Current Research

Innovations within green transport and designing engineering materials and systems at the University of Derby

Green transport

Bio-based product development, minimizing environmental impact

The University of Derby Composite Materials teams work has been recognized with the award of a research grant from Bio-Based Industries.

Developments for transportation that are renewable, biodegradable and recyclable are vital in minimizing environmental impact.
In a strategic partnership with 14 organisations across the UK and Europe, the University of Derby will work to achieve these developments.

The SSUCHY project aims to contribute to the development of bio-based composite products with advanced functionalities and high structural properties for transportation sectors and in high value market niches.

It aims at exploiting the intrinsic and differentiating properties of plant fibres and bio-based polymers to develop and enhance the functionalities of bio-based composites and thus to diversify their applicative sectors. It will offer opportunities to expand market applications for bio-based composites to semi-structural applications in transportation area (automotive and aerospace) and create new opportunities in high value market niches such as acoustic & electronic sectors. Enhanced functionalities are, in addition to load-bearing resistance and weight reduction of structures, enhanced durability, vibration damping, vibro-acoustic control and fire retardancy. Such developments would provide high socio-economic impacts and minimized environmental impact.

Demanding loads

Designing engineering materials and systems that need to withstand demanding dynamic loads

The University of Derby, as part of a UK wide team, has won an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant worth £1.7million.

The aim is to produce a real-world reduced complexity model for designing engineering materials and systems that need to withstand demanding dynamic loads.

The achievements are expected to significantly facilitate the fulfilment of the EPSRC vision for Manufacturing the Future, resolving serious challenges related to digital manufacturing and more effectively addressing; high-value and specialist design and manufacturing of aerospace systems, advanced materials, and next generation railway system components. These can potentially produce significant benefits to future design and manufacturing activities centred around core UK plc industries.

The effectiveness and significance of the method developed will be demonstrated in three case studies supported by the end users and stakeholders in the UK, including Rolls-Royce plc, Wilson Benesch (sound/acoustics), Thomas Swann Ltd (nanomaterials), MS Research (charity), TISICS (metal matrix composite design and manufacturing), Carter Manufacturing (bearings for railway applications), and MSC Software (digital manufacturing software).

The project involves a close multidisciplinary collaboration with the University of Sheffield, Bristol and Imperial College across a range of disciplines; system and control, mechanical and structure engineering, and materials science.