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Image of the new robotic rotomoulding machine

New Robotic Rotational Moulding Machine Arrives at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queens

The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has recently installed a new state of the art, robot based rotational moulding machine. Named ‘Robomould’ the installation is the result of a collaboration between QUB, French multi-national ‘Total’ (and its research centre based in Feluy, Belgium) and Automation & Manufacturing Services (AMS) also based in Belgium.

Queens Academics along with colleagues based in the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC), will work on the development and optimisation of this unique, rotomoulding technology. Using state of the art computer simulation models and sophisticated process monitoring techniques, this automated polymer processing technology will be tested and improved over the next 18 months. 

The PPRC is recognised as a centre of excellence for the global rotational moulding industry where they have contributed to a number of world leading technical developments in the area. Researchers in QUB developed the first commercial process control system (Rotolog) and simulation software (RotoSim) for the Rotomoulding Industry and there has also been recent commercialisation of a new energy-saving system, the Rotocooler. The fundamental understanding of the rotomoulding process that was developed at QUB also enabled the moulding of new materials for new application areas, notably motorcycle fuel tanks which are now in use by BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson and Honda.

For more information contact Mark Kearns at:

Details on current and past research projects at the Polymer Processing Research Centre can be found at:

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Engineering Parents' Evening – 5th November 2015

Are you, your son or your daughter, in Year 12 to14 and considering a career in either Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering or Product Design? Then please come along to the annual Engineering Parent’s Evening in the Whitla Hall at Queen’s University Belfast on Thursday 5th November 2015 from 7.00 to 9.30pm to meet the staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students from the School of Mechanical & Aerospace of Engineering!

We will be there to answer any questions that you might have regarding our School or the broader University experience at Queens. You will also be able to see what we do and find out about the degree programmes that we offer.  Information related to career opportunities will also be available including where a degree in either Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering or Product Design can take you and what local, national and international companies we work with.  So please take this opportunity to come and see firsthand how the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queens can open-up an exciting and rewarding career for you, your son or your daughter.


To attend, please register online at:

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2015 graduates meet Queen’s Honorary Graduate, Prof Dame Ann Dowling, First Female President of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Six of the School’s 2015 graduates who were recipients of the Royal Academy of Engineering  Advanced Leadership awards received a special congratulations by Professor Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Professor Mark Price, Head of School.  Professor Dowling had earlier been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate  from Queen’s University at the School’s Summer Graduation Ceremony on 6 July 2015.   

Currently serving as President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Dame Ann Dowling embarked on a distinguished career by becoming the first female Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where she also studied. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and is a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering and of the French Academy of Sciences.  She has held visiting posts at MIT and Caltech in the USA and continues to research and teach at Cambridge.

She is best known, however, as an international authority on aircraft acoustics, combustion and vibration, and leads research into how to cut down on noise levels at airports, especially for people living in the immediate vicinity.

Speaking of her honorary DSc Eng, Dame Ann said: “To receive this recognition from such a prestigious university, and a university with such a fine heritage, that’s known for its engineering pedigree going back 160 years, is a considerable honour. I very much look forward to sharing this special occasion with students who will be graduating on the same day.”

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The School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering celebrates the renewal of its Athena SWAN Silver Award

The school celebrates its success in a staff/student breakfast event held in Ahsby canteen. Professor
Tom Millar, Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences attended the event to mark the significance
of the award and also to indicate the university wide support for promoting women in STEM.

Commenting on the Award, the Head of School, Professor Mark Price said "we are fully committed to combating underrepresentation of women in the field of engineering and are delighted to have had our Award renewed by the Equality Challenge Unit. The Award recognises our ongoing efforts to increase the talent pool by encouraging more young women to study engineering and supporting our female research and academic colleagues through their career progression. Engineering is a fantastic career that is interesting and deeply rewarding, and we want this to be an open pathway through life for all who want to follow their dreams. Our door is open and we extend a warm welcome for everyone to come and join us."

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A testing fun day for our students on own designed and manufactured folding bikes!

Third year MEng Mechanical Engineering students tested their innovative designs for folding bicycles on Saturday 2 May.  Nine groups were put through a series of dynamic tests to evaluate manoeuvrability, acceleration and usability; as well as being measured for weight and folded size.  It was an enjoyable day for students and staff alike as theory was put into practice in an environment of competition among peers.

Paul Hermon, Programme Director of the Product Design Engineering degree and coordinator of the design challenge, talks about the rationale for the project:  “The group design-build-test project offers the students a different experience and challenge compared to a more traditional lecture based education. Increasingly the School is creating better engagement and a richer student experience as we constantly develop and innovate how we deliver engineering education through our involvement in the international CDIO Initiative. The folding bike challenge is a good example of how additional personal and professional skills such as team working and communication can be developed at the same time as technical knowledge and theory are applied in the design and manufacture of a functional prototype device.”

The nine QUB teams were joined on the competition day by a team from the University of Strathclyde, who were working to the same design brief. Next year it is planned to open the competition further and have several more universities from the UK and Ireland competing to be even smaller, lighter and faster.

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"In-flight refuelling for airliners will see non-stop services shrink the globe."

 Author: Juliana Early, Lecturer in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's University Belfast

The Conversation

10 April 2015, 3.43pm BST




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