Previous projects

This summarises some of the work I have carried out. While not complete it covers most of the interesting points. 

Carried out as a consultant


This was a large pan-European (FP7) program  focused on the enabling technologies  associated around automated  tape layup (ATL) of high performance thermoplastic composites; typically carbon / PEEK and carbon / PA12 tapes consolidated using lasers.  Technology areas included: ATL modeling, material development, absorption characteristics, joining, quality control, post-moulding and future projections.

My work areas were, development of joining technologies, and post moulding of ALT parts.

Joining Technologies

Two joining technologies were developed: spin welding and microwave welding. Both proved successful at the feasibility level and showed promise for different component arrangements; particularly in the case of microwave welding of complex structures.

Post Moulding Operations

This involved design the concept and subsequent tooling allowing a flange to be moulded onto a ATL drive shaft. The initial ATL part did not have a sufficiently flat flange so it was necessary to design the heating route for the thermoplastic and subsequent pressing. The tooling proved successful.



IPT Fraunhofer , ILT Fraunhofer , RCMT, Tencate, Trumph, CTG, MX-Composys, Nikon Metrology, Suprem, Soficar, AFPT, BF1 systems, Missler Software, TYC, Fibredur, University of Twente, Precitec.



This was a small European funded  program focused on improving the process speed on high performance thermoplastic matrix composites. It came about from a brainstorming session led by myself. The premise was to utilize a high power industrial microwave oven with tooling material with controlled microwave absorption characteristics. This used freeze cast alumina (FCA) tooling, which is electron transparent, with doped surface layers containing ferrite powder  which are highly microwave absorbing. The program also developed the concept of sacrificial FCA insert with were removed after processing.

The program required the design and development of the tooling for the FCA, finding the optimum FCA composition and drying cycle, then understating the melting and consolidation cycle for the carbon reinforced PEEK.    

The highly successful program should the part quality and feasibility of the process, with the production of several demonstrator parts which were shown at JEC Paris  by one of the partner organizations, Loiretech.

 Partners: TWI (UK), JCI, Loiretech (France), Neosid (Germany), Sampas Nano (Turkey), Microcab (UK).


My input to this programme was small. It involved the writing of a document which reviewed the different EU strategic vision documents:

  • European Steel Technology Platform – SRA: ESTEP, A vision for the future of the steel industry. April 2005.
  • European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources.       ETP – SMR, SRA rev 3.  March 2009.
  • The ETP for Advanced Engineering Materials and Technologies. EuMaTSRA. 2nd addition 2012.
  • Sustainable Chemistry.  SRA. SusChem. SRA. 2005.
  • ETP for the future of textiles and clothing. EURATEX. June 2006.
  • MANUFUTURE. Assuring the future if manufacturing. High-level group report. Sept 2006.

The objectives of this document were to assess and summaries the goals of the different European SRAs, review were overlaps occur and if the visions were in accord.


Materials KTN:  Conference: Structural Advances in Structural Thermoplastic Composites

In this  2 day conference at TWI Cambridge,  I was part of the organizing committee, gave a presentation, took notes and delivered the final document reviewing the contents and future visions of the attendees. The document is available on the Materials KTN website.



Materials KTN: Document: Materials for Automotive Composites

This review document for the Materials KTN involved assessing the current state of the art for automotive composites, interviewing different people in senior roles with the automotive and composite industry and suggesting future directions for the potential of composites within the automotive industry. The document was published on the Materials KTN website.



This was a small consultancy / design / process feasibility project examining the possibility of using composite materials in JCB equipment. It involved CAD design of a digger arm and study of it’s subsequent performance and cost implications.

Carried out as a senior research fellow at WMG

Low carbon vehicle technology programme (LCVTP) – Work stream 7

This programme, funded by the ERDF, developed the stamp forming of thermoplastic composite materials, including the stacking of the blanks, mechanical testing, joining and modeling. Two demonstrators were produced to show the capability of the techniques; a top-hat section of a seat back.  Both were structural components, the top-hat showing the load and energy absorption capabilities and the seat back added ability to produce a large sized part.

Both used a novel tooling concept which spring loaded either the edge of the hot blank when placed in the tool (top-hat) or formed the central section (seat back), which maintained tension on the fibres as moulding, significantly improving part quality.

Both demonstrators proved successful in saving weight and showed very significant energy absorbing properties.  


Partners: WMG, JLR/TATA

Premium automotive research programme (PARD) – vehicle interior air quality (VIAQ)

The VIAQ programmes examined the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the plastics used inside automotive vehicles using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) from samples in large 1m³ chamber, as well as small microchambers. In partnership with JLR most of the vehicles range was tested and JLR standard test procedures were developed.  The program also worked with the supply chain to assist the development of interior parts with significantly reduced VOC emissions.

In an addition to this programme I worked with Warwick Medical School to use these techniques, specifically GCMS in conjunction with the microchamber  to examine gastric illnesses in humans. This studied human, breath, blood and urine to develop a VOC signature of specific illnesses such a Crohn’s  disease. A paper from this work was accepted for publication in America.



This program developed two distinctive demonstrators in thermoplastic matrix composites. One, in Twintex (glass / polypropylene)  as a wheel arch cover for JCB, and the other a generic stamped part in carbon PPS or PEEK sheet for both Airbus and GKN.

The Airbus demonstrator was a complex part with had several features including semi-circular ribs and edge flanges. Tailored blanks were used and the high temperature of the blanks required the use of thin sheet aluminium as a carrier.

The JCB demonstrator in Twintex passed the long term required durability tests.


Partners: GKN, Airbus, JCB, TWI, Tencate, Victrex, WMG.

Composites for cryogenic applications

This fascinating program utilised the cryogenic properties of carbon reinforced epoxy to create structural members spanning the large temperature range present in a superconducting generator. 

This was a TSB funded programme between Converteam and WMG examining the properties of carbon fibre