Alex is an academic visitor from FAC Technology. He is an Honorary Lecturer on composite materials within the department and lectures on this subject to final year undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has a focus on the design of manufacturing processes for components made with fibre and particle reinforced composites. His primary research interests relate to the interplay between the properties of composite materials and the manufacturing processes and parameters used to produce them.
Fibre reinforced composites can be made using fibres and resins in various different formats, using different processes, with a broad range of values being used for parameters such as temperature and pressure. All these factors can affect the properties of materials produced such that apparently similar materials which diverge significantly in behaviour. A large contribution to this divergence is often attributable to the distribution of fibre misorientation and crimp in fibre reinforced composites. Consequently, Alex has interests in developing tools to aid in quantifying parameters such as fibre misorientation distributions and how they arise from different materials and processes.
Alex is also interested in developing means of identifying and extracting fibre and tow path information from samples of composite materials to inform computational models of materials and structures based on statistically representative volumes and/or to create models that directly reflect 'real world' material structures.
As a result of his commercial R&D background, Alex also has an interest in the application of manufacturing engineering principles to composite materials. Further, as the performance of composite structures in inextricably intertwined with the entire design and manufacturing processes used to achieve them, Alex is interested in applying lean manufacturing and agile management principles through out new product development cycles, including adapting and extending such principles to fundamental R&D. His interests here focus on reducing or eliminating non-value adding steps in experimental testing work, computational modelling, prototype testing, development of minimal specification sets for establishing the viability of a new products, etc...