Rodolfo Fleury wins Young Stress Analyst Prize

Rodolfo Fleury, a DPhil student in the Department of Engineering Science and St Edmund Hall, has won first prize in the Young Stress Analyst Competition for 2013. The prize is awarded annually to young researchers by the British Society for Strain Measurement (BSSM).

The competition involves submission of a paper describing the candidate’s research from which four finalists are selected and invited to present their work before a panel of judges at the BSSM’s annual conference.  This year’s award was made following the conference dinner at the joint BSSM International Conference on ‘Advances in Experimental Mechanics’ held this September in Cardiff.

The title of Rodolfo’s winning presentation was `The influence of Ni-based single-crystal super-alloy on fretting fatigue of Ni-based polycrystalline super-alloy at high temperature`. His first prize, which was sponsored by Airbus and Imetrum, includes a cheque for £200, Imetrum strain measurement software worth approximately £12,000, free membership of the BSSM for one year, and coverage of his conference expenses.

Rodolfo FleuryRodolfo’s project is funded by Rolls-Royce plc and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards (DHPA) and it aims to understand the phenomenon of fretting fatigue in gas turbines. Rodolfo said: “The blade to disc joints in turbines are subjected to high loads and vibrations, which cause a frictional contact between the two parts and accelerate the crack initiation and failure of the components”.

Rodolfo’s work is to understand how different parameters, such as the use of single-crystal parts, affect the stresses and the durability of components in this type of assembly. The goal of this work is to provide better life prediction parameters in aero-engines, which is extremely important for Rolls-Royce. Rodolfo added: “This is a very interesting and challenging project and I have the opportunity to work in a state of the art research group, doing relevant work with direct industrial application. I would like to thank the guidance of my supervisor, Professor David Nowell, as well as the support of Dr Robert Paynter throughout my work”.

Rodolfo graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Brasilia, Brazil, in 2009. He was awarded an Erasmus Mundus scholarship by the European Union to do an MSc in Computational Mechanics in a joint programme between the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain, and Swansea University, Wales. He came to Oxford in October 2011 to undertake a doctorate at the Department’s Solid Mechanics Group and is in his third and last year of his DPhil. He hopes to continue working with industrial research in Solid Mechanics whether it is in academia or in industry.

Acknowledgement: British Society for Strain Measurement (BSSM)