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ACCIS CDT student wins Western Aerospace Centre 2017 prize

Evangelos Zympeloudis (right) celebrates his win with his supervisor Dr BC Eric Kim

27 April 2017

Evangelos Zympeloudis impresses at the 2017 WAC prize with presentation on ‘Enabling nature inspired composite aircraft designs: Continuous Tow Shearing’

Evangelos, a PhD student in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT), has won the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Western Aerospace Centre (WAC) 2017 prize.

The prize encourages the further professional development of young engineers, with a competition format designed to test their technical, business and communication skills. At the presentation evening on Monday 24 April the four selected finalists each delivered a 20 minute presentation in front of an expert panel including directors from the region’s leading Aerospace organisations.

As the overall winner Evangelos received a £500 cheque and will also join the other finalists for a visit to the Red Arrows.

Evangelos’ presentation looked at Continuous Tow Shearing (CTS) technology, which is a novel automated material placement process with steering capabilities. Material placement technologies are based on material dispensing heads which lay-up carbon tapes on the surface of a mould. They are increasingly employed in the aerospace industry in order to improve the productivity and the quality of composites manufacturing. Although current machines are excellent in laying up straight paths they have very limited steering capabilities. Steering is primarily needed for the production of parts with curvilinear fibre paths, where the majority of the fibres can be placed directly on the primary load path. These allow for structural optimisation and aeroelastic tailoring, as well as production of complex doubly curved components - significantly expanding the design space for composite structures. CTS is a technology designed specifically to address the production issues related to these components and Evangelos’ research focuses on improving the productivity and the quality of this technology.

Evangelos said: “Overall the event was a very pleasant experience; I really enjoyed delivering a technical presentation in front of a panel of experts from the industry and academia. It certainly helped me further develop my communication skills and build on the training I have received so far through the ACCIS CDT programme.”

Dr BC Eric Kim, Evangelos’ primary supervisor, said: “It was a great pleasure to work with Evangelos. I have no doubt that this award is the result of his persistence and enthusiasm for his research on the novel fibre steering technology. His presentation was very engaging and inspiring as well as technically great. After the presentation, he received many interesting questions from industry people. I believe the event was a great opportunity to advertise the excellence of our CDT programme and the innovativeness of our research in ACCIS. We will lead the next-generation fibre placement technology together!”

Evangelos is the third ACCIS CDT student to win the prize and fifth to reach the finals, following in the footsteps of competition winners Eric Eckstein (in 2013) and Guillaume Francois (in 2014) and competition finalists Laura Edwards and Rafael Luterbacher (in 2015).

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