Joint Research Institute in Mechanics of Materials, Structures and Bioengineering
The Joint Research Institute is structured around three key themes:
Performance of Materials and Structures
This theme is concerned with novel high performance materials and structures as well as with an assessment of ageing infrastructure. Improved knowledge of the mechanical response and performance of materials and structures is paramount for the whole range of considerations: durability, damage assessment and detection, structural integrity, performance at severe conditions, morphing structures, space systems, control, composites and cementitious materials, multiscale and multi-physics models, nanomechanics, micro-structural testing and characterisation, geo-materials, smart materials and structures.
Particular attention will be paid to nonstandard scenarios, such as high temperatures, explosion blasts, impact, fire and earthquakes. Complex environmental interactions which affect material and structural performance will be simulated and analysed over a range of scales and processes using highly developed cross-discipline computational modelling and experimental techniques.
Design and Processing of Composites and Emerging Materials
This theme addresses new materials and composites used in advanced engineering applications.
Areas of interest include: advanced composites, emerging materials, processes and systems, including nano- and micro-structured materials, surface engineering, corrosion protection, nanoparticle and nano-composites microstructure patterning, nano-additives, shape and magnetic memory alloys, and MEMS. Optimising the manufacturing processes of these novel materials is vital and this will be achieved by investigating experimental, theoretical and computational research over a range of scales and processes. Novel combination of properties will permit composites to be employed in advanced engineering applications. Synergies between medical systems, materials and structures research will be central to the research ethos of the Institute.
Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Engineering
This theme comprises applied bio-mechanics, control and assistive technologies to improve the quality of life and independence of people with severe motor disabilities.
This will be achieved through application of emerging technologies, modelling of complex dynamical systems, applications of advanced materials, non-linear control theory and robotics. Research activity will also encompass other areas that rely on collaboration between engineers, clinicians and basic scientists. The success of this JRI relies on close co-operation between university-based researchers, clinical staff and patients. The JRI will further enhance the strong collaborative research links that already exist. The Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit provides a gateway to clinical specialities and patient resource and facilitates further clinical engagement for this JRI.
Assessment methods, advanced diagnostics, rehabilitation solutions and assistive technologies developed for people with spinal cord injury are transferable to other areas where neurological impairment threatens an individual’s functional capacity.