Thursday, 12 September 2013

Special Seminar by Prof Patrick Selvadurai

Prof Patrick Selvadurai, William Scott Professor and James McGill Professor, from the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics at McGill University, Montreal in Canada, gave a special seminar at the Wessex Institute of Technology.
The lecture was entitled ‘Contact and Inclusion Problems in Biot Poromechanics’. Prof Selvadurai explained that poromechanics studies the behaviour of a porous media which is saturated with a fluid. The solid part of the material is referred to as the matrix which is permeated by a network of pores or voids which is filled with a fluid and are interconnected. It is usual to assume that both the solid matrix and the pore network are continuous and act like sponge. The theory can be applied to many substances such as rocks and soils and other materials. This type of porous material is a solid matrix which can be considered to be elastic and the fluid to be poroelastic. The poroelastic medium can be defined by its permeability and porosity as well as properties of its constituents both solid matrix and fluid.
Although Karl von Terzaghi is considered to be the father of soil mechanics, Maurice Biot developed the theory associated with poromechanics and published a series of papers between 1935 and 1957 on the theory of dynamic poroelasticity (known as Biot theory). This gives an understanding of behaviour of poroelasticity mediums using:
  • The equation of linear elasticity for a solid matrix.
  • Navier Stokes equation for viscous fluid.
  • Darcy’s Law for flow through a porous matrix.

In the theory of dynamic poroelasticity there exists three types of elastic waves, the first of which is a shear transverse wave and the remaining two are longitudinal and compression waves, these are referred to as type I and II waves.
Several applications to Biots theory were given, one of which was the subsidence of the Leaning Tower of Pisa which relates to the contact problems associated with poroelasticity.
The lecture was well received and generated a lively discussion.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Special Seminar by Prof Eckart Schnack


Professor Eckart Schnack from the Karlruhe Institute of Technology in Germany has given a Special Seminar in the newly inaugurated Neptune Lecture room at the Wessex Institute of Technology.

The lecture was entitled “Applying NTFA method for nonlinear homogenization of metal-ceramic composites of AlSi12/Al2O3”

Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) are important lightweight materials because of their excellent mechanic properties. In this work, the 3D model microstructure of AlSi12/Al2O3 with periodic spatial discretization is produced and used as the virtual material for the homogenization process. With an efficient description of the macroscopic thermo-mechanical behavior of metal-ceramic composites, the thermo-mechanical homogenization method, the non-uniform transformation field analysis (NTFA) was adopted and extended by reformulation of the underlying equations. This method is an ’’order reduction’’ technique specifically designed for homogenization problems with micro-mechanical motivation. The implementation of NTFA was based on the finite element method. The homogenized material model was implemented into ABAQUS in structural analysis. Comparison of numerical results with full-field simulation highlights the efficiency of NTFA for three-dimensional homogenization problems.

The lecture was followed with great interest by the participants and resulted in a long and lively discussion.

Prof Schnack is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Wessex Institute of Technology.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Special Seminar by Prof Patrick Selvadurai

Prof Patrick Selvadurai, William Scott Professor and James McGill Professor, from the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics at McGill University, Montreal in Canada, gave a special seminar at the Wessex Institute of Technology.
The lecture was entitled ‘Contact and Inclusion Problems in Biot Poromechanics’. Prof Selvadurai explained that poromechanics studies the behaviour of a porous media which is saturated with a fluid. The solid part of the material is referred to as the matrix which is permeated by a network of pores or voids which is filled with a fluid and are interconnected. It is usual to assume that both the solid matrix and the pore network are continuous and act like sponge. The theory can be applied to many substances such as rocks and soils and other materials. This type of porous material is a solid matrix which can be considered to be elastic and the fluid to be poroelastic. The poroelastic medium can be defined by its permeability and porosity as well as properties of its constituents both solid matrix and fluid.
Although Karl von Terzaghi is considered to be the father of soil mechanics, Maurice Biot developed the theory associated with poromechanics and published a series of papers between 1935 and 1957 on the theory of dynamic poroelasticity (known as Biot theory). This gives an understanding of behaviour of poroelasticity mediums using:
  • The equation of linear elasticity for a solid matrix.
  • Navier Stokes equation for viscous fluid.
  • Darcy’s Law for flow through a porous matrix.
In the theory of dynamic poroelasticity there exists three types of elastic waves, the first of which is a shear transverse wave and the remaining two are longitudinal and compression waves, these are referred to as type I and II waves.
Several applications to Biots theory were given, one of which was the subsidence of the Leaning Tower of Pisa which relates to the contact problems associated with poroelasticity.
The lecture was well received and generated a lively discussion.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Horse Meat Scandal - Food and Environment 2013


Regarding the recent coverage of the mislabelling of food throughout Europe, we would like to bring to your attention the second international conference on Food and Environment which will be held in BudapestHungary from 22-24 April this year.  The conference will cover the important topics of traceability, contamination, regulations, transportation within the food industry, and other related topics.

The aim of the conference is to emphasise the effects of modern food production processes on the environment and human health, and to initiate discussion on the best ways to provide food of required quality, sufficient quantities and in a sustainable way.

The many advances made over the past century in food production have resulted in the possibility of feeding the whole of humanity. These advances have been achieved by the introduction of new production practices and a variety of added substances aimed at enhancing the quality and safety of food products; the whole process being affected by other environmental conditions such as contamination of air, water and soil resulting from sources other than agriculture. On the other hand there are examples where food production and food processing have detrimental effects on the environment. Some of the major challenges remain with extensive farming, which though offering higher productivity and larger volumes, should neither compromise the quality of the product nor cause undue suffering to animals.

Given the importance of this problem which affects the whole world population, it is essential to understand the consequences that food production, processes and demands can have on the food consumed daily. Of particular importance are the effects on human health and the well-being of the population, as well as the more general issues related to possible damage to the environment and ecology.

Food-related problems, in spite of their importance, have not been sufficiently well discussed in relation to the possible consequences to the environment, to better understand the challenges faced by society in this regard.

For further information please refer to our website http://www.wessex.ac.uk/13-conferences/food-and-environment-2013.html.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Post Conference Reports

Post Conference reports are now available for all the 2012 Wessex Institute Conferences at http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences.html - Find out what happened at the conference or go to http://library.witpress.com and search for the papers presented at the conferences.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Prigogine Medal 2012

Prof. Gerald Pollack
The 2012 Prigogine Medal was presented to Professor Gerald Pollack from the University of Washington at the Sustainable City 2012 conference held in Ancona, Italy earlier this year.

The Prigogine Medal was established by the University of Siena and the Wessex Institute of Technology to honour the memory of Professor Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry.

Professor Carlos A Brebbia expressed the gratitude of the conference and his Institution for the support received from the University of La Marche. He then explained that the work of Prigogine is of direct relevance to the material presented at Sustainable City 2012. Ilya Prigogine was born in Moscow in 1917 and obtained his degree in Chemistry at the Free University of Brussels. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theory of dissipative structures. The main theme of his scientific work was the role of time in the physical sciences and biology. The results of his work have had profound consequences for understanding biological and ecological systems.

Prigogine’s ideas established the basis for ecological systems research. The Prigogine Medal to honour his memory – Carlos said - is awarded annually to a leading scientist in the field of ecological systems. All recipients have been deeply influenced by the work of Prigogine.
Previous Prigogine Medal winners are:
  • 2004 Sven Jorgensen, Denmark
  • 2005 Enzo Tiezzi, Italy
  • 2006 Bernard Patten, USA
  • 2007 Robert Ulanowicz, USA
  • 2009 Ioannis Antoniou, Greece
  • 2010 Felix Müller, Germany
  • 2011 Larissa Brizhik, Ukraine
The establishment of the Medal was in large part an initiative of the late Professor Enzo Tiezzi, an outstanding disciple of Prigogine.

Professor  Brebbia asked Professor Ricardo Pulselli, of the University of Siena, Italy, to say a few words regarding Enzo Tiezzi, a pioneer of complex dynamic systems and the thermodynamics of living systems.
He received the 2005 Medal at the University of Cadiz during an academic ceremony presented by the Rector of that Institution. Professor Tiezzi studied at the University of Florence where he developed an interest in the then novel field of Magnetic Resonance.

While on a Fulbright scholarship at Washington University, he worked under Professor Sam Weissman of the Physics Department and Professor Barry Commoner of the Department of Biology.

The development of Enzo’s outstanding scientific career was matched by a strong involvement in environmental and social issues, reflecting his deep commitment to ecology and Prigogine’s ideas. Professor Tiezzi in addition to numerous papers, published more than 20 books dealing with scientific topics, as well as humanities and poetry. He was an outstanding photographer and artist. Enzo was a good friend of the Wessex Institute as well as a member of its Board of Directors.

His group on Ecology and Thermodynamics, discipline that he called Ecodynamics, continues to carry out Enzo’s research at the University of Siena.

Professor Brebbia thanked Ricardo for his remarks and briefly described the career of Gerald Pollack, the recipient of the 2012 Medal, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, USA.

Gerald received his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and since then has carried out outstanding research in a wide variety of fields, ranging from biological motion and cell biology to the interaction of biological surfaces with aqueous solutions. He has published numerous papers in leading scientific journals and is author of several books, including one on the underlying principle of biological motion and another on cells and gels as the engines of life.

He has received many awards and is a member of prestigious national and international organisations. Gerald is founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of both the American Heart Association and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Professor Brebbia then asked Professor Nadia Marchettini, of the University of Siena and widow of Enzo Tiezzi to present the medal.

Nadia referred to the saying ‘Scientists do not read Shakespeare and humanists have no sense for the beauty of mathematics’. That is how Prigogine introduced the dichotomy between the two cultures, scientific and humanist.

When Enzo Tiezzi met Carlos A Brebbia – Nadia said – to discuss the idea of launching a special award for scientist-humanistic in memory of his mentor Ilya Prigogine, Enzo clearly expressed the opinion to rejoin those two cultures.

The Prigogine medal was conceived to reward interdisciplinary research and overcome the problem of the fragmentation of knowledge imposed by artificial mesh boundaries’

In this regard it is pertinent to quote Herman Daly, father of Ecological Economics, who said,
‘Real problems do not observe academic boundaries. We certainly believe that thinking should be ‘disciplined’ in the sense of observing logic and facts, but not ‘disciplinary’ in the sense of limiting itself to traditional methodologies and tools that have become enshrined in the academic departments’

Nadia ended her remarks with a few words that Enzo would have to say on occasions and were found in a note amongst his many papers. They are of particular interest in the time of crisis we are currently living ie:

‘Democracy is always the fruit of co-evolution of the natural environment and human culture, and therefore varies from place to place.
‘Democracy can only exist if the natural and cultural diversity of a region is respected and considered, and with it the sacredness of places.
‘Democracy is real democracy if it allows science and art to express themselves without the constraints of utility, ideology, dogma, economic interest or aims. Archimedes used to say that he was not concerned with useful things, only with the free and beautiful.

Nadia then presented the Prigogine Medal to Gerald Pollack who proceeded to deliver his special lecture on ‘The Secret Life of Water: E=H20’, an abstract of which is as follows:
‘School children learn that water has three phases: solid, liquid and vapor. But we have recently uncovered what appears to be a fourth phase. This phase occurs next to water-loving (hydrophilic) surfaces. It is surprisingly extensive, projecting out from the surface by up to millions of molecular layers.

‘Of particular significance is the observation that this fourth phase is charged; and, the water just beyond is oppositely charged, creating a battery that can produce current. We found that light recharges this battery. Thus, water can receive and process electromagnetic energy drawn from the environment — much like plants. The absorbed light energy can then be exploited for performing work, including electrical and mechanical work. Recent experiments confirm the reality of such energy conversion.

‘The energy-conversion framework implied above seems rich with implication. Not only does it provide an understanding of how water processes solar and other energies, but also it may provide a foundation for simpler understanding natural phenomena ranging from weather and green energy all the way to biological issues such as the origin of life, transport, and osmosis.

The lecture presented evidence for the presence of this novel phase of water, and considered the potentially broad implications of this phase for physics, chemistry and biology, as well as some practical applications for engineering.’

Thursday, 30 August 2012

SUSI 2012

12th International Conference on Structures Under Shock and Impact

4 -  6 September 2012, Kos, Greece

Organiser

Wessex Institute of Technology

Description

SUSI 2012 is the 12th international conference in the series on ‘Structures Under Shock and Impact’. The main objective of the meeting is to attract participants with as wide a spectrum of expertise as possible, working across a broad range of structural problems throughout industry and academia which are subjected to impact and blast loadings.

The shock and impact behaviour of structures is a challenging area, not only because of its obvious time-dependent aspects, but also because of the difficulties in specifying the external dynamic loading characteristics and in obtaining the full dynamic properties of materials. Thus it is important to recognise and fully utilise the contributions and understanding emerging from the theoretical, numerical and experimental studies, as well as investigations into the material properties under dynamic loading conditions.

The shock and impact behaviour of structures is a very active field and the range of topics is ever expanding. The list of topics shown only gives an idea of the wide range of applications to be discussed during the meeting. Contributions in topics not listed are also welcome if they fall within the scope of the SUSI conference.

SUSI 2010 follows on from the other successful meetings in this series, which first started in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (1989) and continued in Portsmouth, UK (1992); Madrid, Spain (1994); Udine, Italy (1996); Thessaloniki, Greece (1998); Cambridge, UK (2000); Montreal (2002); Crete (2004); the New Forest, UK (2006); the Algarve, Portugal (2008) and Tallinn, Estonia (2010).

Conference Topics
  • Energy absorbing issues
  • Hazard mitigation and assessment
  • Impact and blast loading characteristics
  • Interaction between computational and experimental results
  • Structural crashworthiness
  • Seismic behaviour
  • Industrial accidents and explosions
  • Response of reinforced concrete under impact
  • Protection of structures from blast and impact loads
  • Forensic engineering
  • Aeronautical and aerospace applications
Web Page

View the conference website, which has full details about the conference objectives, topics and submission requirements at:  http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/susi-2012.html