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ACCIS CDT student wins Victrex best paper prize

Dr John Grasmeder, Chief Scientist at Victrex (left), presenting Jamie with his prize

22 November 2017

ACCIS CDT PhD student Jamie Hartley has been awarded the inaugural Victrex prize for the ‘Best Journal Paper for the Development of Composite Materials’.

Jamie Hartley won the prize for his 2017 paper ‘Effect of tufting density and loop length on the crushing behaviour of tufted sandwich specimens’ published in Composites Part B: Engineering (

Jamie is working on a project, supervised by Dr James Kratz, Professor Ivana Partridge, and Dr Carwyn Ward, to develop an understanding of how tufting can be used as a method of through-thickness reinforcement to improve the energy absorption of composite sandwich structures. The primary aim is to determine the effectiveness of these structures for use within an automotive vehicle to protect the occupants during a crash. Within this journal paper, a series of novel test specimens were produced and tested to determine the influence of individual tufts towards energy absorption, as well as the effect that local manufacturing variations can have on performance.

The prize is open to fourth year students in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT) and to qualify the research must be applicable to the aerospace, oil & gas, renewables, or medical industries. All qualifying papers are reviewed by the Director and Deputy Director of the CDT and paper quality is informed by the number of independent citations and the impact factor of the journal.

Dr John Grasmeder, Chief Scientist at Victrex, presented Jamie with the £150 prize at the joint official launch of the Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) /10th ACCIS Anniversary Conference on Wednesday 15 November, 2017.

Victrex plc is an innovative world leader in delivering high performance engineering thermoplastic solutions based on aromatic polyketones, such as PEEK and other members of the PAEK family of high performing polymers. Thermoplastic composites are receiving increasing attention as matrices (particularly within the CDT) in the composites industry, particularly in the automotive and oil and gas sector, due to their inherent toughness and greater potential for recycling at end of life.

John said: “Understanding and improving the effectiveness of impact-absorbing composite structures is essential for their widespread industrial adoption and Jamie’s paper provided new insights on how tufting can be used to improve crush-resistance.”

Jamie said: “It is a great honour to receive this award in recognition of my work, and I would like to extend my thanks to John and Victrex for their generous prize and ongoing support of the CDT.”

Dr Ian Hamerton, ACCIS CDT Deputy Director, and one of the prize judges, said: “This represented an excellent publication in a high impact journal, demonstrating the effectiveness of this relatively new technology to increase significantly the crush strength of sandwich specimens.”

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