Dr Andrew Feeney
- Lecturer (Systems Power & Energy)
Andrew received his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2014, on Nitinol cymbal transducers for tuneable ultrasonic devices. He then undertook postdoctoral research into sub-sea ultrasonic exploration technology, investigating the influence of ultrasonics on different sub-sea geological materials. In 2016, he joined the Department of Physics, University of Warwick, where he was Research Fellow in the Centre for Industrial Ultrasonics (CIU) until 2020. His research during this period focused on high frequency flexural ultrasonic transducers for operation in a range of liquid and gas measurement environments at elevated pressure and temperature levels (HiFFUT). He is a Chartered Engineer and member of both the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the IEEE.
Andrew leads the Adaptus Research Group, established to realise adaptive ultrasonics and systems for intelligent medical and industrial technologies. The Adaptus Research Group utilises advanced materials including those exhibiting shape memory behaviour and metamaterials, integrating them with a wide range of ultrasonic devices and electro-mechanical systems to control and optimise dynamic performance. The group operates across the Centre for Medical and Industrial Ultrasonics (C-MIU) and the Materials & Manufacturing Research Group (MMRG).
The Adaptus Research Group tackles challenges across the following four key themes:
Theme 1: Shape Memory Alloys and Metamaterials Ultrasonic devices are an essential technology in applications across medicine, industrial processing, and sensing. However, those devices which are designed for low ultrasonic frequencies (approximately 20 – 100 kHz), tend to be optimised for operation in one resonant mode. They require precise control of geometry and material properties in order to tune device parameters such as resonance frequency and amplitude. This research theme focuses on engineering ultrasonic devices with adaptive properties. One approach utilises shape memory materials, which can be trained to change state in response to a specific stimulus, such as temperature or stress. Another approach is through metamaterials to tune dynamic properties via material specifications which are not encountered in nature. It is anticipated that the incorporation of these materials into ultrasonic devices will open several new industrial and medical applications.
Theme 2: Medical Devices Wearable healthcare devices are forecast to be dominant in health monitoring over the coming years, and ultrasonic wearables will grow in importance for domestic monitoring of health indicators such as blood pressure. Significant progress has already been made in harnessing the properties of piezoresistive materials, but a key limiter is the requirement of external power, restricting the patient or end-user experience. The aim of this research theme is to develop unobtrusive and self-powered wearable technology based on piezoelectric materials, by replacing bulk-form piezoelectric materials with layered, advanced composites. The second aspect of this research theme is to engineer novel ultrasonic surgical devices, with a view to enabling multifunctional and adaptable performance. This can include optimised dynamics for soft or hard tissue surgeries, undertaken with close relation to Theme 1, and the investigation of biomimetic concepts to enhance device performance. This research is being undertaken as part of the EPSRC UltraSurge programme.
Theme 3: Industrial Sensors Ultrasonic transducers are vital for a multitude of industrial and medical procedures in a range of environments. For example, flexural ultrasonic transducers are now being engineered for measurement in liquid and gas into the hundreds of bar pressure and hundreds of degrees Celsius, power ultrasonic transducers are being considered for sub-sea applications, and there are demands for measurement in clean fuels such as hydrogen. This research theme focuses on addressing the key engineering challenges associated with enabling ultrasonic devices for different fluid environments, including the development of tailored and adaptive ultrasonic devices to meet these demands. My research activity in this area principally began with my research into high frequency flexural ultrasonic transducers whilst at the University of Warwick. The latest updates of this research can be found through this link.
Theme 4: Technology Critical Metal Processing It is known that acoustic cavitation can be used to liberate material such as oil from natural materials including porous rock. However, substantial scientific development is required in the use of ultrasonics in the processing and recovery of valuable minerals from their ores, and for the recycling of e-waste. One method of such green processing is by sonocatalysis in deep eutectic solvents. The goal of this research theme is to investigate and develop new acoustic and ultrasonic-based methods to enhance such effects for green mineral and e-waste processing and recycling. The group's research applies to both natural and synthetic materials. This research is being undertaken in close collaboration with C-MIU's CavLab and the Materials and Interfaces Group of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leicester.
Feeney, A. , Kang, L. and Dixon, S. (2019) Dynamic nonlinearity in piezoelectric flexural ultrasonic transducers. IEEE Sensors Journal, 19(15), pp. 6056-6066. (doi: 10.1109/JSEN.2019.2911158)
Feeney, A. and Lucas, M. (2018) A comparison of two configurations for a dual-resonance cymbal transducer. IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, 65(3), pp. 489-496. (doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2018.2793310)
Dixon, S., Kang, L., Ginestier, M., Wells, C., Rowlands, G. and Feeney, A. (2017) The electro-mechanical behaviour of flexural ultrasonic transducers. Applied Physics Letters, 110(22), 223502. (doi: 10.1063/1.4984239)
Feeney, A. and Lucas, M. (2015) Differential scanning calorimetry of superelastic Nitinol for tunable cymbal transducers. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 27(10), pp. 1376-1387. (doi: 10.1177/1045389X15591383)
- Establishing Adaptive Ultrasonics Through Shape Memory Materials, EPSRC New Investigator Award, EP/V049658/1, £606,562, A. Feeney (PI), 2021 - 2024.
- Ultrasonic Transducer Development, CENSIS and MeterTech Limited, £120,000 (£64,000 Glasgow fund), A. Feeney (PI), S. Cochran, 2021 - 2022.
- Establishing Adaptive Ultrasonics Through Shape Memory Materials, Rewards for Excellence, College of Science & Engineering, University of Glasgow, £10,000, A. Feeney (PI), 2021.
- Green Processing of Ores and E-waste Through Sonocatalysis, SPE ECDP, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, £4,000, A. Feeney (PI), 2021.
- Ultrasonic Compaction for Sub-sea Exploration, Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) and Badger Explorer ASA, £130,500, A. Feeney (Co-I), S. Sikaneta, P. Harkness, M. Lucas, 2015 - 2016.
- Ultrasonic Technology for Sub-sea Exploration, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) IAA and Badger Explorer ASA, £80,000, A. Feeney (Co-I), S. Sikaneta, P. Harkness, M. Lucas, 2014 - 2015.
- CR Barber Trust Fund Grant, Institute of Physics (IoP), 2013.
- Thomas Andrew Common Overseas Conference Grant, Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), 2013.
- EPSRC DTA Research Scholarship (Enhanced Stipend), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Grant EP/P505534/1, 2010 - 2014.
- Alicia Gardiner, Adaptive Metamaterials for Ultrasonic Applications, with the University of Strathclyde, 2020 - Present
- William Somerset, Analytical Modelling of Flexural Ultrasonic Transducers, with the University of Warwick, 2018 - Present
Information for Prospective PhD Students
I am looking for exceptional candidates to undertake a PhD in any one of my key research interests, but particularly in one of the following areas:
- Shape memory materials for adaptive ultrasonic devices
- Next-generation self-powered piezoelectric ultrasonic wearable devices for healthcare applications
- Green processing of ores and e-waste by sonocatalysis in deep eutectic solvents
If you are interested in any of the above or have any questions, please get in touch. The outlines for these projects can be found through the following link:
Mechanical Design 1, ENG1016 - Course Convenor and Lecturer (2020 - Present)
Individual Project 4, ENG4110P (2020 - Present)
Individual Project 5, ENG5041P (2020 - Present)
PDE MSc Project, EXT5156P (2020 - Present)
MSc Project, ENG5059P (2020 - Present)
Ultrasonic Engineering Case Study, ENG5328 (2020 - Present)
Professional activities & recognition
Prizes, awards & distinctions
- 2017, 2018, 2019: Outstanding Contribution to Physics (University of Warwick)
- 2013: RWB Stephens Award Honorable Mention (International Congress on Ultrasonics, Elsevier)
Visiting Academic Posts
- Honorary Lecturer, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (2020 - Present)
- Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, University of Warwick (2020 - Present)
- IEEE UFFC Publicity (2020 - Present)
- FUSE CDT External Engagement (2020 - Present)
International Conference Organisation
- The 50th Ultrasonics Industry Association (UIA) Symposium, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, 2022 (postponed from 2020).
International Conference Session Chair
- The 49th Ultrasonics Industry Association (UIA) Symposium, Online, 2021, Industry Session.
- The 48th Ultrasonics Industry Association (UIA) Symposium, Toronto, Canada, 2019, Industry Session.
- The 6th International Congress on Ultrasonics (ICU), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 2017, Ultrasonic Motors, Actuators, and Sensors Session; Guided Waves and Their Applications in NDE Session.