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The event you are looking at is a past event. Check out this upcoming event CEMPS Engineering Seminars happening on Wed May 01 2019 at 01:30 pm at University of Exeter Harrison Building, North Park Road, Exeter, United Kingdom

CEMPS Engineering Seminars


CEMPS Engineering Seminars

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences - Engineering Seminars 2018 / 2019

Multiple dates from: Monday 5 November 2018 - Wednesday 5 June 2019

Venue: Harrison Building, North Park Road, Streatham Campus, EX4 4QF

Event Information

The aim of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences - Engineering Seminars is to enhance our inter-centre communication and encourage research collaboration. We invite internal or external speakers to talk about the exciting areas of their work and the potential future areas of work for collaboration. The seminars generally take place at 13.30 on the first Wednesday of each month during term time.

However, the date/time for external speakers can be flexible. Each speaker will present for about half hour, followed by fifteen-minute Q&A.

Afterwards, attendees can continue their discussions and enjoy a biscuit and coffee/tea in the same room.

Please see below for full event details.


Date and time: Monday 5 November 2018, 14.30 - 15.30

Speaker: Dr Colin Caprani, Monash University, Australia

Topic: Traffic Loading & Bridge Management

Venue: Harrison 171 (changed from Harrison 203)

Synopsis: In this talk I will proceed from a consideration of societal and structural engineering risks to show the role that the modelling of highway bridge traffic loading has in the management of existing bridges. This talk covers disciplines of structural reliability, structural dynamics and traffic engineering and so should be of interest across traditional discipline lines.

Biography: Dr Colin Caprani is the Director of Teaching and a senior lecturer in Department of Civil Engineering of Monash University, Australia. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng MIEAust) and Chartered Structural Engineer (CEng MIEI, MIStructE) with considerable industrial and academic experience. He has worked as a design structural engineer on a wide range of projects, including integral bridges, new-concept bridge beam development, large-scale commercial mixed-use developments, and renovation and refurbishment of listed structures. His research specializations involve highway bridge traffic loading for short- and long-span bridges; vibration serviceability of footbridges; structural reliability and statistics of extremes; and Intelligent Transportation System – infrastructure interaction. He has lectured on numerous courses in three universities.

Date and time: Wednesday 7 November 2018, 13.30 - 14.15 including a question and answer session, followed by further discussion in the same room 15.30. 

Speaker: Prof. Gavin Tabor, University of Exeter

Topic: Computational Fluid Dynamics: an Exeter Perspective

Venue: Harrison 170

Synopsis: Computational Fluid Dynamics is the solution of fluid dynamics problems using computers, typically in 2 or 3 spatial dimensions. Its use in engineering has grown inexorably over the last 20 years, fueled by the constant growth of computing power, and practically every engineering discipline has been impacted by the ability to perform predictive physics-based simulations of everything from heat transfer, combustion and reaction to multiphase and free surface flow.

In this seminar I intend to provide a personal viewpoint of the state of the art, and review four main aspects of the work from my group; OpenFOAM, research with the company Hydro International, scour and sedimentation, and optimisation through machine learning-driven CFD.

Biography: Prof Gavin Tabor joined the University of Exeter in 1999 after 5 years at Imperial College as a PDRA. Whilst at Imperial he was part of the informal team developing the FOAM code, now released as OpenFOAM; this has formed the core of his research programme here in Exeter, building a research team currently numbering 10 researchers and drawing on both industrial and EPSRC funding. During his 25 years experience in CFD he has worked on a range of techniques and areas including turbulence modelling, multiphase flow and combustion, and application areas including biomedical, SUDS, renewable energy, additive manufacture and optimisation.

Date and time: Wednesday 5 December 2018, 12.30 - 13.15

Speaker: Prof. James Brownjohn, University of Exeter

Topic: Structural condition assessment and performance of rock lighthouses around the British Isles

Venue: Harrison 170

Synopsis: EPSRC funded project STORMLAMP started in 2016 with modal (vibration) tests on a set of seven remote masonry towers perched on rocky outcrops around the British Isles. The project operates with very good teamwork between Plymouth (led by Alison Raby, experimental hydrodynamics and CFD), UCL (led by Dina D'Ayala, numerical structural modelling) and Exeter (led by myself, field testing and monitoring) with very strong technical and research support. While it's been a fun and photogenic project there have been several technical and logistical challenges and some interesting research outcomes. We've established the extreme high quality and robustness of the 19th century construction and the different behaviour of the 20th steel helidecks. We've worked out what lighthouse keepers meant when they said the structures seemed to rock during storms and we are getting a feel of the level of wave loads that cause this behaviour. The project has other benefits e.g. in terms of system identification uncertainty due to axisymmetry, and methods of characterising breaking wave loads on marine coastal structures.

Biography: James joined the University of Exeter as part of the Vibration Engineering Section in 2013. He has BSc in mechanical engineering (Bristol) and PhD in earthquake engineering (Bristol). After a few years with MoD, offshore oil/gas and coding he began an academic career in Bristol, then Singapore (where he learnt what fun you can have doing consulting work), then Plymouth, then Sheffield, then wound up in Exeter.

Date and time: Wednesday 16 January 2019, 13.30 - 14.15

Speaker: Prof. Prakash Kripakaran,University of Exeter

Topic: Flood resilience of bridge structures: Scour and hydrodynamic forces due to debris blockage

Venue: Harrison 170

Abstract: The talk will present research undertaken as part of the EPSRC-funded project - “Risk assessment of masonry bridges: Hydrodynamic impacts of debris blockage and scour”. Debris, which can worsen scour and increase hydrodynamic forces, is a leading cause of bridge failure in the UK and internationally. This project has characterized the scour and hydrodynamic effects of debris blockage through a combination of laboratory experiments and numerical (CFD) modelling. Results indicate that debris can amplify scour by a factor of 3, and highlight particularly the importance of paying attention to debris-induced scour in low flow conditions when bridges are often considered to be not at risk. The approach developed for assessing scour risk is in the process of becoming embedded within current guidance for practitioners, and is also being used by an industry partner via a secondment.

Biography: Prakash Kripakaran is a senior lecturer in structural engineering and academic lead for the civil and structures research group. He has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a MS and PhD from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining Exeter in 2010, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at EPFL in Switzerland. His research interests are mainly in the use of innovative sensing and computing techniques for maintenance and management of bridges.

Date and time: Wednesday 6 February 2019, 13.30 - 14.15

Speaker: Prof. Anthony Halog, University of Queensland

Topic: Understanding Interconnections and Pathways for Transitioning towards Circular & Low Carbon Economy via Systems Thinking

Abstract: Population and economic growth will result to an increase of approximately 40 percent in the demand for food, water, energy and other resources in the coming decades. To fulfil this demand in sustainable and efficient manner, while avoiding food and water scarcity, and environmental catastrophes in the future, some industries, particularly those in agri-food and energy production, have to drastically change its current production systems towards circular, low carbon, and green economy. In Australia, the food supply chains are economically and technologically developed, but have been facing enduring challenges on its international competitiveness and environmental burdens from its production processes. An integrated framework for sustainability assessment is needed to precisely identify inefficiencies and environmental impacts created during food production processes while respecting human-economic constraints.

This presentation proposes a combination of industrial ecology and systems science based methods and tools to develop a novel and useful methodological framework for life cycle sustainability assessment in agri-food industry. The presentation highlights circular economy paradigm aiming to implement sustainable processes to transform the prevalent linear-based model of agri- food supply chains. The framework will aid future Life Cycle and Integrated Sustainability Analysis, Social Life Cycle Assessment and eco-redesign of food and other industrial systems.

Bio: Anthony Halog holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Economics from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany and has been officially certified as an environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Practitioner by the American Centre for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA). His research focuses on the sustainability of human-nature complexity through understanding the nexus of material and energy systems. He leads the Research Group for Industrial Ecology and Circular Economy at the University of Queensland, which endeavours to provide service/expertise for industry clients (e.g. agri-food-energy systems) in transforming existing linear system-based value chains and operations towards circularity to enhance their resource efficiency & productivity and create added value products from wastes. He was previously an Assistant Professor in Industrial Ecology at the University of Maine (2008-2012), and an Assistant Professor in Operations and Technology Management in the School of Business at Brock University, Canada (2006-2008). Dr Halog has held various positions as an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Research Fellow at the Finnish Forest Research Institute; as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan and at the University of Tokyo; and as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Research Council of Canada. He has authored and co-authored more than 80 publications and presented papers in industrial ecology and circular economy. He has given keynote talks and been a visiting scholar in several leading research institutions in Europe and Asia. He has served in several technical and organising committees in conferences over the past years and been served as Associated Editor and member of editorial boards in refereed journals. He has served on different grant review panels of funding agencies in the USA, Japan, the Netherlands, Finland, France and Luxembourg. He had received funding from different competitive sources, and been involved in US-funded projects of ~$7.7 million, out of which $841,281 was awarded to his specific research on life cycle sustainability assessment of biomass-based technological systems. He had been awarded competitive research fellowships and visiting professorships to conduct research in Germany, Japan, Canada, Finland, USA, Hungary, Slovakia, South Korea, Colombia, the Philippines, and UK. More about him at

Venue: Harrison 170

Date and time: Wednesday 20 Feb 2019, 13.30 - 14.15

Speaker: Dr Hongwei Wang, Zhejiang University (China)

Topic: Design Knowledge Modelling and Retrieval in a Collaborative and Distributed Working Environment

Abstract: Design knowledge management is challenged by the collaborative and distributive working of designers despite the investment in IT by enterprises in the past decade - the capture, retrieval and supply of comprehensive, traceable, trustworthy and in-context design knowledge has become a hot research topic. In this talk, the speaker will present recent research on the development of knowledge representation models and knowledge retrieval methods. On this basis, the system framework for the next-generation knowledge management system will be discussed together with the main findings of the research.

Bio: Dr. Hongwei Wang is a Tenured Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the Zhejiang University/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute (ZJUI) with the honor of specially-invited expert by Zhejiang Province. Prior to joining ZJUI, Dr. Wang had been working at the University of Portsmouth for nearly 8 years, first as a Lecturer and from January 2014 as a Senior Lecturer. Dr. Wang conducted his PhD research at the Engineering Design Center of Cambridge University between 2007 and 2010 and prior to this he obtained his Bachelor’s degree and MSc degree from Zhejiang University (College of Biomedical Engineering and Instrumentation Science and Chukezhen Honors College) and Tsinghua University (National CIMS Engineering Research Center), respectively. His main research interests are in the application of information and computing technologies to the design, analysis, manufacture and maintenance of complex engineering systems. Specifically, he has worked on complex system design, knowledge engineering, collaborative modeling and simulation, and the condition monitoring and fault diagnosis of power systems. He has worked as PIs for over 10 projects funded by research councils, leading to the publication of one monograph and near 100 papers in SCI/EI indexed journals and conference proceedings as well as the filing of 8 patents. Dr. Wang is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and serves as a committee member of a number of key IEEE technical committees. Dr. Wang has supervised over 30 MSc/PhD students to successful completion (one of them was awardee of the highest honor for self-funded students studying abroad by the China Scholarship Council). He gave two keynote speeches, and was awarded two best paper awards, in international conferences during the past few years.

Venue: Harrison 170

Date and time: Wednesday 13 March 2019, 13.30 - 14.15

Speaker: Dr Tim Dodwell, University of Exeter

Abstract: I will talk about my recent working developing high performance scalable solvers for challenging models arising in composite materials and subsurface flow applications. The resulting equations of such models, cause significant numerical challenges, because the presence of multiple scales of uncertain and high contrast anisotropic material properties. The software I have development is an initiative to overcome the limitations of commercially available solvers by encapsulating the mathematical complexities of the underlying solvers within an efficient C++ framework, making the techniques more accessible to the broader scientific and industrial communities. The key innovation is the design and implementation of a robust, scalable parallel iterative solver. I will demonstrate the scalability of our solver over 15,000 cores on the national supercomputer Archer, by solving an industry problem in aerospace composities (for GKN Aerospace) with over 200 million degrees of freedom in minutes.

I will spend a good part of the talk, talking about current and future avenues of research in this area through collaborations with Rob Scheichl (Heidelberg), Mark Girolami (Cambridge/Turing) and Youseff Marzouk (MIT). This will include the interesting connections between the robust parallel iterative solvers developed and novel multiscale methods; and the exploitation of these solvers/methods for challenging Bayesian Inverse problems using a Multilevel Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods I have developed with Scheichl.

Bio: Dr Tim Dodwell is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering Mathematics at Exeter, a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute, visiting Professor at Heidelberg in Data-centric engineering and the Education led in mechanical engineering in the department. After obtaining a PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Bath in 2012, he worked for a year and a half at the National Composite Centre (NCC) in Bristol. There, he led GKN’s simulation team on the £12.2M national programme STeM. He was subsequently awarded the prize university fellowship at University of Bath and in 2015 moved to Exeter as a Senior Lecturer. At Exeter, he have built an industrial applied mathematics group of eight interdisciplinary researchers supported by EPSRC, Innovate UK and direct industrial awards with a combined value exceeding £3.6M. Tim's core research focuses on multiscale modelling of complex materials, high-performance numerical solvers and Bayesian inverse problems; and holds positions on the editorial board of Proc. Roy Soc. Lond A, Computer Physics Communications and journal of Data Centric Engineering, specialising in these areas. Tim's research has always been industry facing and includes active consultancy contracts with two of the world’s largest multinational aerospace companies, GKN Aerospace and Boeing. Outside of academia, Tim is a busy Dad of two, and know to his family as a mathematician with a surfing and running problem!

Venue: Harrison 170 (TBC)

Date and time: Wednesday 3 April 2019, 13.30 - 14.15

Speaker: Prof. Slobodan Djordjevic, University of Exeter

Topic: TBC

Venue: Harrison 170 (TBC)

Date and time: Wednesday 1 May 2019, 13.30 - 14.15

Speaker: Prof. David Butler, University of Exeter

Topic: Water Systems Engineering

Venue: Harrison 170 (TBC)

Date and time: Wednesday 5 June 2019, 13.30 - 14.15

Speaker: Prof. David Zhang, University of Exeter

Topic: TBC

Venue: Harrison 170 (TBC)

Available speaker slots

If you are interested in presenting during one of the free slots, or would like to invite an external speaker, please contact event organiser Miying Yang.


Although this event is run by the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, any University of Exeter academics, researchers and professional services staff with an interest are welcome to attend.


Please register your attendance using the 'Select a date'  and 'Register' link on this page.

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