Granta’s very own Professor Michael Ashby is one of just six scientists to receive one of the 2017 International Congress on Fracture‘s highest honors, an Alan H. Cottrell Gold Medal.
In terms of sheer coolness, very few things come close to NASA – especially if you happen to be an avid Sci-Fi fan like me. With that in mind, two stories that emphasise the critical role materials selection plays in the quest towards space exploration have caught my eye.
Develop3D’s Al Dean gets his hands on the latest version of CES Selector, in a review that asks us to ‘imagine the benefits that could be derived from making smarter, more informed material decisions’.
Our very own Stephen Warde has been interviewed for the blog of one of the major providers of CAD/PLM software. Speaking to PTC, Steve highlights the difficulties faced by design engineers and the impact materials have on the ultimate cost and performance of a product.
“Are you innovating with intent?” seems like a simple question but if your company doesn’t have a good materials information strategy in place, the answer will most likely be “No”. In our latest blog post, you’ll discover how companies like Ethicon Endo-Surgery are innovating and raising their materials IQ.
Welcome to the third in our series in which we meet the Granta team. We spoke with our colleague Rhys to find out everything, from what he most enjoys about being a Software Tester to which historical figure provides him with a daily dose of inspiration. We’re always looking for like-minded individuals who have passion and drive to make positive changes to our software development; take a look at our current opportunities if you think this could be you.
“My typical day encompasses a wide range of manual and automated testing. One minute I might be verifying the functionality of a new interactive feature, while the next I’ll find myself working on code to deploy and configure our products on virtual machines via TeamCity. Working closely with the developers within an Agile environment, I know my input is always valued during our sprint planning meetings, and my regular involvement in maintaining JIRA issues helps to create an audit trail of how we are constantly improving our software.
Successful products require Engineers and Designers to collaborate, often around materials choices: balancing performance with aesthetics for the ideal product experience. Engineering curricula don’t always recognise the importance of this connection. Engineers and Designers get only a limited understanding of each other’s work, while Materials is often an under-appreciated subject. Cambridge Engineering Professor, Mike Ashby, published the book “Materials and Design” in 2009 and has worked on several learning tools to inspire Design and Engineering students about each other’s subjects, and about materials. But it has proved hard to marry the quantitative engineering perspective with descriptions of aesthetics that are often variable and culturally-dependent.
At Granta, we recently ran a survey to explore the challenges of teaching sustainable development. Key findings, from 200 plus responses, indicated that academics would welcome more case studies with real data, and a global perspective on interlinked environmental and social impacts. The feedback was consistent with my own experience, as a PhD at the Centre for Sustainable Development where I did research in social and environmental impact assessment tools. I was also closely involved in teaching, and subsequently co-developed a start-up company focusing on software and learning. From these experiences, it was clear that software can have a large impact on teaching and outreach. I’m now working as Development Manager and Sustainability Consultant in the Education Team at Granta, collaborating with the academic community and Professor Mike Ashby to develop teaching resources that support the sustainable development subject-area.
The rapid development of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology displays signs of immense promise for making topologically-optimized parts with optimal cost and performance. But with great power comes great challenges! Engineers require an understanding of the complex interactions and relationship between part design, materials, production processes and part performance. Designing the ‘ideal’ geometry can also prove to be a significant challenge. One secret is that succeeding in the real world of AM production requires you to do the right things in the virtual world—in how you simulate AM processes and handle AM data.