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 new ultrasonic exploration technology for high pressure and temperature environments and investigated 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 new high frequency flexural ultrasonic transducers for operation in a range of liquid and gas measurement environments towards 200 bar and 500°C (HiFFUT). He is a Chartered Engineer and member of both the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the IEEE.
Andrew’s principal research is focused on the integration of advanced materials, particularly those exhibiting shape memory, into ultrasonic devices and electro-mechanical systems for a range of medical and industrial applications. He is a member of the Centre for Medical and Industrial Ultrasonics (C-MIU) and the Materials & Manufacturing Research Group (MMRG).
Andrew's research comprises four key themes, which are outlined below.
Theme 1: Adaptive Ultrasonics through Advanced Materials 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. It is anticipated that the incorporation of these materials into ultrasonic devices will open several new industrial and medical applications.
Theme 2: Ultrasonics for Surgery and Healthcare 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 other 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.
Theme 3: Ultrasonic Metrology in Complex Fluid Environments 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 investigated 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 ultrasonic devices.
Theme 4: Ultrasonic Hydrometallurgy 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-based methods to enhance such effects for green mineral processing and recycling.
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)
- 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.
- Alicia Gardiner (Adaptive Metamaterials for Ultrasonic Applications), 2020 - 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:
2020 - 2021
Mechanical Design 1 (ENG1016) - Course Convenor and Lecturer
Individual Project 4 (ENG4110P)
Individual Project 5 (ENG5041P)
PDE MSc Project (EXT5156P)
MSc Project (ENG5059P)
Ultrasonic Engineering Case Study (ENG5328)
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
- University of Warwick (2020 - Present)
- IEEE UFFC Publicity (2020 - Present)
International Conference Organisation
- The 49th Ultrasonics Industry Association (UIA) Symposium, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, 2020 (postponed to 2021).
International Conference Session Chair
- 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.