate Students' Union (GSU), Ute Thiermann, also welcomed attendees and encouraged them to embrace and enjoy this next chapter in their academic life.

When businesses hate their customers

Dr Laura J. Noval
Dr Laura J. Noval

If people want to do something self-serving, they will convince themselves the victims of their actions have nothing in common with them. That’s according to research from a team including the Business School’s Dr Laura J. Noval.

The researchers found distorting the truth by deliberately making victims seem unfamiliar makes it easier to harm them.

In business, the effects of this behaviour could be devastating, and could account for major scandals such as the ongoing Wells Fargo case. Groups tend to strengthen the shared biases of their members, and could lead to employees dehumanising the very clients they serve.

You can read more about this research on IB Knowledge.

Feather idea wins green award

Elena Dieckmann Aeropowder, a startup founded by Dyson School of Design Engineering and Civil Engineering PhD student Elena Dieckmann (pictured) and National Heart and Lung Institute PhD student Ryan Robinson, has won the Green Alley Award – Europe’s first startup prize for the circular economy.

Aeropowder created the product pluumo, an insulating material for packaging based on waste feathers. As well as using a product that would otherwise go to waste, the compostable nature of pluumo means it is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional polystyrene packaging, PE-foams or thermal foil.

This year’s competition saw 215 startups from 30 countries apply, but it was Aeropowder that took home the top prize of 25,000 Euro.

Read more about the Green Alley Award and Aeropowder’s idea.

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Michael Mills

Michael Mills
Business School

Andrew Youngson

Andrew Youngson
Communications and Public Affairs

Hayley Dunning

Hayley Dunning
Communications and Public Affairs

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Murray MacKay

Murray MacKay
Communications and Public Affairs


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