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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:


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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].


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