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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Renewable Energy _ The Scottish Model_ Will Scotland again become a main powerhouse for UK and EU?

As the debate over nuclear energy rages in France, there are encouraging signs from Northern Europe, Scotland in this case, what I recognised early as "The Scottish Model".

Learning, as blogger, that the much desired transition  by all parties from a "Non-Renewable Energy terminal illness" to a "Renewable Energy Long-life" - As long as the sun shines"- was  going to be an incredible struggle cf. The excellent and free ebook "Without hot Air" by Prof. D. MacKey, Univ of Cambridge. I placed my hopes in what I called The Scottish Model, which at a rapid glance appeared to have a fair amount of renewable sources, Wind, wave, hydro, and to a lessor extent Solar: PV, heating, highly qualified people through a strong University system and a tradition of engineering.  Well if recent government sources are to be trusted my hunch, my intuition appears to be well founded.


To quote Napoleon Boneparte (roughly)  a graph, a picture, a drawing is worth a long discours:

Source: DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change)

Note 1 - The Scottish Government has announced a more challenging 2020 target for this indicator - the target is now 100% of gross electricity consumed in Scotland to come from renewable sources by 2020, WOW!



The winners of the IOM3 awards for published work have now been announced. To celebrate we are making each winning article free to download for the next 6 weeks! Follow the links below:

Alan Glanvill AwardEvaluation of replication properties on moulded surface by ultrasonic injection moulding system

, Plastics, Rubber and Composites, Vol 39, No 7, September 2010, 
A Sato, H Sakaguchi, H Ito and K Koyama
Composite AwardUnidirectional composite in mechanical fatigue: Modelling debond growth from fibre breaks
, Plastics, Rubber and Composites, Vol 39, No 3-5, June 2010, A Pupurs and J Varna

Guy Bengough AwardLocalised corrosion of heat treated alloys 
Part 1
 and Part 2
, Corrosion Engineering Science and Technology, Vol 45, No 2, April 2010, G Tormoen, N Sridharand A Anderko

Billiton Gold MedalNickel, copper and cobalt distributions and equilibria in Anglo Platinum furnace slags

, Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy (Trans IMM C), Vol 119, No 2, 2010, L Andrews andP C Pistorius
Mann Redmayne Award Identifying gold losses through application of SIMS technology
, Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy (Trans IMM C), Vol 119, No 4, 2010, N Chapman, K Prince, P Evans, F Radke, P Hayward and N Lester


Douglas Hay AwardMonitoring open stope caving at Goldex Mine
, Mining Technology (Trans IMM A), Vol 119, No 3, pp 142-150, 2010, 
M R Hudyma, P Frenette and I Leslie

 Nominations for the 2012 awards are open until 12th December 2011. For more information on how to nominate and a description of each award, please visit the IOM3 website


If your institution does not yet subscribe to these journals, why not suggest a free trial? Institutions can trial the Materials Science & Engineering Collection for up to 6 months, completely free of charge! 
Visit the Librarians Free trial page

CONTACT ALSO Trustworthy Publisher Maney Press for more information on Materials Science and Engineering Publication
Jennifer Walshaw (j.walshaw)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Flat-panel electronic displays: a triumph of physics, chemistry and engineering

Flat-panel electronic displays: a triumph of physics, chemistry and engineering has been added to my video wall and copied to this post. The full paper doi: 10.1098/rsta.2009.0247, 13 March 2010 vol. 368 no. 1914 1027-1082 is one of 12 published on open access in the famous Royal Society publication, Phil Trans A, for mathematical, physical and engineering sciences.

Conversations-on-Innovations: USA's National Center for Manufacturing Sciences practises what many already believe "that collaboration is innovation's incubator"

Conversations-on-Innovations: USA's National Center for Manufacturing Sciences practises what many already believe "that collaboration is innovation's incubator"

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

University Ranking Times and The Complete


but things look a wee bit better on the UK only score card _ scroll down
Technology & Engineering
Times Higher Education world-university-rankings/2011-2012/ Tech & Eng
6 University of Cambridge, 8. University of Oxford , 9. Imperial College London

Phys-Sci 2010-2011Phys Sci 2010-2011  2011-12 to be published 10 Nov 2011.

8 University of Cambridge, 10 University of Oxford, 13. Imperial College London

27 University of Edinburgh

For good measure
Arts and Humanities Universities 2010-2011

16 University of Edinburgh, 20 University of St. Andrews

 Top 50 Social Sciences Universities 2010-2011  No Comment!

 Top 50 Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health Universities 2010-2011  idem

Life Sciences


 UK University Subject Tables 2012 & Mechanical engineering
7 Strathclyde   Just holding our own considering our history, Andersonian Inst -> The Royal College of Sci & Tech Glasgow

Business Studies

16 Strathclyde  The Business School was the 1st created in 1963 my entry year!

It may be tempting to say that "it's not what you know but who you know" in terms of maintaining Univ ranking for this also is a student criteria in choosing a School but I admit to have lacked the motivation to study the above criteria in-depth - I trust the staff do this in depth

And I wonder if spin-off revenue and industrial and enterprise funding "Invention - Innovation - Marketing" enter such estimations?  If they do will the Uni's loose their independence of thought, ethics and independence? Strong leadership and independent spirit will remain a premium

Interdisciplinary Advanced Forming Research Centre, Univ of Strathclyde "The Tech", One of 7 Members of the Advanced Manufacturing Consortium


This post arose from a short note in the Strathclyde Quarterly Alumni Mag., Autumn 2011. and a real pleasure to see that the once proud Metallurgy Department-Colville Building has prominent place in the new Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (even if Sheffield houses a couple of Centres, cf. ref.1, below and the metals recycling spin-off was cornered by Heriot-Watt 's Caledonian Aerotech. cf refs.3 & 4, below) The notes in parenthesis are more than sour grapes they are intended to keep my colleagues up-north on their toes...
 Now it is also encouraging to learn that, fittingly, my old outfit  Aubert & Duval-Imphy  are among the sponsors, cf. ref.3.

The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) is a collaborative venture between the University of Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise,the Scottish Government and internationally renowned engineering firms including Rolls‐Royce, Boeing, Mettis Aerospace, TIMET, Aubert and Duval Aubert and Duval and Barnes Aerospace.

Formally opened in January 2011 by HRH the Duke of York, the AFRC represents a total investment of £30M over 5 years.

The Centre undertakes fundamental and applied  research, and develops cutting‐edge forming and forging techniques to support manufacturing processes in the aerospace, energy, marine and
automobile industries.

Key manufacturing challenges:
-Tighter tolerances: Plant monitoring, control and robotics.
-Longer die life: Improved die design and use.
-Lubrication: Investigating mechanisms and improved lubricants.
Improved models: Microstructure, properties and probabilistic methods

This post could and should, given time, be extended to give much credit to the UK, Innovation Strategy Initiative


1. Innovate UK_newsletter 01_june2011 [pdf]

2. Technology Strategy Board

3. Materials Science and Technology, Feb. 1985, Vol 1- 1st Issue.  strong evidence of work done at AD_Imhpy (Imphy SA at the time) In fact much more was achieved, from initiating the industrial aceptation of the project requested by GE-SNECMA, to the industrial realisations to tight tolerances Chemistry, Microstracture, cleanness, equivalence of virgin materials and recycled aero-engine scrap material,  imposed by client QC-AQ procedures

Recycled alloy718 supplied by Ireland Alloys Ireland Alloys in Blantyre, Scotland now part of Murry Metals Grp 1982 to 1986. Excellent source.

4. Caledonian Aerotech

Caledonian Aerotech has carved a lucrative niche in the multi-billion dollar global aerospace market by recycling and processing the special alloys used in the production of aircraft engines, land-based turbines and in the petrochemical industries.

A core process is recovering the metal left after machining, then cleaning, grading and preparing it to be returned as ‘chips’ to specialist melters for re-use, (PS shunned upon by Aerospacial Toulouse now EADS for aluminium-lithium [Al-Li alloys] in 1988! but registered in my report to Airbus Industry on Materials Selection 1988.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Metallurgy for dummies_Just added to my blog list

I blogged this item with a colleague's project in mind "Writing elementary materials science lectures"

The topics in this blog are up-to-date subjects, images are good but for educational material I believe our college and fellow IOM3 member will bring the necessary underlying scientific principles to light/

Anyway here is the blog link which may also be found by scrolling right down to the very foot of my page...

Metallurgy for dummies

I shall be pleased to pass on any further information on such approaches to our fellow materials science colleague.

Good luck and best wishes to all contributors

Tuesday, 27 September 2011



1-Environmental challenges,  
2-The Impact of Globalisation, 
3-Product Focus and Diversity,
4-Steelplant Technology,


Steel Strategy Seminar_Graduates and Managers in Steel Industry will broaden their understanding during these five 1-day seminars, while meeting the cursed bottom line...

So say the specialists, Professional Metallurgists-Steelmakers  (IOM3-Iron and Steel Society, a division of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining) and Global Sponsors, EEF The management association UK Steel,  EEF The management association UK Steel,  GrefTech-Graphite Industry   Siemans VAI and  TATA .



Monday, 26 September 2011

LINK Strong Packaging Innovation Push_Starpack Industry Awards 2011_Innovation from the Packaging Division of IOM3

Strong Packaging Innovation Push_Starpack Industry Awards 2011_Innovation from the Packaging Division of IOM3

IOM3 TV_ Great new feature by The Instutute of Materials Minerals

Free features

1. Young Persons' World Lecture Competition, Kuala Lumpur, September 2010

 - 7 lectures, all of which may be viewed and downloaded as readable Power Point documents

2 Charles Hatchett Lecture 2010

 - 2 Lectures, one of which may be viewed and downloaded as readable Power Point documents
Development of niobium-alloyed large diameter pipes,  by Sandrine Bremer.


Colleagues, that's not all, The Institute, IOM3 have introduced a selected You Tube video on Institute matters and videos on materials science recommended by members.
You Tube Materials Science Series (Free Viewing and may I add, recommended!)

NB. Could be my blogging initiatives especially in the Video presentation approach is not all vein

Maney Publishing - Journal-of-the-month-Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly_FREE PAPERS

Let me bring to the attention of my colleagues in  "The Global Community of Metallurgists, Chemical Engineers and Materials Scientists", this new introductory offer of free papers (3 years of CMQ online to read or download) courtesy of our IOM3 joint publisher
 Maney journal-of-the-month- Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly(cmq)

For example I personally downloaded today a few papers from the April 2011 edition concerning corrosion of carbon steels using nanoindentation , thermal barrier coatings, superalloys to mention but my first rapid perusal. I also downloaded some golden oldies from the Key paper archive on the Maney site:FREE MATERIALS LINK

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Moore's Law and beyond _ Where Semiconductor Science is going_Interdisciplinary Public and Private Partnership Funded Projects in the Semiconductor Field

The joint NSF-NRI grants were awarded to the following projects in nanoelectronics research and can be viewed in detail at the accompanying links:
Scalable Sensing, Storage and Computation with a Rewritable Oxide Nanoelectronics Platform, directed by Jeremy Levy at University of Pittsburgh.
Integrated Biological and Electronic Computation at the Nanoscale, directed by Timothy Lu at MIT.

Developing a Graphene Spin Computer: Materials, Nano-Devices, Modeling, and Circuits, directed by Roland Kawakami at University of California at Riverside.
Meta-Capacitance and Spatially Periodic Electronic Excitation Devices (MC-SPEEDs), directed by Jonathan Spanier at Drexel University.
Hybrid Spintronics and Straintronics: New Technology for Ultra-Low Energy Computing and Signal Processing Beyond the Year 2020, directed by Supriyo Bandyopadhyay at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Charge-Density-Wave Computational Fabric: New State Variables and Alternative Material Implementation, directed by Alexander Balandin at University of California at Riverside.
Ultimate Electronic Device Scaling Using Structurally Precise Graphene Nanoribbons, directed by Paulette Clancy at Cornell University.
Nanoelectronics with Mixed-valence Molecular QCA, directed by Craig Lent at University of Notre Dame.
Scalable Perpendicular All-Spin Non-Volatile Logic Devices and Circuits with Hybrid Interconnection, directed by Jian-Ping Wang at University of Minnesota at Twin Cities.
Physics-Inspired Non-Boolean Computation Based on Spatial-Temporal Wave Excitations, directed by Wolfgang Porod at University of Notre Dame.
Novel Quantum Switches Using Heterogeneous Atomically Layered Nanostructures, directed by Philip Kim at Columbia University.
Superlattice-FETs, Gamma-L-FETs and Tunnel-FETs: Materials, Circuits and Devices for Fast, Ultra-Low Power, directed by Mark Rodwell at University of California at Santa Barbara.

These 12 NSF-NRI joint grants expand and strengthen the commitment to this public-private partnership program, which is in its sixth year.
NSF Divisions participating in this competition are the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) in the Directorate for Engineering, the Division of Materials Research (DMR) and the Division of Chemistry (CHE) in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and the Division of Computing and Communications Foundations (CCF) in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering,
Companies participating in NRI are GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, Intel Corporation, Micron Technology and Texas Instruments. These companies assign researchers to interact with the university teams. This kind of university-industry engagement will be instrumental in order for NRI to reach its goal of demonstrating the feasibility of novel computing devices in simple computer circuits during the next five to 10 years.


via The regular progammed Yahoo Materials Science Search of 19 Sept 2011

Monday, 12 September 2011

Pick of the Day from my RSS feed-Reducing Metal-Metal Friction_an InnoCentive Challenge

Reducing Metal–Metal Friction 

Call for the attention of  metallurgists, materials scientist and coatings specialist:
NB. If I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch.

AWARD: $10,000 USD | DEADLINE: 10/30/11 or 30 Oct 2011  | ACTIVE SOLVERS: 170  | POSTED: 8/30/11 or 30 Aug 2011.

The Challenge is to find a treatment that can reduce the Coefficient of Friction on stainless steel metal parts. It will be a bonus if the solution is applicable to Titanium, Aluminum and other ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. The solution could be a coating or a surface treatment.

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.

Challenge Overview

Metal to metal friction in small manufactured devices causes many problems like galling and eventually wearing out and failure of parts. The Seeker is looking for a durable treatment or coating that can reduce the Coefficient of Friction (COF) in a Metal-Metal system with various Alloys of SS, Ti and Al. Any solution must not affect the strength of the base metal.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, they will grant to the Seeker non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

Call for the attention of metallurgists, materials scientist and coatings specialist:
NB. If I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Sincerely yours in materials science and engineering

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Energy Sustainability Tops EPSRC List of Six Global Research Challenges

As my two previous posts have shown energy sustainability remains a primary consideration. It tops the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) list of

2.Digital economy,
3. Manufacturing the future,
4. Healthcare technologies,
5. Living with environmental change
6. Global uncertainties.

Energy sustainability and better renewable energy topics are one of the main motivators for my blogging activity. I shall continue to address such topics at the risk of being boring.

Such is the importance of this subject and the quality of Energy Initiatives WW that one may safely "assess risk" (another challenge) of  boredom to be small or insignificant? Here I shall add the MIT Energy Initiative to my RSS feed to the blog. To consult this feed please scroll down to the blog footer blocks.  Let me draw readers attention for example to a recent advance in the form of Sun-Free-Photovoltaics

Among the many useful features in the MIT-EI figure an extensive video series both visual and script version. video series both visual and script

Foresight-Hindsight in Materials Science and Engineering _Project Portfolio Management

Following my last post “ Selection Criteria for Research Project Funding,” 8 Sept. 2011, let us continue our “Foresight –Hindsight” (marketing) exercise using a short presentation using a modified BCG matrix (4 squares)or  GE/McKinsey matrix(9 squares) chart

The chart which I wish to draw to the attention of my metallurgical and materials scientist friends,  members of  The Institute was originally published in Materials World    and archived in my personal files for more than a decade.  Cf. Image 1 below.   It is a nine square GE/McKinsey matrix.

-Areas of Attractiveness are represented by 3 colums- (vertical axis):  1. Emerging,2. Intermediate and 3. Key priority areas, of increasing attractiveness 1 to 3.
-Areas of Feasibility are represented by position on the horizontal axis :  increasing feasibility from left to right.
Within this matrix the upper most right hand square is magnified and again divided into another 9 square matrix, “Attractiveness versus Feasibility”.  Such a process both shows how this approach can be usefully refined while pragmatically bringing focus to the necessary couple, Key Priorities which are Feasible.  Clear objectives can be given and so motivation increased.  The challenges of the research for excellence are respected and the likelihood of impact in appropriate areas increased.
The presentation allows the representation of 9 blocks IE GE/McKinsey presentation.
The arc through the intermediate and emerging  themes draws attention to the fact that the most-attractive and desireable does not always correspond to the most feasible.
Many of the themes presented in the previous post "Selection Criteria for Research Funding" EPSRC 2010 - 2013 have previously figured in the BCG - GE/McKinsey Matrix approach established at least a decade earlier (Image 1) An attempt to show this continuing preoccupation with certain themes is shown in the table below in bold characters. One reason for this is the wide nature of themes cf previous post headings:


<><><>  <><><><>   <>

Health & Life Style
Optical Tech.
Genetic &
Biomolecular Eng.,
Bioinformatics, Communication
with machines, Telerepresentation/
Sensors &
sensory information processing,
Software Eng.,
Security &
privacy tech

Risk assessment
& management,
Design & Systems Integration,
Chemical &

Modelling &
Simulation, Catalysis,
Work place
& Home.
 Management &
Business                                    Process Eng.,
  Environmentally     sustainable tech.
Demographic change, clean processing tech, Energy Tech, LCA,  Automation.

Materials Process
& Control,
Materials processing

1. Selection Criteria for Research Project Funding 8 Sept. 20112..
2.Critical Minerals and Metals Defined  12 April 2011.

REFERENCES – EBOOKS on Forsight and Portfolio Management

1.      GE/McKinsey matrix(9 squares) chart
2. Portfolio Management: Fundamental for New Product Success  [pdf]
by Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Dr. Scott J. Edgett and Dr. Elko J. Kleinschmidt,
Reference Paper #12
Compliments of: Stage-Gate International and Product Development Institute Inc
4. Foresight Projects are in-depth studies examining major issues 20-80 years in the future.
5. Selection of research priorities – method of critical technologies by Karel Klusacek [pdf]
Technology Centre of the Academy of Sciences CR Rozvojova 135, 165 02 Prague 6, Czech Republic
6. Crafting a methodology for formation of R and D strategy based on evolutionary epistemology: case study of Iran power industry [pdf]

7. Priority Systems: Technical Terms Used in Project Portfolio Management

9. Stakeholder Identification and Analysis Techniques, John M. Bryson, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, 245 Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota [pdf].


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Selection Criteria for Research Project Funding

Summary of  UK, Selection Criteria for Research Project Funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)


1. Search for Excellence
2. Impact of research results, ie.  the demonstrable  contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy. To maximise impact goal achievement, routes to success must be envisaged and planned from the project outset.  Potential of Results in the Long Term are evaluated after 4 years.

Excellence will be measured at an International Level and reviewed by peers.

Impact embraces all the extremely diverse ways research-related knowledge and skills benefit individuals, organisations and nations by –

1. Fostering global economic performance, and specifically national economic competitiveness.
2. Increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy.
3. Enhancing quality of life, health and creative output.

Four-year delivery plan sets out priorities and strategies to 2013

EPSRC published a four-year delivery plan setting out our priorities and strategies to 2013.

1. Shaping capability.
2. Delivering impact.
3. Developing leaders. 

2.Digital economy,
3. Manufacturing the future,
4. Healthcare technologies,
5. Living with environmental change
6. Global uncertainties.

Full impact may be years away, but the award of the Nobel Prize for Physics 2010 to EPSRC researcher Professor Andre Geim and fellow Russian-born scientist Konstantin Novoselov for their groundbreaking work on the two dimensional material graphene.


High Purity Cr sources for Superalloys

Energy for th Future:Phil.Trans.A-Vol. 365, N° 1853 / April 15, 2007, curtesy The Royal Soc. London

Engineered foams and porous materials: Phil Trans A. Vol 364, N° 1838 / 06 curtesy_The R Soc. Lond