SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL, MATERIALS,
MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING & MANAGEMENT
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Unification of digital imaging photoelasticity and boundary element
The integration of these two established stress analysis techniques is
completely novel and we are seeking a resourceful and
computer-literate postdoctoral engineer for the BE and mechatronics
aspects of the project. General skills in engineering analysis and
software will be required, but the School would particularly welcome
candidates with one or more of the following skills: C/C++,
object-oriented techniques, theoretical or computational stress
analysis or computer control of hardware.
Salary will be within the range £15,735 - £18,275 per annum, depending
on qualifications and experience. This post is funded by EPSRC and
will be offered on a fixed-term contract for a period of three years.
Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr I A Jones, tel: 0115 951
3784, fax: 0115 951 3800 or Email: [log in to unmask]
Candidates should send a detailed CV, together with the names of two
referees, to Dr I A Jones, Division of Mechanical Engineering, The
University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD.
Closing date: 29 January 1999.
The proposed research aims to develop, apply and fully evaluate a
unified and multidisciplinary approach to the experimental stress
analysis of complex components, by using the principles behind
boundary element analysis to interpret results from photoelastic
experiments captured using digital imaging.
Photoelasticity is a long-established experimental stress analysis
technique which has been overshadowed by computational methods but has
now found a new lease of life with the use of digital imaging.
Photoelasticity overcomes the problems of computational stress
analysis by enabling actual loading conditions to be replicated on a
physical model rather than simulated by numerical approximations.
Typical examples of its ongoing use include the analysis of aerospace
transmission components within a major industrially-funded research
The interpretation of photoelastic results typically relies on
numerical integration of shear stress gradients to establish the
principal stresses at a point, using boundary conditions at a nearby
free surface. Problems are encountered when dealing with contact
situations and complex components with curved boundaries. Surface
effects (e.g. the time-edge effect) can also affect accuracy.
The proposed research will overcome these problems by fitting a
boundary element model to full-field data from a photoelastic
experiment, intimately linking the theoretical and experimental
approaches, not merely using them in parallel. A physical
interpretation of the stress field is therefore constructed which is
consistent with available information on boundary conditions, even
though the boundary may be irregular and the boundary conditions
partially unknown. Such an approach requires a large volume of
photoelastic data. Modern image capture and processing technology
enables the necessary data to be captured and analysed rapidly and
The research position
We are aiming to recruit a postdoctoral researcher who will be
involved in implementing the boundary element model, the design of the
experimental equipment, and the control and data processing software.
The project contains a good balance of theoretical, computational and
practical work. The successful candidate will be working within an
enthusiastic and highly multidisciplinary team with expertise in all
the relevant subjects, so that support and experience will be
available in any areas where the researcher is not already
experienced. The post will particularly suit a candidate with
experience in one or more of the following areas: theoretical or
computational mechanics, high level or object oriented programming,
computer control of engineering hardware. However, enthusiasm
combined with an analytical approach and a reasonable level of
computer literacy are more crucial to the success of the project than
the initial set of skills. It is expected that the successful
candidate will hold, or be nearing completion of, a PhD in a relevant