Senior Technician - Fluids Engineering Laboratory
T: +44 (0)114 222 6143
BSc (Hons), PhD
During my career I have had experience working in both industry and academia within the field of multi-disciplinary engineering. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Engineering Design from Sheffield Hallam University, which included working for one of the UK’s food/pharmaceutical packaging machine manufacturers for a year as a part of the Shell STEP program. This led to a final year collaboration with the company performing R&D on their prototype heat sealing systems using ANSYS FEA and thermal imaging. The experience whetted my appetite for research and eventually led to me becoming part of the first cohort of Students to enter the University of Sheffield’s E-Futures Doctoral Training Program (DTC).
At the DTC, I studied many different areas relating to engineering, including; energy from waste, renewable energy, energy utilisation, conventional power generation, energy from waste and materials for energy. The first year of studies also featured three 2 month mini-projects collaborating with various departments; ‘Production of Optimised Metal Foams for Stirling Engine Regenerators’ with Dr Russell Goodall and Dr Robert Woolley , ‘Radiator heat transfer augmentation by changes to wall surface roughness and emissivity’ with Prof Stephen Beck and ‘Identifying and Characterising Microalgal Strains as Potential Sources of Biodiesel’ with Dr Jim Gilmour
I then progressed to 3 Years of interdisciplinary research based in the departments of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (MBB) and Chemical & Biological Engineering (CBE) studying ‘Photo-Bioreactor Modelling And Development Of Methods For The Optimisation Of Micro-algal Biodiesel Production'. Working alongside three different research groups my studies encompassed a broad range of topics including; Photo-bioreactor geometry design and its impact on multiphase flow (w/CFD modelling - COMSOL), the effects of microbubbles generated by fluidic oscillation on algal growth and mass transfer (w/salinity modelling), special ‘smart skin’ coatings to aid in reactor light ingress, Algal stress factors and their relation to increased lipid production (w/Nile Red fluorescence, NMR), Algal biodiesel yield and FAME profiles (w/GC-MS) and the design/development of novel miniature prototype photo-bioreactor systems. During this time period the Sheffield Algal Biotechnology Sheffield Network was also formed, which I was one of the original members. In addition to my PhD I also completed a Post-Graduate Diploma (PGDip) in Professional Skills over the four years at the DTC.
Upon completion of my PhD I went into industry working for a consultancy specialising in hot process plant equipment, maximising energy saving, waste heat recovery and reducing the environmental impact of existing and new designs. As a part of the project team I performed thermal and combustion system calculations, 2D & 3D CAD design (with Solidworks/Draftsight), flow/heat transfer simulation studies (FEA/CFD) and design project management, working routinely with large well known multinational companies in the aerospace and automotive sectors.
After three and half years I returned to academia to pursue an opportunity to work in the University’s recently established department of Multidisciplinary Engineering Education as a Senior Teaching Technician and technical lab lead. In the Diamond’s fluid engineering laboratory, I work with the team to provide fluid flow experiments using hydraulic workbenches, stand-alone experiments, a 10m water flume channel and a wide range of wind tunnel facilities. The job is a unique mix of supporting and delivering practical teaching and skills training to undergraduate and postgraduate students coupled with all regular aspects of laboratory operations.
I provide support and setup work for all activities in the Diamond’s fluid dynamics laboratory. I also assist in the delivery of the practical teaching. Undergraduate and postgraduate students from Civil and Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering and General Engineering experience the fluids laboratory during their time at University.