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Mechanical engineering teaches students how to change the world

Dr Simon Blakey is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, UK, and director of the Low Carbon Combustion Centre.

Much of his research activity has focused on the technical suitability of alternative fuels for the aviation sector and the development of methods for the ‘fit for purpose’ assessment of potential fuels and fuel compositions including combustion performance.

Blakey has been involved in several European research programmes assessing the performance and impact of alternative fuels, including: ECATS, ALFABIRD and SWAFEA; as well as engine development programmes such as TECC-AE; international fuels research programmes on the development of synthetic fuels (particularly the QSTP international consortium); and the US Federal Aviation Authority-led CLEEN and PARTNER programmes.

He is the Alternative Fuels Working Group leader within ECATS, a European network of excellence on aviation and the environment.

Blakey continues to carry out research work on novel fuel compositions, relating the chemical composition of the fuel to its performance under and in service conditions.

Sustainable solutions

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield develops solutions to real-life engineering problems faced by developing communities, from researching alternative fuel sources for small communities, or designing new water and sanitation systems.

An engineering career with impact

Students at the Department of Mechanical Engineering think about more than just the technical issues. They consider the social, ethical and environmental implications of decisions.
It’s the kind of thinking that will equip them for a career with impact, where they can shape and improve the world we live in. In an increasingly global industry, it’s the kind of thinking that employers value highly.

Skills that matter

A professional engineer needs to be an excellent team worker. The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers the opportunity to put those skills into practice through collaboration with engineers across all disciplines – just as one would in the industry – and learning to think outside specialisms.
As they research and present ideas, students improve their skills in communicating and solving complex problems, thinking about issues from a global perspective throughout.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Alongside the research themes and research centres, the Department of Mechanical Engineering has a number of expert teams. These are flexible groupings of academics and researchers whose work touches on similar themes.

While our research themes represent our strengths in traditional engineering areas, our expert teams reflect changing research interests within the department and are concerned with developing innovative solutions to specific engineering problems.

  • Additive Manufacturing;
  • Aerospace Engineering;
  • Automotive Powertrain;
  • Biomechanics;
  • Combustion and Heat Transfer;
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics;
  • Computational Structural Modelling;
  • Condition Monitoring;
  • Human Interactions;
  • Materials Processing;
  • Non-Linear Dynamics;
  • Nuclear Engineering;
  • Smart Materials;
  • Renewable Energy; and
  • Structural Health Monitoring, amongst others.
RESEARCH INTERESTS
  • Biomechanics;
  • Dynamics;
  • Energy;
  • Manufacturing and Design;
  • Solid Mechanics;
  • Thermofluids;
  • Alternative fuels;
  • Materials compatibility;
  • Fuel suitability and thermal stability;
  • Combustion process modelling; and
  • Gaseous and particulate emission measurement.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Profile in Pan European Networks: Defence Management Review – issue 2
Profile in Pan European Networks: Government – issue 22
Outside Back Cover in Pan European Networks: Government – Issue 22
Outside Back Cover in Pan European Networks: Government – Issue 23
Outside Back Cover in Government Europa Quarterly – Issue 26
Outside Back Cover in Government Europa Quarterly – Issue 27

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