Professor Stephen B M Beck

BSc, PhD, CEng, FIMechE

Dr S Beck

Professor

Head of Multidisciplinary Engineering Education

The University of Sheffield
Multidisciplinary Engineering Education
The Diamond
Floor 1, Room C.10c
32 Leavygreave Road
Sheffield S3 7RD

Telephone: +44(0)114 2227730
Fax: +44(0)114 2227890

email : s.beck@sheffield.ac.uk


Profile

Professor Stephen Beck is a graduate of Bath University where he studied Mechanical Engineering. After graduation he was offered a post at Fermilab in Chicago where he developed software to control anti-protons.
He was awarded his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sheffield. The topic was the stability of ventilation systems in nuclear power stations which involved fluid mechanics, waves in pipes and power fluidics.

After several postdoctoral jobs he was offered a lectureship in thermodynamics at the department. He became a senior lecturer in 2002. In 2012 he was promoted to a personal chair.

Professor Beck has been working on flow measurement, leak detection, leaks from pipes, leaky gaskets (spot the theme), heat transfer from radiators and building performance. His interest in energy and teaching combined to make him one of the main investigators on the Doctoral Training Centre on energy and the environment.

He is interested in quality enhancement of teaching and has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Learning and Teaching Development for the Faculty of Engineering. He was Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching, coordinating learning throughout the Engineering Faculty from 2008-2014, during which time he oversaw the implementation of a number of major changes to the teaching such as reducing Winter exams, the introduction of activity weeks, and a CPD scheme for teachers and lecturers.

In May 2014, he was appointed to the Headship od Multidisciplinary Engineering Education. This involves ensuring that the practical engineering teaching in The Diamond supports the aspirations of the faculty to provide a great practical experience for students. This £86M building is opened in September 2015 and his 43 staff are changing the way that laboratory education is delivered.

He is also working on curriculum design and providing academic support for the AMRC Degree Level Apprentices.
For reasons unknown to even himself, he is also interested in various forms of committee work both within the University and for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, where he is Vice President and Chair of the Qualifications and Membership Committee.

Other professional achievements:

  • Vice President IMechE
  • Chair of the IMechE Qualifications and Membership Committee.
  • Member of editorial board of Flow Measurement and Instrumentation

Areas of Research


Professor Beck's main research interests are in fluid mechanics, notably flow measurement, pipe networks, and leaks in pipes, and his work uses fluidic devices and numerous flow measurement techniques. Professor Beck also has interests in renewable energy, energy use, power production, refrigeration and heat exchange processes. His work is predominantly experimental, but uses CFD and analytical techniques.

He is also researching into waves in fluid pipeline systems. The original work which Professor Beck undertook as part of his PhD and post-doctoral work on the modelling of pressure waves in pipes is being expanded to cover the control and real time analysis of fluid pipeline networks. The signal analysis has led to a novel method of leak detection that works even in branched pipeline systems. Part of Professor Beck's main research interests is that of fluid flow measurement. He has worked on various fluidic flow devices and is now engaged in projects to improve the accuracy and robustness of orifice plate flowmeters and to examine flow through and after fractal devices.

Professor Beck's teaching of thermodynamics and renewable energy has led to variety of energy based projects and publications on heat transfer, notably from radiators, and energy use in industry.

Research projects

Prof Beck is currently lead supervisor for three postgraduate students:

  • AlHarbi, H, Leak detection in oil pipelines, 2013-, Kuwait oil company
  • Butterfield, J, Enhanced Acoustic Leak detection techniques , 2013-, STREAM DTC student
  • Williams, J., Holistic study of solar panels, 2010-, e-futures DTC student

Twenty five of his students have submitted or completed their PhDs. Recent graduates are:

  • Braun, MR, Effect of Climate change on supermarkets, 2012-, e-futures DTC student
  • Buckman, AH, Smart buildings for energy savings, 2012-, e-futures DTC student
  • Tiyafi, P, Leakage in Plastic Pipes, 2015-, STREAM DTC student
  • Castleton, HF, Energy use in buildings, 2014, e-futures DTC student

Teaching

Professor Beck believes that lectures should be to entertain, signpost and inform in that order. As well as giving enthusiastic lectures, he is interested in novel ways of teaching, assessment and providing feedback. He has published papers on his use of podcasts to aid student induction, and (among other things) how he got students to write Haiku summaries of technical papers. He particularly enjoys teaching thermodynamics to first year students because he feels that the first and second laws hold the key to understanding the world and he wants every else to feel the same way.

Between 2008 and 2014 he was Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching for Engineering, and was thus in charge of Learning, Teaching, Assessment and Quality assurance and Enhancement for the Faculty. Arising from this was the idea for The Diamond. He realised that there was a large amount of commonality in the laboratories (and indeed in other teaching), and by sharing space and equipment across departments, a far better student experience could be obtained. After a few pilot projects, the basic philosophy for The Diamond arose, and the Faculty now has one large, laboratory filled with multiples of equipment for each topic, and students from the entire faculty come to use them.

In 2008 he was awarded the title of Senate Award Fellow for Sustained Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

Professor Beck also teaches on the following courses:

  • AER192: Aerospace Matter Flow and Energy
  • MEC333: Integrated Design Skills

Books

  • Beck SBM (2006) The little book of thermofluids. Stephen Beck.
  • beck S, blakey S, chin S, Nicolleau FCGA, qin N, Brown M & Wilson C (2006) The little book of thermofluids. Sheffield: University of Sheffield Dept.of Mechanical & Process Engineering.

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Butterfield JD, Collins RP, Krynkin A & Beck SBM (2017) Experimental Investigation into the Influence of Backfill Types on the Vibro-acoustic Characteristics of Leaks in MDPE Pipe. Procedia Engineering, Vol. 186 (pp 311-318) View this article in WRRO
  • Motazedi N & Beck SBM (2016) The use of the cross-correlation of two signals as a transient leak detection method. BHR Group - 12th International Conference on Pressure Surges (pp 581-594)
  • Butterfield JD, Collins RP & Beck SBM (2015) Feature extraction of leaks signals in plastic water distribution pipes using the wavelet transform. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), Vol. 13-2015
  • Butterfield JD, Beck SBM, Collins RP & Creusere CD (2015) IMPROVING LEAK LOCATION ACCURACY BY OPTIMISING THE TIME DELAY MEASUREMENT OF ACOUSTIC EMISSION FROM LEAKS IN MOPE PIPE. PROCEEDINGS OF THE 22ND INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON SOUND AND VIBRATION
  • Tayefi P, Beck SBM & Tomlinson RA (2015) Fatigue Failure of Polyethylene Electrofusion Joints Subject to Contamination. Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series, Vol. 66(VOLUME 5) (pp 197-202) View this article in WRRO
  • Liu Y, Beck S, Nicolleau F & Majewski CE (2013) Controlled multi-scale turbulence through the use of Laser Sintered Sierpinski Pyramids. 24th International SFF Symposium - An Additive Manufacturing Conference, SFF 2013 (pp 869-878)
  • Hampson W, Collins RP, Beck SMB & Boxall JB (2013) Transient source localisation methodology and laboratory validation. 12th International Conference on Computing and Control for the Water Industry, Perugia, Italy. Perugia, Italy
  • Braun M, Altan H & Beck S (2013) Using IBM SPSS statistics to identify predictors of electricity consumption in a UK supermarket. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 176 (pp 119-131)
  • Nicolleau FCGA, Beck SBM & Nowakowski AF (2012) Fractal orifices for flowmetering. ASME 2012 11th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis, ESDA 2012, Vol. 2 (pp 21-27)
  • Collins R, Boxall J, Besner MC, Beck S & Karney B (2012) Intrusion modelling and the effect of ground water conditions. Water Distribution Systems Analysis 2010 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference, WDSA 2010 (pp 585-594)
  • Hampson W, Boxall JB & Beck SBM (2011) GIS thematic mapping to identify persistent failures in water distribution networks. 11th Computing and Control in the Water Industry 2011. Exeter
  • Collins S, Beck SBM & Boxall JB (2011) Intrusion into water distribution systems through leaks and orifices: Initial experimental results. 11th Computing and Control in the Water Industry 2011. Exeter
  • Ghazali M, Beck SBM, Staszewski WJ, Shucksmith JD & Boxall JB (2010) Leakage Detection in Pipelines Using Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition. 5th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring. Sorrento
  • Rossiter D, Beck S, Delbauve M, Hogg M & Priestman G (2010) Improving engagement and learning experience for students using lab-in-a-box concept. Engineering Education 2010: Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers, EE 2010
  • Salim SMM, Nicolleau FCGA, Beck SBM & Nowakowski AF (2010) EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF TURBULENCE ACROSS THE FRACTAL ORIFICE PLATE. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME 10TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING SYSTEMS DESIGN AND ANALYSIS, 2010, VOL 3 (pp 353-360)
  • Abou El-Azm Aly A, Chong A, Nicolleau F & Beck S (2009) Experimental study of the pressure drop after fractal-shaped orifices in a Turbulent flow pipe. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol. 40 (pp 194-197)
  • Spalton T, Tomlinson RA, Garrard AE & Beck SBM (2008) Streaming Birefringence - A Step Forward. ADVANCES IN EXPERIMENTAL MECHANICS VI, Vol. 13-14 (pp 23-28)
  • Taghvaei M, Beck SBM, Boxall JB, Seth A & Staszewski WJ (2008) Leak and feature detection in a water distribution network. BHR Group - Surge Analysis - System Design, Simulation, Monitoring and Control, 10th International Conference on Pressure Surges (pp 125-135)
  • Chong CHA, Beck SBM & Nicolleau FCGA (2007) Experimental study of a fractal flowmeter in a pipe. NEW TRENDS IN FLUID MECHANICS RESEARCH (pp 456-458)
  • Al-Atabi M, Chin SB, Beck S & Luo XY (2007) Flow in idealised compliant human cystic duct models. NEW TRENDS IN FLUID MECHANICS RESEARCH (pp 610-613)
  • Darbyshire OR, Evans A, Wilson CW & Beck SBM (2006) CFD based analysis of burner fuel air mixing over a range of air inlet and fuel pre-heat temperatures for a siemens V94.3A gas turbine burner. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, Vol. 1 (pp 709-714)
  • Beck SBM, Foong J & Staszewski WJ (2006) Wavelet and cepstrum analyses of leaks in pipe networks. Progress in Industrial Mathematics at ECMI 2004, Vol. 8 (pp 559-563)
  • Taghvaei M, Beck SBM & Staszewski WJ (2005) Leak detection in pipeline with use of Cepstrum method. 16th International Conference on Pipeline Protection (pp 357-364)
  • Ahmadi A, Beck SBM & Stanway R (2005) The swirling orifice plate: A flowmeter for all reasons. Proceedings of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fluids Engineering Division Summer Conference, Vol. 2 (pp 409-414)
  • Beck SMB, Grinsted SC, Blakey SG & Worden K (2004) A novel design for panel radiators. APPLIED THERMAL ENGINEERING, Vol. 24(8-9) (pp 1291-1300)
  • Blakey SG & Beck SBM (2004) The effect of combined radiation and convection on hot dip galvanizing kettle wear. APPLIED THERMAL ENGINEERING, Vol. 24(8-9) (pp 1301-1319)
  • Garrard A, Beck S & Styring P (2004) Numerical model of a single phase, regenerative fuel cell. Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004 (pp 79-84)
  • Al-Shidhani I, Beck SBM & Staszewski WJ (2003) Leak monitoring in pipeline networks using wavelet analysis. DAMAGE ASSESSMENT OF STRUCTURES, PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 245-2 (pp 51-58)
  • Beck SBM, Wong CCD & Stanway R (2000) Pipe network identification through signal analysis techniques. 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PRESSURE SURGES(39) (pp 547-556)
  • Wang H, Beck SBM, Priestman GH & Boucher RF (1998) Pressure wave attenuation in two phase flow. Proceedings of the International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering - OMAE
  • Wang H, Beck SBM, Priestman GH & Boucher RF (1998) Fluidic flow meter for downhole and other flow measurements. Proceedings of the International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering - OMAE
  • Beck S, Langston P, Ewan B, Messer P, Smyth R, Swithenbank J & Taylor A (1995) The UHX - A summary. 4TH UK NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HEAT TRANSFER, Vol. 1995(2) (pp 473-477)
  • BECK SBM, BOUCHER RF & HAIDER H (1994) MODELLING WATER HAMMER WITH TRANSMISSION LINE TECHNIQUES. 1994 ICHEME RESEARCH EVENT, VOLS 1 AND 2 (pp 1099-1101)
  • BECK SBM, BOUCHER RF & HAIDER H (1994) THE IN-LINE FLUIDIC HAMMER DEVICE. 1994 ICHEME RESEARCH EVENT, VOLS 1 AND 2 (pp 1169-1171)
  • Beck SBM & Boucher RF (1991) Stability of vortex amplifier circuits with twin control pipes. Flucome '91 (pp 467-472)
  • Collins RC, Fox S, Beck S, Saul AJ & Boxall JB () Intrusion and leakage through cracks and slits in plastic (MDPE) pipes. 14th Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference. Adelaide, Australia, 24 September 2012 - 27 September 2012.
  • Beck S, Lloyd M & Boxall JB () Trapping Pressure Surges Using Two Valves and Feedforward Control. 11th International Conference on Pressure Surges. Lisbon, Portugal, 24 October 2012 - 26 October 2012.
  • Hampson W, Collins R, Beck S & Boxall JB () Onset Detection of Transient Waves Using a Novel Experimental Data Set. 11th International Conference on Pressure Surges. Lisbon, Portugal, 24 October 2012 - 26 October 2012.