Louise Brown (University of Nottingham)
I was awarded a PhD from the University of Nottingham in 1988 and continued there as an industrial researcher until 1994. I worked as a Software Engineer until 2009, when I returned to the Composites Research Group at the University of Nottingham as a Research Fellow.
Composite materials are increasingly used in a wide range of applications, particularly in the aerospace and automotive industries which take advantage of their low weight and high strength. Their use will contribute to the targets in place for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the weight of components and therefore energy used.
During the fellowship I will explore the challenges of modelling the increasingly complex textile structures used in composite materials and examine how computer simulations can predict their behaviour, both during manufacture and in service. Complex 3D weaves give the opportunity to enhance the properties of materials and to design specific shapes. Software tools will be developed for optimisation of the weave patterns used to form preform structures such as I- and T-beams, common elements used in engineering design.
Textiles are used in a large range of applications and industries and new ‘intelligent’ textiles are being developed which incorporate different materials or sensors. This programme will identify new and emerging areas in textile technology which will have requirements for modelling and simulation capability. The requirements will vary with the materials, for example transport of heat, fluid, electrons and molecules through the textile. A new set of tools will be developed to meet the analysis needs of these new technologies, enabling simulations relevant to the different materials to be performed and impacting on both the properties created and manufacturing processes developed for these new materials.
Career benefits of Fellowship
Having the fellowship will allow me to become more independent as a researcher, extending the reach and areas of application for the software on which I work. As a Research Software Engineer this fellowship will also provide the opportunity to input into the discussion on career paths for software engineers within academia.