Skip to main content

News Archive


School marks International Women's Day 2014

The SWAN Committee within the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's, marked International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2014 with a poster exhibition held in the foyer of the Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast.  Traditionally International Women’s Day is set aside to observe a general celebration of respect and appreciation towards women.  It also acknowledges their economic, political and social achievements.  The goal of our exhibition is to increase awareness and appreciation of the many women who are part of our daily lives.  Whereas it is recognised that there are many high profile individuals who could and should be recognised for their accomplishments, this exhibition focuses on less well known women whose stories in relation to their professional and personal lives are no less inspirational. To that end we are inviting you to participate in our endeavour by coming along to the Ashby Foyer to view the exhibition which will run from Friday 7th March through to Friday 14th of March 9am – 5pm.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to those of you who have contributed to this initiative by providing your profile and to congratulate you on what you have achieved!!

 

Details relating to the relevance of the SWAN Charter within our School can be found at: 

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofMechanicalandAerospaceEngineering/AthenaSWANinMechanicalandAerospaceEngineering/

 

For further information on the SWAN Charter see: http://www.athenaswan.org.uk/  and for more information on International Women’s Day see: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

 

Top of Page

UCAS Open Day Great Success!

Hundreds of prospective students (along with friends and family) attended our UCAS open day event on Saturday, 1st March to find out more about our School and degree courses. The event included presentations on our degree courses, conducted tours of our facilities and the QUB campus, and plenty of opportunities to interact with our staff, current students and employers.

Links to the presentations can be found below:

 

Top of Page


New MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering

From September 2013 the School will be offering an MSc/Diploma in Advanced Aerospace Engineering.  Intended for both graduates and practicing engineers, the program aims to support the current government push to up-skill the existing UK aerospace workforce and reinforce the supply of skilled people  in key areas of aerospace technology for the future. The program will also provide opportunities for graduates from other relevant backgrounds who are interested in transferring to aerospace in order to apply their maths and physics based skills in a new sector. 

Click here for more details on the MSc program including entry requirements and contact details.

Funding to support the payment of fees for eligible applicants is available through the Royal Academy of Engineering, see: http://www.raeng.org.uk/education/aeromsc.htm

Applications can be made through the Queen’s University website by clicking here.

Top of Page


MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering - Update

The UK government has published its Industrial Strategy for Aerospace, implementing a shared government and industry vision for the sector.

This strategy was developed jointly with business through the Aerospace Growth Partnership, which was established in 2010 and it builds on the Strategic Vision for UK Aerospace published at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2012.  This includes the provision of financial support for places on graduate programs like the MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering which is currently offered by the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's.  Based on renewed government support for the sector and the School’s excellent reputation for the employability of its Masters level graduates, this course has already generated significant interest among graduates both nationally and internationally.

The government seeks to ensure the UK has the capabilities to be at the leading edge of the design, development and production of wings, engines, aerostructures and advanced systems.  This aligns exactly with the aims of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's.  If you are interested in supplementing your undergraduate degree qualification or want to up-skill with a view to promotion within industry, have a look at our MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering today which gives more details on the MSc program including entry requirements and contact details.

Funding to support the payment of fees for eligible applicants is available through the Royal Academy of Engineering, see: http://www.raeng.org.uk/education/aeromsc.htm

Applications can be made online through the Queen’s University website by clicking here.

Top of Page


MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering: Aerospace Bursary Scheme Now Open for 2014 Entry

The Royal Academy of Engineering has announced that applications are now open for the 2014-2015 Aerospace MSc Bursary Scheme.  For successful candidates, the bursary provides funds for the payment of Postgraduate/Masters level tuition fees up to £9,500.  The scheme seeks to boost the supply of skilled aerospace professionals, helping the UK to maintain and consolidate its leading position in Aerospace globally.

 

Details of the scheme and how to apply can be found at http://www.raeng.org.uk/education/aeromsc, together with the full list of eligible MSc programs and eligibility criteria for applicants.  The eligible programs include the MSc in Advanced Aerospace Engineering which was successfully launched by the school of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's in 2013.  Fully accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society, this program is intended for both graduates and practicing engineers.  Offered on both a full and part time basis, it aims to fully support the current government push to up-skill the existing UK aerospace workforce and reinforce the supply of skilled people in key areas of aerospace technology for the future.

 

The MSc program at Queen's supported by the bursary scheme, also provides exciting opportunities for graduates from other relevant STEM subjects (e.g. Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics and Physics) who are interested in transferring disciplines in order to apply their maths and physics based skills in aerospace.  This is a sector which has grown steadily even through the recent economic downturn, continuing to offer excellent employment prospects for graduates with the right skill sets and Masters level qualifications.

 

Applications can be made through the Queen’s University website at:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/StudyatQueens/CourseFinder/PCF1314/PTCF1314/?p_id=4063&sn=1314&subjects=3340#degreeinfo

Top of Page

UCAS APPLICANTS' OPEN DAY - Saturday 1 March 2014

This event is for all UCAS applicants interested in studying for a degree in our School. It will provide an opportunity to find out more about our School and degree courses. Applicants' family members are also welcome. The event will start in the Whitla Hall and consist of short presentations on our degree courses and conducted tours of the campus, including our School's facilities in the Ashby Building. Event programme details will follow soon.

To register online, please click HERE

Top of Page


CERN Director at Prize Giving

Dr Steve Myers, Director of accelerators from CERN presenting Mr Thomas Leonard, PhD student in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with his certificate for first place in the Sir Bernard Crossland Presentation Competition which took place in December 2013.  Thomas also won first place in the Sir Bernard Crossland Poster Competition.  He received cash prizes of £300 and £150 for the presentation and poster competitions respectively and will represent the school at the annual Sir Bernard Crossland Symposium, an all-Ireland event between engineering schools in Ireland, which this year is being held at the NUI Galway on 29-30 April 2014.

Top of Page

Royal Academy of Engineering Aerospace MSc Bursary Scheme – Now Open

Bursaries for fully funded MSc study in Aerospace Engineering are available to UK home students who are interested in developing their career within the Aerospace sector.  Applications are invited from  both those currently studying/employed within the Sector, or those who would be interested in a change of career.  The programme has been developed in partnership between the UK leading Aerospace employers and Government to ensure that the UK maintains its competitive edge, investing in the next generation of engineering leaders.  Bursaries will be awarded to candidates who can demonstrate their commitment to working in the UK aerospace sector and who have been offered a place on an approved MSc in Aerospace Engineering.

To find out more about the scheme, criteria for eligibility and the application process, please visit www.raeng.org.uk/aeromsc   There is no closing date, but the scheme is highly competitive and early application is advised.

Top of Page


From left: Gary Menary and Yannis Salomeia from Blow Moulding Technologies – with judging panel member Helen Kirkpatrick from Invest NI

Spin-out company wins £16,000 in business awards

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering spin-out company wins £16,000 prize after becoming regional winner of a competition run by cross-border agency InterTradeIreland.

Blow Moulding Technologies won the New Start category in the Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition 2013.

They will go on to compete in the all-Ireland finals where a total prize of €50,000 (£41,770) is up for grabs for the best 'New Start' company.

Blow Moulding Technologies (BMT), a spin-out firm from Queen's University, impressed the judges with its entry in the 'New Start' category. The company manufactures and sells test equipment for the plastic bottle manufacturing industry. BMT is a 100% export business and have sold products to US and Europe.

Dr Yannis Salomeia, CEO, said: "If we were to win in our category at the overall final, the prize money would be very useful in helping us to strengthen the commercial side of our team. We would also use it to improve our sales process."

Full Story:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/companies-blow-rivals-away-to-scoop-16000-in-business-awards-29745483.html

Top of Page

Engineering Parents' Evening – 4th November 2013

An Engineering Parents’ Evenings for pupils in years 12-14 at school who are considering an engineering degree will be held in the Whitla Hall at Queen’s University Belfast, on Monday 4th November 2013 from 7.00-9.30 pm.

At the event pupils and parents/guardians will have an opportunity to talk to staff and students about engineering degrees at Queen’s.

If you would like to attend please register online at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/EngineeringParentsEvening/Register/

Alternatively, you can download a reply-register slip here.

Early registration is recommended as this is a popular event for prospective students and their parents. 

Closing Date for Registration: Thursday 31st October 2013.

Top of Page


Caterpillar NI Engineering Summer Programme (19-23 August 2013)

Thirty-four Year 14 pupils from local schools and colleges participated in a week-long summer programme at Queen’s University, designed to offer an insight into studying Engineering at university.  The programme, organised by Queen’s Widening Participation Unit and Caterpillar NI, included workshops and presentations on both Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, a Training Day at Caterpillar NI SWE (Simulated Work Environment) and a range of talks on Studying Engineering at QUB, Making UCAS applications and Career Opportunities in Engineering.

This year’s Mechanical Engineering challenge was the competitive Paper Towers Challenge, with the group divided into teams battling to construct a tower, made from paper and adhesive tape, to support a mass of 1kg at a height of 1m above its base.  The aim of the exercise was to introduce aspiring engineers to the problems and challenges in structural design through experimentation.  A time of 1 hour was allocated to design and construct their towers.   Each team was required to demonstrate the ability to satisfy these criteria, with all towers loaded and weighed in the presence of all participants, immediately following the construction period.

Congratulations to the winning teams.  

Top of Page


Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF) Dobbin Scholarship Awarded to Roisin McConnell

Roisin McConnell who is in the first year of her PhD in the school, has been selected by the Board of the ICUF to receive The Sir George Quigley Memorial Bursary generously sponsored by Bombardier Aerospace.  This bursary valued at €4,200, is one of several ICUF Scholarships which fund visits of up to four weeks to benefit the recipient’s research, establish new or build on existing academic links between Canada and Ireland and provide the opportunity for the development of ongoing links in their research area.  The awards are designed principally for scholars and academics who are either beginning or are currently engaged at graduate level research in a discipline which is, or has potential to be, related to both Ireland and Canada.

Roisin’s PhD is entitled ‘Immersive VR Environments for Spatial Design in Aerospace Product Development’. She will use the bursary to travel to Bombardier Aerospace in Canada to develop her PhD and validate her research which has a desktop, immersive virtual reality system at its core.  Her project is an important strand of the ongoing research in the Aerospace and Manufacturing cluster where her work will build capability and understanding around the question of how multi-national collaborative design and manufacturing programmes can reduce costs and improve quality levels. This linkage between design and manufacture remains a major challenge within industry where virtual environments and tools remain underutilised in day to day engineering development tasks.

The bursary presents an excellent opportunity for Roisin to present her work to an international audience - she is looking forward to her trip!!  Her Phd is jointly supervised by Dr Joe Butterfield and Prof Mark Price (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) and Dr Karen Rafferty (School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science).  For more information contact: j.butterfield@qub.ac.uk.

Top of Page


Green Impact Award for PPRC

Building on last year's success in gaining a Bronze award, PPRC earned a Silver Award in the national environmental accreditation and award scheme run by the National Union of Students.

Working across UK students’ unions, universities and colleges and community organisations, Green Impact supports departments to make simple, tangible and powerful changes in behaviour and policy. From recycling, to investing in more efficient equipment, to encouraging biodiversity, or Fairtrade, the various criteria cover a broad range of issues under the sustainability umbrella.

Photograph shows some of the 48 QUB award winners including William Courtney (middle row, 5th from left) who received the award on behalf of PPRC.

For further details of the scheme visit http://www.green-impact.org.uk/

Top of Page


Aero Graduate Wins Place on ISU’s Prestigious Summer Space Program

Follow the blog of Sinead O'Sullivan at http://sc-osullivan.com/blog/

We are sponsoring her in her adventures in the International Space University (ISU) this summer before she embarks on a PhD at Georgia Tech.

The International Space University (ISU) is headquartered in Strasbourg, France (pictured right). This is where Sinead will be living during June, July and August.

She will be attending the ISU's prestigious Summer Space Program, where she will be attending interdisciplinary lectures and working on a joint research project. She will be living with over 100 international professional space lovers, all focused on research in space related science.

She has received full funding for the trip and project from the UK Space Agency, European Space Agency and her alma mater Queen's University Belfast.

"The support I have received from all of the agencies/institutions involved has been incredible. Not to mention the support of friends and family! I am hoping to keep up to date with all of my activities over the next few months through this blog - so keep reading."

Top of Page


Double Success for Stage 3 Aerospace Engineering Students at the British Model Flying Association Electric Lift Challenge!

The annual British Model Flying Association Electric Lift Challenge was held over the weekend of 8th and 9th June at the Air Museum and Air Field at Elvington in Yorkshire. The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering entered an aircraft this year for the first time and the travelling team of James Mateer and Emma Boyd won the competition! In the absence of our own pilot, Shahid Banglawala piloted the plane and provided excellent feedback on its performance. In addition to their success in the technical element of the event James and Emma were also awarded the JETEX trophy which is given to the team that best exemplifies the spirit of the competition.

This was an excellent result for the students responsible for the winning entry which was developed as part of their Preliminary Design and Aircraft Design modules in Stage 3 of the Aerospace Engineering program. The aircraft entered for the competition was designed and built by Emma Boyd, Adrien Emery, Ashleigh Baxter, James Mateer and Dyllan Latewood. Their work was based on a design-build-fly project which involved teams working to develop, manufacture and operate a fully functional radio controlled aircraft based on technical specifications and bills of material specified by the students themselves. The objective this year was aligned with the requirements of the BMFA electric lift competition which was to produce an aircraft that would safely transport as much water as possible around a predefined flight course and deliver it to the prescribed location within the allocated ten minute time slot. Having designed a suitable airframe for this challenging task, teams were required to submit drawings for their aircraft and conduct a presentation to a panel of judges that addressed the salient points of the design as well as outlining the thought processes and considerations involved. For the flying element of the competition, teamwork, planning and a well-structured approach combined with a well designed and practical airframe were the key elements to success. James and Emma were a credit to the school at the event delivering an excellent presentation to the judging panel, performing well during the flight tests and recovering well when the plane was damaged just before they were about to complete their winning flight! None of this would have been possible without the contribution of the other team members who were unable to travel to the competition.

This success would not have been possible without the support of a number of people and organisations. Firstly we would like to thank the BAE and BMFA teams for organising the competition and for a great day at Elvington. Back at base we need to acknowledge the contribution of Maurice Doyle and Bill Scott from the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) who have acted as local advisors within the Design module over the last three years, attending project presentations at key stages and offering advice to students as their aircraft evolved. Thanks also to Langford Model Aviation club who provided pilots and facilities at Nutts Corner for test flights and last but not least, thanks to Karen Agnew and Alex Orr who provided support within the school in procurement and design which helped with a demanding schedule.

Further information and images on the BMFA competition day can be found at:  https://www.facebook.com/OfficialBMFA

Top of Page



Top volunteers honoured at Volunteering Excellency Awards

Queen’s University and Student’s Union honoured both students and staff at the Volunteering Excellency Awards on Monday 3 June in the Great Hall.  The event, sponsored by Reid Black Solicitors, was held to celebrate the positive contribution that Queen’s volunteers make both locally and internationally.  An impressive 13,000 Queen’s students actively volunteered through various activities this year alone and a mammoth £335,586 was raised by all nominees and winners during this time.

Course Representative of the Year Award was presented to Neale Watson, Stage 2 Aerospace Engineering student of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering for the impact he has made to his degree course and to the improvement of the educational experience of Queen’s students.

The winners were chosen based on volunteer accomplishments, impact on an individual group or community and leadership.  The selection panel commented on the high standard of the nominees and the level of commitment shown to the University and the community.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Tony Gallagher praised all of the nominees for the Awards for their commitment and outstanding contribution:  "The Students' Union Volunteering Excellency Awards has showcased the great work that both students and staff of Queen's have contributed to both the local community and further afield.  Congratulations to all winners and nominees.  This event is just a small token of appreciation of their commitment, selflessness and passion."

Aidan Hughes, VP Community of Queen’s Student’s Union and host said, “I am very proud of our student and staff volunteers who give up their time so freely.  Volunteers are the backbone of many communities, locally and internationally.  They have shown great acts of kindness and are role models to both our student body and the youth of the future.  The work they do is invaluable and I would like to thank each and every one of them.”

Top of Page


Students Developing Theft-Proof Boilers

Mr Cathal Rafferty from FIREBIRD presents a new oil fired heating boiler and burner to support Stage 3 students in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. As part of their third-year group project, the group (which includes 3 Mechanical Engineering and 2 Product Design and Development students) has been working in collaboration with Mr David Robinson, District Maintenance Manager Fermanagh, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, to investigate methods of eliminating the theft of burner units from oil fired boilers.  The theft of oil burners is becoming more common and the students have developed two products which have the potential to help stop the thefts.

Top of Page

School Ranked Among the World’s Best

Queen’s University Belfast has been ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world, according to a new report by the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Out of 30 subjects evaluated, Queen’s now has 5 subjects in the top 100 and 13 subjects in the top 200. Our School is currently ranked 169th in this list which is a significant jump.

The rankings series is the only international evaluation that allows prospective students to compare universities in their particular area of interest. The by-subject categories are designed to provide comparative information at discipline level and to highlight the excellence of institutions in specialist areas. Six indicators are used to calculate the rankings – academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-student ratio, proportion of international students and proportion of international faculty.

Top of Page

Lightweight Vehicles Conference

PPRC Rotational Moulders have been invited to speak at the forthcoming Lightweight Vehicles Conference in October on the Total Car Concept which has been developed in conjunction with QUB.   The car is a groundbreaking demonstration vehicle with a body made from two rotational moulded plastic parts and weighing just 85kg.  Full details of the Conference, including details of the Total Car Concept and QUB's session, are available here.

Top of Page


Royal Academy of Engineering Advanced Engineering Leadership Awards

Three Students from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering win prestigious Engineering Leadership Advanced Awards from The Royal Academy of Engineering.

Product Design and Development undergraduate Rachael Lockhart, along with Mechanical Engineering undergraduates Stuart Nevin and Adam Patton have been named as three of the 2013 recipients of an Engineering Leadership Advanced Award from The Royal Academy of Engineering. These awards are highly prestigious and no more than 40 awards are made annually across all engineering disciplines in all UK universities.

The objective of these Awards is to allow ambitious, inspiring engineering undergraduates, those who want to become leadership role models for the next generation of engineers, to undertake an accelerated personal development programme. They will get the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to fulfill their potential, moving into an engineering leadership position soon after graduation.

The Academy in its selection process is identifying high calibre individuals with the desire and abilities to be the leaders in top engineering and manufacturing businesses of the future.

The Award comprises £5000 to help the recipients act on their individual Personal Development Plans over the coming 3 years, the assistance of The Royal Academy of Engineering in developing their plans and the allocation of a Sainsbury Management Fellow as mentor who will offer advice on personal development and career options.

Dr Trevor Robinson is the Coordinator of Engineering Leadership Advanced Awards within the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Top of Page


Queen’s appoints CERN Director as Honorary Professor

Queen’s University has appointed the Director of Accelerators and Technology at CERN, Dr Steve Myers, as an Honorary Professor in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Professor Myers, who is also a Queen’s graduate, will visit the University twice a year giving presentations to undergraduates and masters classes and will advise on research opportunities and will contribute to the University’s strategic research plans.

Professor Myers, as Director of Accelerators and Technology at CERN, currently has one of the most prominent engineering positions in the world with complete charge of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

He has been at the forefront of engineering that has enabled many of the advances in physics over the last 20 years.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the American Physical Society and the European Physical Society, and the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from the University of Geneva and Queen’s University.  In 2012 he received the EPS Edison Volta Prize for outstanding achievements in physics.

Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Sir Peter Gregson, said: “An outstanding leader in the most challenging engineering endeavours, Professor Myers is a renowned international figure in engineering and physics.  He is unquestionably one of the leading engineers in the world helping physicists probe the nature of reality.  We are honoured to appoint him as an Honorary Professor at Queen’s and are confident that his successes and expertise will inspire and inform students and staff in engineering and the sciences across the University.”

Speaking about his appointment, Professor Steve Myers said: “I am delighted to return to my alma mater, Queen’s University, as an Honorary Professor.  Queen’s, as one of the UK’s leading research universities, gave me as a student the platform and opportunity to go on and make a contribution to global science.  I hope that through my experience and expertise I can inspire and inform the next generation of engineers and scientists.”

Professor Myers’ appointment comes ahead of his lecture at Queen’s this week as part of the Large Hadron Collider exhibition taking place at the University.  Professor Myers will discuss his role in the world’s largest science experiment at his lecture on Thursday.

Top of Page

UK Aerospace Researchers and Companies Seek Partnership Opportunities

The British Deputy High Commission Bangalore organised a visit of five well known UK aerospace researchers and four companies to Bangalore on 22-24 April.  The delegation was to explore partnerships with Indian research institutes and companies, and to showcase the UK’s aerospace cutting edge research.

Prof Brian Falzon and Dr Adrian Murphy from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering were two of the researchers from Queen’s University, Cranfield University and the University of Manchester.

The UK Science and Innovation Network and UK Trade and Investment organised their visit to India. On 22 April the delegates took part in a UK–India workshop on Advanced Airframe Technologies co-hosted with the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). Discussion areas included advanced materials and design and vehicle health monitoring.  Read more ...

 

 

Top of Page


Sentinus Engineering Solutions

Sentinus Engineering Solutions is a programme of twenty engineering students and 10 graduate engineers working with young people in a school environment across Northern Ireland. Its goal is to promote innovative thinking on engineering issues by developing project based activities designed to stimulate debate and has great potential to inspire young people.

Ciara Tighe and Rebecca Lutton are two Postgraduate Engineers in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who volunteered to become Sentinus Ambassadors, linking with Victoria College Girls’ School. Initially they introduced Key Stage 3 pupils to some of the challenges which face engineers today and in the future. They continued to discuss these challenges and encouraged the pupils to think creatively about how these might be overcome. After this introductory visit, Ciara and Rebecca developed a framework to allow pupils to continue to debate, investigate and carry out a project focusing on their chosen engineering theme.

Over the following 8 weeks they visited the school on a weekly basis, working with pupils to develop their project work. This culminated in the preparation of a project display and verbal presentation highlighting their project and selection of the school winner. The work by Ciara and Rebecca was supported by a visit from Tom Edgar, Head of the QUB Research and Enterprise Consultancy Team, who challenged the pupils’ ideas and encouraged further debate and discussion.

The programme will conclude with a Celebration Day on Thursday 6th June 2013 when all the schools’ winners will mount displays of their work in the Whitla Hall. There, they will have the opportunity to present their work to a wider audience comprising teachers, parents and members of the public.

The winners of the Victoria College groups were MeShower. Their project involved the design of an intelligent shower cubicle providing the user with interactive ability. The integrated digital display, which encapsulates the user not only acts as a shower door but also allows the user to personalise the showering experience. The user can change the scenery from the tropical Amazon to cliff tops of the Himalayas. The wireless connectivity further permits an enhanced showering experience by enabling the user the freedom to catch up on missed TV or stream videos, as well as check important e-mails.

Top of Page


Aero Student in Rugby Grand Slam Triumph!

Further congratulations to third-year Aerospace Engineering student Ashleigh Baxter, who was part of the Irish women’s rugby squad that won their first Grand Slam in Milan against Italy on St Patrick’s Day!

Next challenge – exams in May!

Top of Page

UCAS Open Day Great Success!

Hundreds of prospective students (along with friends and family) attended our UCAS open day event on Saturday 2nd March to find out more about our School and degree courses. The event included presentations on our degree courses, conducted tours of our facilities and the QUB campus, and plenty of opportunities to interact with our staff, current students and employers.

Links to the presentations can be found below:

Plenary Sessions

Aerospace Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Product Design & Development

Top of Page



Aero Student in Irish Triple Crown Success

Ashleigh Baxter, one of our third-year Aerospace Engineering students, has been part of the Triple Crown winning Irish women’s rugby team – the photo below shows her in action during the victory against Scotland last Saturday!

This is her second season in the Irish team and she no doubt benefits through participation in the Queen’s Rugby Academy, which allows students access to strength, conditioning and physio support, as well as specialised training workshops.

Ashleigh has previously praised the Queen’s Rugby Academy, stating, “The Rugby Academy has been great, and it shows that the University is serious about developing Women’s Rugby. Through the academy I receive free membership in the PEC and strength and conditioning support, which has enabled me to do some extra gym work under expert supervision. A combination of this support has definitely helped me achieve a higher level of performance”.

And it’s not over yet – is the Grand Slam possible?

Top of Page

UCAS APPLICANTS' OPEN DAY - Saturday 2 March 2013

This event is for all UCAS applicants that have indicated an interested in studying for a degree in our School. It will provide an opportunity to find out more about our School and degree courses. Applicant’s family members are also welcome. Event programme details can be found below, but key information is as follows:

Starting Location: Whitla Hall
Time:   1.00pm
Date: Saturday 2 March 2013

The event will include short presentations on our degree courses and conducted tours of the campus. Staff will be there to discuss the merits of our courses and facilities and answer any questions. Light refreshments will be served and proceedings will finish at 5 pm.

A map showing the starting location of the Whitla Hall at Queen’s, which is located beside the main Lanyon Building can be downloaded here. There will be car parking available around the Lanyon Building for this event and this may be accessed via the side entrance at University Square. Alternatively there may be spaces in the car park at the rear of the main campus which is accessed at the top of Botanic Avenue.

To attend this event please email mech.aero@qub.ac.uk or telephone 028 9097 4147, indicating your name and the number attending. The deadline to confirm attendance is 28 February 2013.

Programme

Presentations: Whitla Hall 
 1.00 pm

Welcome
Professor Mark Price, Head of School

 1.05 pm

Why Queen’s?
Grace Meehan, Student Recruitment Team

 1.15 pm School Overview
Dr Geoff Cunningham
 1.30 pm Admissions – Next Steps
Sandra Bloomer, Admissions and Access Service


Subject Presentations:

  Mechanical Engineering
(Whitla Hall)
Product Design & Development
(Great Hall)
Aerospace Engineering
(Canada Room)
1.50-2.05 pm Dr Peter Martin Mr Paul Hermon Dr Juliana Early
2.10-2.25 pm Dr Peter Martin Mr Paul Hermon Dr Juliana Early


Campus Tours:

Ashby Building – Engineering Teaching Facility:

2.00-5.00 pm                         The Ashby Building is located on the Stranmillis Road; approx 5 minutes walk from the Lanyon Building.  At this venue you will be able to view exhibits and information stands relating to the following areas:

Engineering Employers (1st floor)
Work Placements (1st floor)
Computer Laboratories (1st floor)
Aerospace Engineering (2nd floor)
Mechanical Engineering (2nd floor)
Product Design and Development (2nd floor)
Project Based Learning/CDIO (2nd floor)
International Study Opportunities (2nd floor)
Admissions and Access Service (2nd floor)
Support Services (2nd floor)

Ashby Building – Laboratory tours:

 2.00-5.00 pm

Polymer Processing Hall (Ground Floor)
Engineering Workshop (Ground Floor)
Engine Test Laboratory (Ground Floor)

Ashby Building – Refreshments:

 2.00-5.00 pm

Light refreshments, Ashby Foyer

Accommodation – Elms Student Village:

 2.30-5.00 pm

Shuttle buses will run from the front of the Ashby to Elms Village approximately every 30 minutes from 2.30 pm. Estimated departure times from the Ashby are: 2.30, 3.00, 3.30 and 4.00 pm.  The tour will last approximately 20 minutes, buses returning to the Ashby.

McClay Library:

2.30-5.00 pm

The McClay Library is located at the rear of the main site beside the entrance to Botanic Gardens. Independent access to browse the facility is available on request at the Reception.

Queen’s Sport – Physical Education Centre (PEC):

2.30-5.00 pm

The PEC is located at the lower end of Botanic Gardens; approximately 5 minutes walk. Meet at the PE Centre reception for a formal tour at: 3.45, 4.15 and 4.45 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering gratefully acknowledges the assistance and support of the employers attending this event: 

  • Schrader Electronics, Antrim
  • B/E Aerospace, Kilkeel
  • Michelin, Ballymena
  • Whale Pumps, Bangor
  • Terex, Dungannon
  • Jaguar Land Rover, Coventry

Top of Page


ExxonMobil Excellence in Teaching Awards 2012

Dr Trevor Robinson, a lecturer in our School, has been selected to receive an ExxonMobil Excellence in Teaching Award.

The award identifies and rewards Centres of Excellence in Engineering Teaching in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Those selected have distinguished themselves within their peer group by showing a strong and continuing commitment to teaching, professional activities, promoting engineering as a rewarding and creative career, establishing industrial-academic links and other activities which ultimately ensure the output of top-quality.

Trevor joins a notable list of colleagues from our School who have received this award in the past and helps sustain our goal to provide the best possible student learning experience!

Top of Page


Spin-out company wins all-island business prize

Belfast-based Catagen was named the Best High Growth Company at InterTradeIreland’s 2012 all-island Seedcorn Business Competition. The event, which took place at the Titanic Belfast on 28 November, is the largest business competition on the island. As the Best High Growth Company on the island, Catagen won the overall cash prize of €100,000.

Catagen, manufactures a range of rapid age testing equipment for the Catalytic Converter Testing market, a critical part of the global automobile industry. This market is driven by stringent Environmental Protection legislation worldwide, aimed at reducing harmful exhaust emissions.

Dr Andrew Woods, CEO of Catagen said: “We are absolutely delighted to win the High Growth Category in the All Island Seedcorn competition. It is an important milestone for Catagen, and yet another independent validation of our world beating carbon reducing technology, business model, and growth trajectory. Having already generated significant sales and profits from our catalyst testing technology, the prize money provides a welcome additional boost to our capital resources. It will be used to assist the closing of our sales pipeline opportunities with international vehicle manufacturers, and enable us to invest in the development of our Northern Ireland manufacturing operations. The IntertradeIreland Seedcorn competition has been a very enjoyable and thorough learning experience for the Catagen management team.”

Arlene Foster, Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment, said: “Over the last ten years the Seedcorn Competition has provided a much needed boost to many start-up companies. As the preparation involved for the competition so closely mirrors the requirements of the fund-raising process, many of the successful companies have been able to use this as a platform to look for further backing. This risk capital provided to private companies by equity investors is an essential element in the funding eco-system to foster entrepreneurship, innovation and growth in our economies.

Thomas Hunter McGowan, CEO for InterTradeIreland added: “We are in the tenth year of what is now the biggest and one of the most prestigious business competitions on the island for early stage/high growth companies in any sector. Once again, we have been excited by the outstanding calibre of the business plans and the final ‘investment pitches’, all of which are a testament to the level of innovation and entrepreneurial excellence on the island. We are looking forward to following and encouraging this year’s winners in their future business development in the hope that they will replicate the success of those who have won in previous years.”

http://www.intertradeireland.com
www.catagen.co.uk

Top of Page

Engineering Parents' Evening held on 8 November 2012

An Engineering Parents' Evening was held on Thursday, 8 November 2012 in the Whitla Hall for parents and school pupils in years 12-14.  The event is held annually and this year over 850 parents and pupils attended the event.

For further information on the evening, please click here.   

Top of Page


2012 Model Car Competition Winners

The annual model racecar competition was held on Thursday 1st November in the Main Hall of the PEC. This group design-build-test project is part of the introductory courses for  stage 1 Mechanical Engineering students and Product Design students alike.

This project involves teams of students working to design, build and test a racecar using a kit of parts supplied at the start of the project. The objective is to produce a reliable prototype which is fast in a straight line sprint course and also over a hill course with an additional weight attached to the car.

The competition is in two parts: a straight line sprint event and a straight line hill-climb event. At the beginning, all cars are timed over both courses and seeded for the subsequent knockout races. If a team is eliminated in the first round of the “cup” events, they then race in the respective “shield” events, which ensures that all teams are guaranteed at least two races per event.

There are therefore four winning teams in the competition:

  • Sprint Cup Winners – Team 28
  • Sprint Shield Winners – Team 5
  • Hill Cup Winners – Team 2
  • Hill Shield Winners – Team 4

This year there were 30 teams entered in the competition and the winners of each event are pictured on the right with their respective champions’ certificates.

There are points associated with each race and therefore for progression in each event. The team with the highest points tally after both events was Team 28.

Congratulations to Product Design Students Michael Conway, Michael Rauch and Kieran Kelly, the 2012 Model Car Competition Winners!

Top of Page


Engineering Parents' Evening - 8 November 2012

An Engineering Parents’ Evenings for pupils in years 12-14 at school who are considering an engineering degree and their parents will be held in the Whitla Hall, Queen’s University, Belfast, Thursday 8 November 2012, 7.00-9.30  pm.  At the event pupils and parents/guardians will have an opportunity to hear from staff and students about some of the reasons why pupils should consider an engineering degree at Queen’s and have the opportunity to ask any questions.

If you would like to attend please register online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/EngineeringParentsEvening/Register/.  Early registration is recommended as this is a popular event for prospective students and their parents.  Closing Date for Registration: 5.00 pm, Tuesday 6 November 2012.

Top of Page


Engineering Leadership candidates and company sponsors with Isobel Pollock (President IMechE) at the launch of the Engineering Leadership Programme

(above):Neil Stewart (Glen Dimplex), Isobel Pollock (President IMechE), Jordan McCooe (ELP) | (below):Julia McDaid (Kingspan), Isobel Pollock (President IMechE), Conor Hamill (ELP)

Launch of Engineering Leadership Programme

A new Engineering Leadership Programme (ELP) in the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering was officially launched by the President of the IMechE, Prof Isobel Pollock, on Friday 5 October 2012. This is a unique programme in the UK which aims to develop the next generation of engineering leaders ready to face the challenges of industry and business today. After a rigorous selection process ten stage 1 students have been partnered with industrial sponsors who will provide placement opportunities and mentors for the students. These students will undertake 2 additional modules of leadership training over the period of the degree programme. This training which includes topics such as business awareness, negotiating & influencing and problem solving will enable the students to integrate seamlessly into industry and lead complex projects early in their careers. Partner companies for this first cohort of students are: Andor Technology, B/E Aerospace, Dale Farm, Dow Chemicals, GlaxoSmithKline, Glen Dimplex, Kingspan and Schrader Electronics.

Further details and information on how to apply to become a partner company are available by clicking here or by contacting Prof Eileen Harkin-Jones at: e.harkinjones@qub.ac.uk

Students/Companies:

Aaron Smyth (B/E Aerospace)
Ben Whittaker (B/E Aerospace)
Colin Henry (Schrader)
Connor Hamill (Kingspan)
Declan Nugent (GSK)
Jordan McCooe (Glen Dimplex)
Mark Wright (Dale Farm)
Nicholas Kennedy (Andor)
Philip Parr (B/E Aerospace)
Rigby McLoughlin (Dow Chemicals)

Top of Page


President of IMechE Visits School

As part of the Centenary Celebrations, staff and students were delighted to meet Professor Isobel Pollock, President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), at an informal lunch in The Studio, Ashby Building, Queen’s University on 5 October 2012.  Isobel Pollock is the 127th President of the IMechE and is only the 2nd President from Northern Ireland, the first being the late Professor Ernest Shannon.  She is the second female to hold the post of President of the IMechE, an Institution representing more than 100,000 members worldwide.

This event took place ahead of her IMechE Presidential Address to staff,  1st year students and family members. Pictured right are some photos from the the occasion. Professor Isobel Pollock met:

  • Alice Sykes, a final year PhD Mechanical Engineering student. Alice was recently awarded a Bronze Medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland – Section of Bioengineering at the annual Bioengineering in Ireland Conference in  January 2012, for which her presentation was judged to be the best overall at the Conference.

  • Product Design & Development students Aaron Kirkpatrick and Rachael Lockhart, who were both IMechE student prizewinners in July 2012.

  • IMechE Young Members Phillip Sproule, Joseph Mulholland, Stefan Murray and Ben McDonald.  These students are also membersof the QUB Formula Student Racing Team. 

  • Owen McMeel, QUB Student of the Year and Product Design Student.  In the past year Owen has won the prestigious titles of Queen’s Entrepreneurial Student of the Year and the UK Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Student of the Year. He was crowned winner of the first ever Queen’s University Apprentice competition in 2012.

  • Trevor Smyth (IMechE prizewinner), Tamsin Pyne (School Placements Officer), Conor Mageean (placement student), David McCabe (RLC Langford)  and Lesley-Anne Wray (placement student). David McCabe is a Senior Engineer from RLC Langford, who employ several engineering placement students each year and have contributed to the skills development sessions in the curriculum.

  • Members from the School’s Biomaterials Research Group, including PhD students Kathryn Fee, Ewan Palmer, Alice Sykes and Research Assistant Dr Eoin Cunningham.

 

Top of Page


l-r: Claudia Mullan, Wendy Boyd, Dr Joe Butterfield, Denise Price, Isobel Pollock, Dr Dani Soban, Prof John Orr

IMechE President Meets School SWAN Team

In October 2012, members of the School SWAN Team were pleased to have the opportunity to meet Professor Isobel Pollock, President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and discuss with her the Athena Charter and the activities being undertaken in the School to to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology.

Professor Pollock BSc (Eng), CEng, Hon DSc, FIMechE, FCGI, FRSA is 127th President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and only the second female ever to hold the position in its 165 year history and an excellent role model for aspiring professional female engineers.

Professor Pollock is a consultant, businesswoman and Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Engineering and Design at the University of Leeds School of Engineering.  She has senior engineering management experience with multi-national companies including ICI, DuPont, Robert McBride and Beatson Clark across a range of industries including chemicals, metal handling, glassware, food, drinks and pharmaceutical.

Following her meeting with the SWAN Team, Professor Pollock gave a presentation on “Measuring Success” to staff and students from the School as well as other members of the SWAN network at QUB.

Top of Page


Practical Guide to Rotational Moulding, 2nd Edition

Rotational moulding (also called rotomoulding or rotocasting), is a very competitive alternative low pressure, high temperature manufacturing method to blow moulding, thermoforming and injection moulding for the manufacture of hollow plastic parts. It offers designers the chance to produce relatively stress-free articles, with uniform wall thickness and potentially complex shapes. This 2nd Edition of the very popular Practical Guide to Rotational Moulding describes the basic aspects of the process and the latest state-of-the-art developments in the industry. It is completely revised and is extensively illustrated.

This guide will be of interest to both students of polymer processing and those who work with rotational moulding equipment. 

Practical Guide to Rotational Moulding, 2nd Edition is now available from retailers at www.polymer-books.com, or from Publications Sales, Smithers Rapra, Shawbury, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 4NR, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1939 250383, Fax: +44 (0)1939 251118.

In the U.S., Tel: +330-762-7989, Fax: +330-762-7447.
E-mail is cparkinson@smithers.com 

Top of Page


(left to right): Lauren Cater (Personnel Manager), Pugal Pandian (Product Centre Manager), Brenda Bennett (Scholarship Champion), Nihat Ovutmen (Product Group Manager Completions), Denise Price (QUB Mechanical & Aerospace Eng), Chris Fitzgerald (Completions Manufacturing Manager) and Cate McCandless (Product Line Manager)

Cate McCandless and Denise Price touring the Schlumberger facility in Newtownabbey

Schlumberger and Queen’s University Scholarship ‘engineers success’ for women!

Schlumberger, the world’s leading oilfield Services provider, in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast has developed an exceptional female scholarship programme aimed at A-Level students.

The scholarship program will offer up to £10,000 to the successful applicant who will undertake a Mechanical Engineering degree at Queen’s University Belfast. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to learn from experts during internships at the Schlumberger facility in Newtownabbey.

Schlumberger is offering a superb financial support package of up to £10,000 to the successful applicant who will undertake a Mechanical Engineering degree at Queen’s University Belfast. The programme is a positive outreach initiative aimed at attracting young woman towards a career in engineering. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to learn from experts during internships at the Schlumberger facility in Newtownabbey and potentially at other Schlumberger facilities internationally.

Aimed at attracting young women to a career in engineering, the programme was recently launched at an event at Completions Product Centre Belfast, "Schlumberger recognises and values diversity as being a key source of competitive advantage and we believe it is integral to future business success," said Pugal Pandian, Schlumberger Belfast Product Centre Manager, "Our company has already been placed in The Times ‘Top 50 Places Where Women Want to Work’ for three consecutive years – and we are committed to further developing initiatives to encourage women to pursue careers in engineering."

Denise Price, Queen’s School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Scientific Women’s Academic Network Champion hopes that the attractive financial support package, teamed with what is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, will encourage many to apply. She said: "This scholarship offers exceptional training through internships and individual mentoring. Add in the financial support towards a Mechanical Engineering degree and you have a really great opportunity."

If you are a female A-Level student commencing Year 14 in September 2012 and are interested in applying for the Schlumberger Mechanical Engineering Scholarship at Queen’s, please contact Dr Geoff Cunningham, Director of Education, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, at g.cunningham@qub.ac.uk.  Details of the Scholarship are also listed on the Queen’s website: http://www.qub.ac.uk/mechaero.

Top of Page

New Female-Only Entrance Scholarship with Schlumberger Limited

The School is pleased to announce a new female-only scholarship with Schlumberger Limited, the world's leading oilfield services company and employer of over 113,000 staff. This is open to all female students holding an offer for the MEng in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering or holding an offer for the BEng in Mechanical Engineering and able to meet the entrance requirements for the MEng and prepared to transfer to it on entry. For further information, download the  Schlumberger Covering Letter, the  Schlumberger Scholarship Application Form and Schlumberger Scholarship Regulations.

Top of Page

Left to right: Sam Marsden, Julie Coulter, Vincent McKenna, Dr Tony McNally
Left to right: Sam Marsden, Julie Coulter, Vincent McKenna, Dr Tony McNally

Royal Academy of Engineering Advanced Engineering Leadership Awards

The School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast is pleased to announce that three second year MEng Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering students have been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Leadership Advanced Award at the recent selection event in March 2012.

Mechanical Engineering undergraduates Julie Coulter, Vincent McKenna and Sam Marsden have been named as three of the 2012 recipients of an Engineering Leadership Advanced Award from The Royal Academy of Engineering. These awards are highly prestigious and only around 30 awards are made annually across all engineering disciplines in all UK universities.

The objective of these Awards is to allow ambitious, inspiring engineering undergraduates, those who want to become leadership role models for the next generation of engineers, to undertake an accelerated personal development programme. They will get the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to fulfill their potential, moving into an engineering leadership position soon after graduation.

The Academy in its selection process is identifying high calibre individuals with the desire and abilities to be the leaders in top engineering and manufacturing businesses of the future.

The Award comprises £5000 to help the recipients act on their individual Personal Development Plans over the coming 3 years, the assistance of The Royal Academy of Engineering in developing their plans and the allocation of a Sainsbury Management Fellow as mentor who will offer advice on personal development and career options.

http://www.raeng.org.uk/education/undergrad/ela/default.htm

http://www.engineeringleadershipawards.org.uk/

Top of Page

Queen's Student Wins World Lecture Competition
Rochelle O'Hara
Rochelle O'Hara
A Queen’s University student has won the prestigious 2009 IOM3 World Young Persons' Lecture Competition.

Rochelle O’Hara, a second year PhD student from Belfast, was announced the winner of the World Young Persons' Lecture Competition Port Elizabeth, South Africa on October 14, receiving a certificate, a trophy and £700 in prize money.

To compete in the World Young Persons' Lecture Competition, Rochelle needed to fight off stiff competition at provincial and national level. On 29 April she won the UK national final, which gave her the prestigious opportunity to represent the UK and competed against one of five other national winners in South Africa.

Rochelle, who is undertaking a three-year postgraduate research position within the University’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, submitted a 15-minute presentation on ‘Development of an Injectable Medical Material for Spinal Repair’.

The presentation explored how the properties of calcium phosphate bone cement (CPC) can be improved to make it less brittle and more suitable for load bearing applications.

Calcium phosphate bone cements offer the potential to resorb and promote the formation of new bone. CPCs may be a suitable candidate for the restoration of the vertebral body after spinal fractures.

However, current CPC systems have low mechanical properties and are highly brittle and not suited for load bearing applications. An EPSRC collaborative project between the Queen’s University Belfast and University of Leeds is currently developing calcium phosphate based cements, which could potentially be applied to repair bone fractures within load-bearing joints. One of the strategies being investigated by Rochelle is the introduction of materials such as natural collagen fibres, which may provide a way of improving the mechanical integrity of the cement.

Rochelle’s lecture explains the production process of a CPC system, and describes the effects on the mechanical and handling properties with the addition of collagen fibres.

The international judging panel, which comprised of university academics, industrialists and leading member of the IOM3 society were very impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm shown by Rochelle during her lecture.

Hosted by the IOM3 South Africa local societies, the competition attracted audience members from industrial sponsors, university academics, ambassadors from participants’ countries and executives from multinational companies.

The competition was sponsored by a number of companies, including CBMM, Rolls-Royce, Protea Polymers and Algorax.

After the World Young Persons' Lecture Competition, the delegation was hosted for 5 days by South African local societies and sponsors. Technical tours of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University showed the competitors a taste of the different research and development facilities in South Africa.

One of the highlights of the trip for Rochelle was the one-day trip to the Addo National Elephant Park, where she had the opportunity to see first-hand the diverse wildlife in South Africa.

For enquiries please contact: Dr Nicholas Dunne, +44 (0)28 9097 4122; n.dunne@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Queen's student 'cements' victory
Rochelle O'Hara
Rochelle O'Hara

A Queen’s University student has won the prestigious 2009 IOM3 Young Persons’ Lecture Competition.

Rochelle O’Hara, a second year PhD student from Belfast, was announced a regional winner of the contest in London on April 29.

She is one of seven regional winners and as well as being presented with a £750 cheque, she will travel to South Africa to represent UK and compete in the world final of the competition.

Rochelle, who is undertaking a three-year postgraduate research position within the university’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, submitted a 15-minute presentation on ‘Development of an Injectable Medical Material for Spinal Repair’.

The presentation explored how the properties of calcium phosphate bone cement (CPC) can be improved to make it less brittle and more suitable for load bearing applications.

Rochelle said: “Winning the competition was a total shock as the other competitors were of an extremely high standard. I am very happy and excited to be going to South Africa for the world finals.”

“My research is focused on developing a novel injectable cement for the treatment of burst fractures which are highly traumatic spinal injuries. This technique is minimally invasive, whereas traditional options include fusing the spinal fragments together using metal screws or rods.

“The competition was a great chance to represent Queen’s University and I feel extremely privileged to have been given such a fantastic opportunity.”

Calcium phosphate bone cements offer the potential to resorb and promote the formation of new bone. CPCs may be a suitable candidate for the restoration of the vertebral body after spinal fractures.

However, current CPC systems have low mechanical properties and are highly brittle and not suited for load bearing applications. The introduction of materials such as natural collagen fibres, may provide a way of improving the mechanical integrity of the cement.

Rochelle’s lecture explains the production process of a CPC system, and describes the effects on the mechanical and handling properties with the addition of collagen fibres.

Sponsored by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, with support from The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers, the Young Persons’ Lecture Competition (YPLC) hosts a number of lecture competitions. The YPLC is organised by the Institute’s Local Affairs Board.

Notes to editors

Calcium phosphate bone cements, which repair ‘burst fractures’ of the spine are being developed and tested in a major new collaborative project between Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Leeds. The team (Dr Fraser Buchanan, Dr Nicholas Dunne, Professor John Orr and Dr Susan Clarke) has been awarded just under £500,000 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop and examine the effects of novel cement materials for the treatment of burst fractures.

Bone cements, similar to those used in joint replacement surgery, are already being used to strengthen damaged vertebrae of patients with diseases such as osteoporosis, in a procedure known as ‘vertebroplasty’. However ‘burst fractures’ to the spine and injuries sustained in major impact accidents and falls are much more difficult to treat. They account for over 1,000 emergency NHS admissions each year and often require highly complex, invasive surgery and a long stay in hospital.

To use bone cements for ‘burst fractures’ would be a simpler, quicker and much less invasive surgical approach for the patient, reducing both recovery times and NHS costs.

For enquiries please contact: Dr Nicholas Dunne,  +44 (0)28 9097 4122, n.dunne@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page


Bernadette Collins from McLaren Racing chosen by a panel of experts and announced as a ’30 under 30’ ambassador by Business Minister, Mark Prisk

The McLaren Group has beaten competition from hundreds of UK companies to achieve selection for an exhibition demonstrating the very best of British manufacturing this summer.

Throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Science Museum will host the Government’s ‘Make it in Great Britain’ exhibition – the culmination of an initiative launched last year by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which aims to challenge outdated opinions and transform the image of modern manufacturing.

As part of this initiative, one of McLaren Racing’s talented engineers, Bernadette Collins, a graduate of our School, has been selected as one of the young rising stars of the UK’s manufacturing sector. Bernadette was chosen for the passion and commitment she has shown to her career in manufacturing and will now go on to act as an ambassador for the campaign. This will see her engage with other young people in an effort to ensure that the next generation is aware of the great career opportunities in the industry.

McLaren Group Executive Chairman Ron Dennis said:

“At McLaren we believe passionately in the importance of making things. Not only innovating in design, but also steering those innovations through to final premium-quality assembly with our own hands. We aspire to be part of a grand tradition that goes back to the Industrial Revolution: great engineers such as George Stephenson, James Watt and Isambard Kindom Brunel, whose work brought enormous economic and societal benefit.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the UK’s refocus on manufacturing and engineering has not come soon enough. Moving our economy away from over-reliance on financial services makes long-term sense, and at McLaren we are fully committed to this philosophy. The future of our country is dependent on brainpower, and industry as a whole needs to encourage young people into the engineering and technical sectors by showing them that these are evolving, progressive disciplines.

“I am proud that our work has been selected as an example of British excellence and am delighted to share these examples of it. The Make it in Great Britain exhibition is a golden opportunity to change perceptions, to demonstrate to the wider public how exciting the world of high technology can be, and to inspire more young people to take up science and engineering as a career.”

Business Minister Mark Prisk said:

“Manufacturing accounts for 8 per cent of total UK employment and well over half of export goods, yet current perceptions of the industry are out of date and do not reflect that reality. We have selected a really exciting mix of exhibits, and I hope that as many people as possible visit the exhibition and see all of the great examples of British design and manufacturing – it will be spectacular.”

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, said:

“We’re incredibly excited to be hosting the Make it in Great Britain exhibition this summer. The Science Museum and its world leading collections demonstrate some of the greatest engineering achievements of the last 200 years. We hope that as many people as possible visit the exhibition, and see at first-hand how innovation in British manufacturing is still thriving today.”

The exhibition will be open from July 24 to September 9, and is free to visit. For more information visit www.bis.gov.uk/makeitingreatbritain.

Top of Page

Dr Mark Sweeney OBE

Dr Mark Sweeney OBE awarded DSc (Eng) for services to business and commerce 

The School is delighted to announce the award of DSc (Eng) to past student, Dr Mark Sweeney OBE, in recognition of his outstanding achievement in the field of engineering and contribution to business and commerce in Northern Ireland.

A native of Co Fermanagh, Dr Mark Sweeney is Vice-President for the European and South American operations of Caterpillar Electric Power Division. 

He graduated from Queen’s University with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1981 and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1986. His industrial career started with a marine engine company, Mercury Marine, based in Wisconsin USA, where he spent almost eight years in different engineering management roles. 

He returned to Northern Ireland in 1994 to join FG Wilson as Engineering Manager and progressed through different Senior Management roles.  Dr Sweeney was appointed Managing Director in 2002.  In 2004, FG Wilson was integrated into a newly formed Electric Power Division of Caterpillar. 

Dr Sweeney was appointed Global Operations Director for the Division with responsibilities for the operational facilities in Northern Ireland, USA, China, Brazil and India.  He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is a Board member of Business in the Community in Northern Ireland. He was President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce from 2006 – 2008 and was awarded an OBE in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for Services to Business and Commerce in Northern Ireland.

Top of Page

Owen McMeel

Student of the Year Award

Congratulations to Owen McMeel who has been awarded Student of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to University life.

Owen, who is studying Product Design and Development in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has been a leading light in many entrepreneurial, charity and community projects at Queen’s.

Owen has just returned from the Euro-Africa Youth Summit in Brussels. He was one of only eight young people from the UK selected from over 1,500 from across Europe and Africa to take part in the event. Owen spent a week at the summit discussing the latest developments in social issues ranging from human rights and poverty reduction to climate change and social entrepreneurship.

In the past year alone, Owen has won the prestigious titles of Queen’s Entrepreneurial Student of the Year and the UK Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Student of the Year. He was crowned winner of the first ever Queen’s University Apprentice competition, competing over a four-week period in a range of ‘apprentice-like’ tasks which tested his negotiation, creativity, product design, communication, and team work skills. Owen also received the Individual Contribution to Queen’s Students’ Union Award in recognition of his contribution to student life.

Throughout his time at the University, Owen has been active in Queen’s Students in Free Enterprise, which helps nurture students’ entrepreneurial skills while benefitting the local community, and led a SIFE project which revitalised the Orchard Cafe, a social enterprise on Belfast’s Malone Road. 

Top of Page


Left to right: Colin Stevenson, Owen McMeel, Julie Niblock, David Galbraith, Donnchadh Long with (centre) Alan Flanagan Chairman, CIMA Ireland

Queen’s University Students to Represent Ireland at Global Final of CIMA Global Business Challenge in Sri Lanka

Students from Queen’s University Belfast have won the Irish Final of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Global Business Challenge (GBC) which was held on Saturday 9th June 2012 in Dublin.

The Queen’s team, which is known as Q Consulting, comprises:

David Galbraith (Final Year – Computing and Information Technology), Donnchadh Long (2nd Year – Actuarial Science and Risk Management), Owen McMeel (2nd Year – Product Design and Development), Julie Niblock (Final Year – Business Management), Colin Stevenson (2nd Year – Accounting).

Q Consulting beat off strong competition from eight other Irish colleges and business schools, and will now represent Ireland against 22 other countries in the Global Final in Sri Lanka on the 23rd and 24th July 2012.

The academic mentors for Q Consulting were Ciaran Connolly (Queen’s University Management School), Martin Kelly (Queen’s University Management School) and Roisin Copeland (Queen’s Careers Employability and Skills).

The CIMA GBC, which is held in partnership with Barclays and sponsors BPP, is designed to give a taste of the boardroom and of business to students by casting them in the role of a firm of consultants reporting to a board of a fictitious company.

The teams were initially provided with a case study containing background information on a company and its industry which they were required to analyse in advance and conduct research into the general business context in which the case was set. On the day of the competition, the teams were required to deliver a 20-minute presentation of their strategic analysis and recommendations to the board of the company and respond to a series of questions from the board members.

Top of Page

Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards 2012
Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards 2012

Students win Most Technologically Innovative Idea Award at the Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards 2012

Team AWAMA, which consists of three Product Design students, Aaron Robinson, William Imrie and Michael Neill and two Mechanical Engineering students, Alastair Mitchell and Andrew Beckett have won the ‘Most Technologically Innovative Idea Award’ at this year’s Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards. Their prize is €5,000 which is co-sponsored by Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys and Enterprise Ireland.

These awards attracted submissions from over 360 third level students from colleges across Ireland.

AWAMA’s innovative Apex airline seat has been designed to address the problem of reclined seats intruding into the personal space of the passenger behind.

Top of Page

Research Studentships for 2012-13
Studentships are still available for the coming year - click here for further information and to see the list of projects available.

Top of Page

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand visits PPRC
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand visits PPRC
(Left to Right) Mrs Renee Crawford, Prof Roy Crawford, Mr Jim Bolger, Mrs Joan Bolger, Mr Mark Kearns, Dr Tony McNally

 

The PPRC played host to some international visitors in early April as former Director and current Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato, New Zealand, Prof Roy Crawford, showed University of Waikato Chancellor, Mr Jim Bolger, around the polymer research facilities on offer at Queen's. Mr Jim Bolger was the Prime Minister of New Zealand for 8 years and New Zealand Ambassador to USA for 4 years.

 

 

 

 

Top of Page

FUSION Project gets Award for Best North/South Project
Presentaton of Award
(From l-r): Brian Thornes-SOTA Orthopaedics Ltd, Paschal McCloskey-QUB, Ross McDonald-SOTA Orthopaedics Ltd
X-bolt x-ray
X-bolt x-ray

 

The FUSION project between Prof John Orr from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and X-Bolt Orthopaedics from Malahide in Dublin won the award for the best North/South collaboration project at the annual Irish Times InterTrade Ireland Innovation Awards in Dublin last night.  The project was to develop their expanding bolt device for hip fracture repairs.

Top of Page

Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Bronze Medal Award
RAMI Bronze Medal Winner

Alice Sykes, a third year postgraduate research student in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering was awarded a Bronze Medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland – Section of Bioengineering at the annual Bioengineering in Ireland Conference on 27th and 28th January at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.  Alice gained this prestigious award for her paper ‘Aiding Accuracy of Component Placement During Total Hip Arthroplasty’ for which her presentation was judged to be the best overall at the Conference.

Alice is supervised by Professor John Orr in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with co-supervision by Professor David Beverland and Dr Janet Hill from Musgrave Park Hospital.  Janet is a graduate of the School through which David Beverland gained an Honorary Chair in 2011.  Alice’s research project addresses the accuracy of placement of the acetabular component of total hip replacements with respect to position and angular orientation, including the development of instruments to ensure accurate reconstruction of the hip.  The research is in collaboration with Dr Richie Gill, BOTNAR Research Centre, University of Oxford.

 

Top of Page

Official Opening of NIACE

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and UK Business Secretary Vince Cable officially opened The Northern Ireland Advanced Composites & Engineering Centre (NIACE) on Airport Road, Belfast — please click here for more details.

 

Top of Page

25K Awards Success

Dr Yannis Salomeia and Dr Gary Menary from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have enjoyed success at the 25k Awards which were presented on the 29th September 2011 at a gala ceremony in the Titanic’s Dock & Pump-House. The awards organised by the Northern Ireland Science Park are are designed to identify the best knowledge-based ideas and intellectual property from the research base in Northern Ireland with the most commercial potential.  Dr Salomeia and Dr Menary won the Clean Technologies category through the development of a device for measuring one of the most critical parameters in the stretch blow moulding process.  The device facilitates PET bottle manufacturers to significantly reduce the use of material in their containers as well as optimise the use of energy during the process. Dr. Salomeia now plans to build on the success and valuable experience gained from the 25k awards process through the foundation of a new company “Blow Moulding Technologies” (www.bmt-ni.com).  Dr Salomeia said “The patent pending technology has already been implemented in a prototype device called THERMOscan. Discussions with multinational companies, such as Evian (part of the DANONE group) and Proctor & Gamble, are quite advanced. The device has the potential of saving them more than 2000 tonnes of PET per year which will have a significant environmental impact and with the recent upsurge in raw material costs savings of £3M/ year.”

Top of Page

PPRC wins prestigious national prize

Please see here for further information.


Top of Page

Engineering Parents’ Evenings – 2 November and 16 November 2011

Queen’s University will be running two Engineering Parents’ Evenings for pupils in years 12-14 at school, and their parents, as follows:-

Whitla Hall, Queen’s University Belfast, Wednesday 2 November 2011, 7.00–9.30 pm
and
St Columb’s College, Buncrana Road, Derry, Wednesday 16 November 2011, 7.00–9.30 pm

If you would like to attend this event, please register using one of the following methods:-

Early registration is recommended as this is a popular event for prospective students and their parents.

Reply Date: Wednesday 26 October for the Belfast event and 6 November for the Derry event.

Download information re.  Parents Evening Letter 2011  

Top of Page

12th Annual Sir Bernard Crossland Symposium

The Sir Bernard Crossland Bursary is awarded annually to a postgraduate student who has completed one year of research in Mechanical Engineering at Universities in Ireland. This is the 12th event, organised jointly by the Engineers Ireland and the Council of Professors of Mechanical Engineering. Funding for the prizes is provided by a bequest from Sir Bernard Crossland.

This year's symposium will be hosted by the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's University Belfast on 22nd and 23rd April 2009, with the winner being selected on the basis of both technical content and presentation.

An annual postgraduate research workshop is also held concurrently with the Sir Bernard Crossland Postgraduate Research Symposium. The prizes for the postgraduate research workshop are sponsored by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, IRCSET.

Top of Page

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Staff member wins Queen's Teaching Award

Paul Hermon, Teaching Fellow and Programme Director for the Product Design and Development degree in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace was the recipient of one of the 5 Queen’s Teaching Awards presented on 28 January 2009 at an Awards Lunch in the Great Hall.
Receiving an award in the category for staff teaching less than 5 years the panel commended the innovative teaching and effective redesign of the curriculum aimed at developing students' competency in all phases of product development, from conception and design through to implementation and operation (CDIO). The panel was also impressed by the student-centred approach to group work, based on careful analysis of students' learning styles. The variety of approaches to assessment, including systematic use of peer assessment and the use of student feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of the assessment methods are particular strengths of the stage 2 “Design and Prototyping Projects” module on which the application was based.

Streaming videos in both Windows and QuickTime formats are available.

Top of Page

FG Wilson Engineering Simulated Work Environment Workshop

A group of 2nd year Mechanical Engineering students experienced life at FG Wilson Engineering Ltd, during a visit by the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering to the firm's Larne facility.  The students, who are all recipients of Caterpillar/FG Wilson Mechanical scholarships, participated in a Simulated Work Environment (SWE) workshop, a specialist facility created to help train engineering staff and to improve production processes.  The visit took place as part of the longstanding development programme between FG Wilson and Queen's to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

Top of Page

£6 million research centre poised for take-off
The Vice-Chancellor (second right) is pictured at the launch with (from left) Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, Planning Minister Edwin Poots, Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ulster; and Michael Ryan, Vice-President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace
The Vice-Chancellor (second right) is pictured at the launch with (from left) Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, Planning Minister Edwin Poots, Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ulster; and Michael Ryan, Vice-President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace

Queen’s is playing a leading role in a new £6 million research centre which will meet the needs of the manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland and beyond.

The Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre (NIACE), to be located on Airport Road, Belfast is scheduled to open this autumn.

The construction of the centre will be financed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through the Strategic Investment Fund, Invest Northern Ireland and Bombardier Aerospace. Invest NI’s support is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Queen’s and the University of Ulster will co-own and operate the 3,700 sq m facility.

Launching the Centre, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "This flagship centre will become the focal point for advanced materials as well as engineering research and development in Northern Ireland. In particular, it will enable the advancement of composites technology across a range of industrial sectors.

"The state-of-the-art facility will offer firms the opportunity to develop technologies that will maintain their competitiveness and support their future business needs.

“The research centre will also encourage more companies to work together on their R&D projects, potentially leading to the development of cutting edge, commercially successful new products. This collaboration will protect and grow business in Northern Ireland especially within the advanced manufacturing sector, which is key to economic recovery.”

Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "All of us here today share a commitment to Northern Ireland’s future prosperity. We are also aware of the need to develop new, and innovative, technological solutions to ensure the competitiveness of our companies, both prime contractors and supply chain organisations. As part of the network of UK Advanced Manufacturing Centres, NIACE will provide world-class support for Northern Ireland in this important area of advanced engineering."

Environment Minister Edwin Poots, who attended the event, commented: "The tangible benefits of an efficient and effective planning system can be seen in this £6million investment project. Working in partnership with all the parties involved allowed the Planning Service to process the application for NIACE in nine weeks. This will enable the project to proceed on schedule and has highlighted what our planning system can deliver."

The Centre will develop advanced materials with a major focus on carbon fibre composites for Low Carbon Vehicles. Queen’s already has a strong track record as a leading centre in this area of research. The University’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, one of the top 10 in the UK in the 2008 RAE, works closely with research institutions and with the aerospace and allied industries worldwide.

Media inquiries to: Anne Langford, Communications Office, +44 (0)28 9097 5310, mob. 07815 871997, a.langford@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Northern Ireland Young Persons Lecture Competition 2006
Eoin Cunningham a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering postgraduate student currently in his first year of His PhD studies has won the Northern Ireland Young Persons Lecture Competition that was sponsored by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, with support from The Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers.

Eoin will represent Northern Ireland in the national final, which will be held at the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers in London on 26th April 2006.

Picture1

The title of Eoin’s presentation was “Macrostructural Replication of Marine Algae to Mimic Cancellous Bone”. The lecture was the basis of his PhD research, the focus of which is to develop manufacturing processes that can be used to incorporate algae-derived calcium phosphate materials into potential scaffold structures. These structures will potentially provide unique architecture, which mimics biological structures. It is envisaged that these engineering tissue scaffolds will have a direct application in the field of tissue engineering of bone and cartilage.

The project is supervised by Dr Fraser Buchanan 1, 2, Dr Gavin Walker 2, 3 and Dr Nicholas Dunne 1, 2.

1) School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
2) Medical Polymers Research Institute
3) School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Top of Page

QUB Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Postgraduates Win Awards
Congratulations to both Eoin Cunningham and Dermot Leonard who are both PhD
students in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Eoin, currently in the first year of his PhD studies, received second place
at the recent UK & Ireland Young Person’s Lecture Competition that was
sponsored by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, with support
from The Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers. The competition was
held in London on 26th April 2006. Eoin represented Northern Ireland in the
national final after winning the Northern Ireland section of the
competition.

The title of Eoin’s presentation was “Macrostructural Replication of Marine
Algae to Mimic Cancellous Bone”. The lecture was the based on his PhD
research, the focus of which is to develop manufacturing processes that can
be used to incorporate algae-derived calcium phosphate materials into
potential scaffold structures. These structures will potentially provide
unique architecture, which mimics biological structures. It is envisaged
that these engineering tissue scaffolds will have a direct application in
the field of tissue engineering of bone and cartilage. The work is partly
funded through an EU Grant: ‘Hippocrates’ that is coordinator though the 3Bs
Research Group at the University of Minho, Portugal. Eoin is supervised by
Dr Fraser Buchanan, Dr Gavin Walker and Dr Nicholas Dunne who are all
academic partners of the Medical Polymers Research Institute (MPRI).

Dermot Leonard (a final year PhD student) has been awarded a fully expenses
paid trip to attend the 1st Marie Curie Cutting-Edge Conference, entitled
“New Developments on Polymers for Tissue Engineering Replacements and
Regeneration”, to be held in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal from JUNE 1 to 5,
2006 (
http://www.inventscience.org/ ). Dermot was offered one of 44 places
available to Young Researchers from Europe. Dermot also recently won 1st
prize at the Northern Ireland Heat of the IMechE "Speak Out For Engineering
Competition" held at Queen’s and 2nd place at the recent Northern Ireland
Biomedical Engineering Spring Meeting for his oral presentations on
“Electron Beam Modification of Bioabsorbable Polymers”.

Dermot’s PhD research involves modification of the degradation profile of
bioabsorbable medical implants using irradiation technologies. He is partly
supported through InvestNI Proof of Concept funding and industrial
collaborators Smith & Nephew. His project supervisors are Dr Fraser Buchanan
and Professor John Orr and he is based in the MPRI.

Top of Page

Queen's International Student celebrates win in British Council 'Shine' Award
Picture2A Queen's University Belfast student, Mr Irtaza Waseem Khan, has won a prize of £1,000 and a commemorative award from the British Council in the 'Shine-International Student Awards'. Mr Khan, studying for a MEng Degree in Mechanical Engineering was considered the outstanding applicant from Northern Ireland and travelled to London to receive his award from Rt Hon Lord Neil Kinnock, Chair of the British Council.

Listed among his achievements, the student from Lahore in Pakistan, organised events both at the University and with the local community, supporting other international students to engage with their new environment and cultures.

In 2004 he won Best student of the year nominated by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, when scoring the highest marks in mechanical engineering exams across the UK.

As one of twelve regional winners, Irtaza was invited to meet Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street as part of the Awards presentations and in recognition of the growing contribution of international students to the education system of the UK. This offered an opportunity for the Prime Minister to hear directly from Irtaza as an international student studying in Belfast, of the positive experience he enjoyed while managing to get the highest exam scores in the UK in his engineering studies. The Award winner will be putting his celebrations partly on hold for a couple of months as he is currently completing a work placement at the Turbine Blade Facility in Rolls Royce Coventry, before he returns to Queen's to complete his final year of studies.

For further information please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320 or Rosemary Mc Alonan, International Office, 028 9097 1151.

Irtaza, as winner of the award, can be contacted through either of the above for interview by telephone.

Note for Editors:

The 'Shine International Student Awards' are organised by the British Council and throw a spotlight on the overseas student experience of living and learning in the United Kingdom.

The Awards provide an opportunity for international students to offer their perceptions and illuminate understanding of what they are, what they want to be, and what they think of their host region/country. The Awards were presented at BAFTA in London on Thursday 27 April.

There are over 2,000 students from outside the European Union, studying at Universities, Colleges and Schools in Northern Ireland and the numbers are increasing annually .The Scheme is supported by the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.

Over 2,000 students from 125 countries entered the UK wide Shine competition this year which is in its 4th year, and more details are available on the British Council website
www.educationuk.org/shine with photographs of the Regional finalists.

Two Queen's University students were also highly commended along with a student from the University of Ulster and from Methodist College, as runners up in the Northern Ireland 2006 Regional finals.

Top of Page

Engineers develop new cements to heal spinal fractures

Dr Fraser Buchanan, Dr Nicholas Dunne and Dr Susan Clarke, co-investigators on new research into bone cements

Dr Fraser Buchanan of Queen's University who is leading research into new bone cements to help heal spinal fractures

New research could offer hope for victims of the most devastating spinal injuries - typically those caused in car crashes.

Biological cements to repair ‘burst fractures’ of the spine are being developed and tested in a major new collaborative project between Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Leeds. The team has been awarded just under £500,000 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop and examine the effects of novel cement materials for the treatment of burst fractures.

Bone cements, similar to those used in joint replacement surgery, are already being used to strengthen damaged vertebrae of patients with diseases such as osteoporosis, in a procedure known as vertebroplasty, but ‘burst fractures’ to the spine, injuries often sustained in major impact accidents and falls, are much more difficult to treat. They account for over 1,000 emergency NHS admissions each year and often require highly complex, invasive surgery and a long stay in hospital.

To be able to use bone cements for burst fractures would be a major leap forward. It would be simpler, quicker and much less invasive for the patient, reducing both recovery times and NHS costs.

The project team at Queen’s has expertise in developing and testing synthetic biomaterials for the repair of bone defects.

Dr Fraser Buchanan, of the School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, said: “These materials can be delivered to the fracture site by injection and mimic the chemical composition of bone itself.”

Dr Ruth Wilcox, of Leeds University Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, said: “This type of fracture causes the vertebra to burst apart and in severe cases fragments of bone can be pushed into the spinal cord. Surgeons may be able to join bone fragments together and stabilize the spine with the use of metal screws and rods, but patients with these injuries are often in a really bad way, so the less invasive the treatment, the better.”

Dr Buchanan added: “Clearly we need to develop biomaterials that more closely match the properties of real bone and this project offers the perfect opportunity to use the range of complimentary skills of this grouping to predict the effects of newly developed cements and even incorporate biological agents to assist the body’s own healing process.”

“This study demonstrates the significant benefits of working in a multidisciplinary team within Queen’s. In this case between the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the School of Medicine and Dentistry, to address issues relating to tissue repair and regeneration.”

Statistically, burst fractures are seen more in younger people, and not enough is currently known about the long term consequences of using existing cements for the treatment of this type of injury.  There is evidence to show that some patients with osteoporosis, who tend to be older, can develop fractures in the vertebrae adjacent to those treated with vertebroplasty.

“We think this may be because current cements are stiffer than the bone itself causing an imbalance in the way the spine bears weight. This may increase loading on the neighbouring vertebrae, which can lead to further damage,” said Dr Wilcox.

At Leeds the team has expertise in computational modelling of the spine and will be able to provide Queen’s with data to assist in the development of novel biomaterials and to simulate how they will perform in patients.

Media enquiries to Lisa Mitchell, Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 5384 or email lisa.mitchell@qub.ac.uk  ; Simon Jenkins, press officer, University of Leeds on 0113 343 5764 or email s.jenkins@leeds.ac.uk or Jo Kelly, campuspr on 0113 258 9880, M: 07980 267756 or email jokelly@campuspr.co.uk

Top of Page

Queen’s Mechanical Engineering Student Wins Prestigious Engineering Leadership Advanced Award from The Royal Academy of Engineering
Glen Sloan
Glen Sloan

Mechanical Engineering undergraduate Glen Sloan has been named as one of the 2008 recipients of an Engineering Leadership Advanced Award from The Royal Academy of Engineering. These awards are highly prestigious and no more than 30 awards are made annually across all engineering disciplines in all UK universities.

The objective of these Awards is to allow ambitious, inspiring engineering undergraduates, those who want to become leadership role models for the next generation of engineers, to undertake an accelerated personal development programme. They will get the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to fulfill their potential, moving into an engineering leadership position soon after graduation.

The Academy in its selection process is identifying high calibre individuals with the desire and abilities to be the leaders in top engineering and manufacturing businesses of the future.

Professor Robert Fleck, Head of the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering congratulated Mr Sloan, saying “This is a wonderful personal achievement for Glen and the Award recognizes the exceptional talents of our students”.

The Award comprises £5000 to help Glen to act on his Personal Development Plan over the coming 3 years, the assistance of The Royal Academy of Engineering in developing his plan and the allocation of a Sainsbury Management Fellow as mentor who will offer advice on personal development and career options.

Dr Tony McNally: Coordinator Engineering Leadership Advanced Awards, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

Top of Page

Queen's students scoop UK awards for engineering designs
Dylan Carleton, Robert Best, Chris Turner, David Shanks, John Orr and Caroline Newe
Dylan Carleton, Robert Best, Chris Turner, David Shanks, John Orr and Caroline Newe

An award-winning design by a group of Queen's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering students could help both wheelchair users and bus companies.

The group of six called TranStow has won the top prize of £2,000 in the Royal Academy of Engineering Student Design Poster Competition for their Retract-a-Seat, a device intended to make travelling on high-floor buses easier for wheelchair users.

Currently wheelchair users need to give bus companies 24 hours notice before travelling on high floor buses. During this time, four bus seats are removed to create the legally required space for the wheelchair.

The system deters many from taking public transport as they don’t always know they need to travel a day in advance. It also means that the bus company cannot use the four seats which are removed for the rest of the day.

But TranStow have come up with an idea that means a double seat retracts to make room for the wheelchair. The bases of two seats flip up, allowing a hatch to be opened while the Retract-a-Seat folds backwards into a compartment below the floor. The hatch is then lowered and locked into position to create a surface on which to park the wheelchair.

The Retract-a-Seat works in partnership with a wheelchair lift, allowing the user to enter through a separate side door. The whole process takes just one minute and can be operated by one member of staff.

Thirty-one universities across the UK took part in the competition submitting 48 posters, which were judged by a panel of Academy Fellows and Visiting Professors.

The group consists of Robert Best (Templepatrick, Co Antrim), Dylan Carleton (Drum, Co.Monaghan), Caroline Newe (Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry), John Orr (Rathfriland, Co Down), David Shanks (Tandragee, Co Armagh), and Chris Turner from (Bangor, Co Down).  All recently graduated from Queen’s but several are returning to complete postgraduate qualifications.

They hope that their design will be become a reality on buses here.

Caroline said: “We really believe that the Retract-a-Seat has tremendous potential as an aid to greater mobility and will make a difference to wheelchair users, bus operators and passengers alike.

“It would not have been possible without input from Translink and Wrightbus and, in particular, the help and assistance provided by staff in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s. The advice and support from staff, both academic and technical proved invaluable throughout the lifetime of the project.”

Another group of Queen’s students was awarded £750 after winning the Integrated System Project category of the competition. The group’s Sea Rescue Device is based on a jetski which is radio controlled from the shore towards the person in distress. On approach the device is remotely activated allowing the buoyancy chambers to fill with gas. This helps slow the vessel and the person can climb on board.

It was designed by Gareth Armstrong, Jonathan Coates, Gavin Davies, Seng Seng Heng, James Ludlow and Mark McIIfatrick.

Professor Perry Armstrong, Director of Education in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said: “The awards reflect the quality of the School’s students, our desire to work closely with local companies and our belief that engineering graduates should be able to conceive, design and build innovative products that meet a social need or a market opportunity.”

Top of Page

Parents' Night Presentation on Engineering Degrees 18th November

Hosted by the
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
in partnership with the
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

A Parents' Evening was recently held in the Ashby Building at Queen's for parents and their sons or daughters who are currently in 6th form at school and are thinking about coming to Queen's to study degrees in the above Schools. 

Those who attended were given an overview of the various degrees within the Schools as well as hearing from employers and recent graduates of these disciplines.

Click on the appropriate link below to view the video of each speaker giving their presentation at this event -


  1. Introduction and Welcome
  2. Overview of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  3. Overview of Product Design and Development
  4. Overview of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  5. Employer's Perspective - Mechanical Engineering
  6. Employer's Perspective - Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  7. Graduate of Mechanical Engineering
  8. Graduate of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Top of Page

Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation
Engineers Ireland is delighted to announce the establishment of a new award designed to recognise an engineer whose creative innovation has made a major contribution to an engineering product or manufacturing process.

The Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation is a prestigious medal, which will be awarded every two years, to celebrate and promote excellence in engineering.

A distinguished panel of judges comprising representatives from Engineers Ireland, the Council of Mechanical Engineering Professors and Irish Industry will select the winner. The honoree will be presented with a silver gilt medal at the Annual Sir Bernard Crossland Symposium. The honoree’s achievement will be promoted in the National and Local Press and in the Engineers Ireland Journal.

This year's winner, Dr O'Bradaigh of ÉireComposites Teo, will deliver a keynote lecture on his work, entitled “Development of thermoplastic composite manufacturing processes for aircraft and large wind turbine blades” at 6:45pm on Wednesday 22nd April 2009 in the Main Lecture Theatre of the Ashby Building on the Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5AH. 

Dr. Ó Brádaigh is currently responsible for aerospace activities at ÉireComposites Teoranta in Indreabhán, Co. Galway. He is also a part-time Senior Lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he was formerly Director of the Composites Research Unit. 

He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Centre for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware, U.S.A., and M.EngSc. and BE degrees from the National University of Ireland, Galway.  He is also a Chartered Engineer.

The criteria which were used to judge the Crossland Medal submissions were:

  • The innovation must be of high technical merit and represent a significant advance in engineering in Ireland.
  • Nominees should be graduates of an accredited Mechanical Engineering degree programme in Ireland or equivalent.
  • This award is confined to persons with no more than 20 years post-qualification experience.

Top of Page

Major new initiative in aerospace composites
 Queen's has advertised a Senior Research Chair in Aerospace Composites in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  The purpose of the Chair will be to build on the existing strengths of the university, Bombardier and the Royal Academy to result in a world leading capability in this area, to the benefit of the partners, the local region and the UK.

For further details, please see Royal Academy of Engineering Bombardier Chair in Aerospace Composites.

Top of Page

Polymer Research Cluster Participates in International Conference on Emerging Technologies
Photo (from l to r): Dr T McNally (QUB), Prof S McCarthy (UMass), Dr M McAfee (QUB), Prof R Kennedy (DCU), Prof E Harkin-Jones (QUB), Dr F Buchanan (QUB), Prof P Hornsby (QUB), Prof J Ducree (DCU), Dr C Fagan (DCU), Dr N Dunne (QUB), B MacCraith (DCU), Ms V Drakoulakos (UMass), Mr F Talty (UMass).
Photo (from l to r): Dr T McNally (QUB), Prof S McCarthy (UMass), Dr M McAfee (QUB), Prof R Kennedy (DCU), Prof E Harkin-Jones (QUB), Dr F Buchanan (QUB), Prof P Hornsby (QUB), Prof J Ducree (DCU), Dr C Fagan (DCU), Dr N Dunne (QUB), B MacCraith (DCU), Ms V Drakoulakos (UMass), Mr F Talty (UMass)
On 19th and 20thOctober, members of the Polymer Research Cluster at QUB participated in the inaugural US-Ireland Conference on Emerging Technologies, which was hosted by University of Massachusetts Lowell. The conference showcased new research developments in the areas of nanotechnology, biomanufacturing, bioprocessing, medical device development and diagnostics. Speakers at the conference also included scientists from the University of Massachusetts, Dublin City University and Northeastern University.

 

Top of Page

Official launch of SFI North-South Research Project at QUB
Photo (from l to r): Dr N Dunne, Prof PJ Prendergast, Ms M Ruijter, Prof P Gregson, Dr A Lennon, Dr S Clarke, Dr F Buchanan.
Photo (from l to r): Dr N Dunne, Prof PJ Prendergast, Ms M Ruijter, Prof P Gregson, Dr A Lennon, Dr S Clarke, Dr F Buchanan.
On Friday, 2nd October 2009, the Science Foundation Ireland North-South Supplement was officially launched by the Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University of Belfast, Prof. Peter Gregson. The project is a collaborative partnership between Dr Nicholas Dunne, Dr Fraser Buchanan and Dr Susan Clarke from the Biomaterials research group at QUB and Prof. Patrick Prendergast from Trinity College Dublin. Also present from the TCD research team were Dr Alex Lennon and visiting postgraduate student Marlene Ruijter, University of Twente, Netherlands. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the research will focus on computer simulation and experimental validation of bioresorption of biomaterial scaffolds. 

In summary, the project seeks to develop methods to simulate scaffold bioresorption due to dissolution arising from contact with body fluids. These methods will be combined with computational mechano-biology models for tissue differentiation to optimise properties and dissolution rates of bioresorbable scaffolds for tissue engineering. This is the only North/South collaborative grant in Bioengineering funded by Science Foundation Ireland this year.

 

 

Top of Page

Queen's PhD Student wins international prize for Bioceramics Research
Orla Brown
Orla Brown

Orla Brown, formerly of Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry, was recently awarded best oral presentation at the 22nd Bioceramics conference held in Daegu, South Korea in October 2009. The conference was a multidisciplinary meeting, bringing together researchers from engineering, science, dentistry and medicine to share and discuss their latest achievements for future breakthroughs in the field.
 
The title of Orla’s presentation was “Resorption of Biphasic Calcium Phosphate Ceramics.” The work presented outlined part of her PhD research, the premise of which is modelling the influence of calcium phosphate properties on bioresorption. Biphasic calcium phosphates (BCPs) are used as bone grafts or bone substitute materials for medical and dental applications. The development of these ceramics involves controlling how they resorb, or dissolve, in the body. The project aim is to study the dissolution of BCPs in an environment similar to that of the body and link the outcome back to the composition and processing conditions. The data obtained will be used as a first step towards generating a mathematical model which will enable the prediction of the rate of bioresorption of BCPs.

The project is funded by the Department for Employment and Learning. Orla is supervised by Dr Fraser Buchanan, Dr Marion McAfee and Dr Susan A Clarke.

Top of Page

Ashby Building closed today - Monday 1st Feb 2010

Due to an unexpected electrical outage the Ashby Building will be closed from Monday 1Feb until further notice. All lectures due to take place in the Ashby Building on Monday 1 Feb are cancelled. Lecture due to take place in the Ashby from Tuesday 2 Feb onwards will be relocated to other rooms in the University where possible. The new locations for classes during the closure are currently being finalised and will be communicated to all students as soon as possible.

Updates and further information will be communicated by email, the School website (www.qub.ac.uk/mechaero) and the Student Centre SharePoint site (https://intranet.qol.qub.ac.uk/schools/smae/student/default.aspx).

Top of Page

Ashby Building & Teaching Update
Following the electrical outage in the Ashby building, it is now expected to reopen on Thursday 4th after which the normal timetable will resume.  All classes, except one, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday have be relocated for week one only. A list of the revised locations for the classes, along with a campus map have been emailed to all students. All enquiries regarding class locations should be directed to the School Office in the Science Library.

Top of Page

Ashby Update - Wed 2pm
Work on the electrical fault in the Ashby is progressing according to schedule and is expected to be completed later today, Wednesday. Classes scheduled for the Ashby will resume as normal from tomorrow, Thursday. Any exceptions to this will be communicated directly to students by the module coordinator.

Top of Page

Queen's Mechanical Engineering graduate Kris Meeke is world rally champion.

Kris Meeke, a graduate of the School of Mechanical Engineering has become the new IRC world rally champion.  Read more in this Times Online report.

Top of Page

School Post-Offer UCAS Open Day (Undergraduate Programmes)

MARCH  13

The School is holding a UCAS Post-Offer Open Day at 2.00 pm on Saturday 13 March 2010 for all prospective students holding offers for our undergraduate degree programmes for  September 2010 entry.  Everyone holding an offer will be sent an invitation and early registration is recommended as this is a popular day for prospective students and their parents. The programme will include degree programme information, an exhibition, opportunity to meet staff and students and tours of the campus.

If you are unable to attend our Open Day and are interested in visiting the School on an individual basis or have any other questions, please contact Marie-Therese Maguire, email: m.t.maguire@qub.ac.uk or Tel. 028 9097 4383.

Top of Page

Kirsty Barr, a current Aeronautical Engineering student wins gold in the Commonwealth Federation Shooting championships in India

Kirsty Barr, a current Aeronautical Engineering student wins gold in the Commonwealth Federation Shooting championships in India. Find out more details in this local newspaper report

Top of Page

Temporary Part Time Register Of Tutors 2010/11

Applications are invited from suitably qualified people who wish to be included on the School’s register of tutors in the academic year 2010/11 for all subject areas including:-

a) Mechanical Engineering
b) Aerospace Engineering
c) Product Design & Development
d) Engineering Mathematics
e) Professional Education of Engineers – subjects include, but not limited to Law, Accountancy, Economics, Management, Health & Safety.

All applicants must hold at least a 2.2 Hons degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline to the subject area applied for.   Experience of teaching or demonstrating at university/further education level in a relevant subject area is desirable.  A postgraduate qualification is also desirable.  Successful applicants will assist permanent staff in the delivery of teaching and conduct of assessment to agreed standards including for example, tutorials, laboratories, preparing, teaching and assessing classes.  Successful applicants will be placed on a register from which part-time tutors may be appointed as the need arises.  Registration will be for a period of 4 years.   Part-time tutors will be engaged under a contract for services and will not be employees of the University.

Payments:  The standard rate of pay will be £33 per hour for an agreed schedule of work (rate may vary according to qualifications and experience).

To apply, please complete the on-line Summary Application form from www.qub.ac.uk/mechaero and return the form plus full c.v. by email to jo.toner@qub.ac.uk  indicating availability in terms of hours per week during the University semesters, September – December and February – May.   Alternatively you may post your application to Miss Josephine Toner, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Ashby Building, Queen’s University Belfast, BT9 5AH.

Closing Date: 5.00 pm Friday 28 May 2010

Download information re.

Part Time Tutors Summary Application Form

Part Time Tutors Further Details

Top of Page

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering student wins Student of the Year Award
Student of the Year Vincent Murray
Student of the Year Vincent Murray

Vincent Murray, from Ballygowan, who led a number of peace and reconciliation and environmental projects as Chairperson of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) at Queen’s, is this year’s Student of the Year.

SIFE is a global network dedicated to nurturing students’ entrepreneurial skills to benefit their careers and the wider community. In his role as Chairperson, Vincent also contributed to the portfolio of activities which resulted in Queen’s becoming the Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year.

A member of the Students’ Union Management Board, Vincent serves as a Trustee of Share-Uganda, a student-led charity pioneered by SIFE that works with orphaned children in southern Uganda.

Top of Page

Engineering Parents' Evening - 13 October and 17 November 2010

Queen’s University will be running two Engineering Parents’ Evenings for pupils in years 12-14 at school, and their parents, as follows:-

Whitla Hall, Queen’s University, Belfast, Wednesday 13 October 2010, 7-9 pm

and

St Columb’s College, Buncrana Road, Derry, Wednesday 17 November 2010, 7-9 pm

For further information, please download the online reservation form and return by email to m.t.maguire@qub.ac.uk or post to Marie-Therese Maguire, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Ashby Building, Queen’s University  Belfast  BT9 5AH.

Early registration is recommended as this is a popular event for prospective students and their parents.
Reply Date: Wednesday 6 October 2010

Download information re.

Engineering Parents' Evening Reservation Form

Top of Page

School UCAS Applicants’ Event – Saturday 5 March 2011
Over 300 UCAS applicants holding an offer to study for a degree in our School for 2011 entry and their parents recently attended our School UCAS Applicants’ Open Day on Saturday 5 March 2011.   The aim of the day was to enable applicants and parents to find out more about the School and its degree courses.  The format  included presentations on our degree courses, the UCAS admissions process, a graduate talk and the opportunity to speak with academic staff, students, careers and student finance staff in our exhibition area and go on conducted tours of School facilities and the campus, including Elms Student Village.  For some photos of the day, please check out our School facebook site http://www.facebook.com/mechaero.  If you wish to keep up to date with our latest School videos, please check out http://www.youtube.com/user/EngineeringatQueens on our School YouTube site.

Top of Page

ESAFORM 2011 conference

The school of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering recently hosted the annual ESAFORM conference, the official conference of the European Scientific Association of Material Forming between 26 to the 28th April 2011. 330 delegates were in attendance from 33 different countries.

The conference was organised into 21 mini symposia with over 300 papers presented in 10 parallel sessions covering various aspects of material forming processes. Metals, polymers and composites forming processes were all covered with papers dedicated to understanding how these materials behave at multiple length scales during complex forming conditions as well as novel numerical and experimental techniques for process characterisation and optimisation.

The conference also had several keynote speakers, Prof. Roy. Crawford from University of Waikato, New Zealand (a former Head of Department for Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Queens University Belfast) gave a talk on "Reinventing Roto Moudling" and Prof. Paul Dawson from Cornell University, USA gave a talk on "Coupling Crystal-Scale Behaviors with Metal Forming Simulations". Dr. Serge Batkam from Danone gave an industrial perspective on the challenges in manufacturing applied to packaging and Gino Duffett from Aperio Technologies presented ideas on the future use of numerical simulation in optimisation of manufacturing processes.

Top of Page

News