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    Candidate Profile
     Date Submitted:08-12-2010
     Last Modified:08-12-2010 (06:34)
    Job information
     Current job:Mechanical Instrumentation Design Engineer
     Employment Term:Either
     Job location:Anywhere
     Date available:immediately
     Industry:Civil Agencies/International Organizations, Satellite Manufacturers and Subcontractors, , , Launch Systems, Consulting/Engineering Services
     KeywordsFinite element structural & dynamic analysis, computational fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, thermal analysis, assembly integration and test, vibration test, test validation & data acquisition.


    BEng in Mechanical Engineering, MSc in Computational Fluid Dynamics.


    Approximately 18 years experience in the following areas;

    3D CAD  3D solid modelling using AutoDesk Inventor and SolidWorks.

    Analysis    Linear & non linear finite element structural, dynamic, seismic and thermal analysis using ANSYS and ABAQUS. Aerodynamic and aeroacoustic analysis using commercial Computational Fluid  Dynamics codes ANSYS CFX and FLUENT and writing of proprietary grid generation and solver codes in Fortran.

    Test           Multi channel data acquisition of acceleration, strain, pressure & flow upto 128 ch, digital signal processing. Shock & vibration testing, eigenmode, cross phase and ODS analysis, sine sweep/dwell & PSD shaker testing. Vibration analysis of rotating plant, narrowband FFT, structural, modal and dynamic stiffness testing.     

    Other        Programming in FORTRAN, ANSYS APDL & Python, ABAQUS FEA code customisation.


    Current Employment

    Mechanical Instrumentation Design Engineer, Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, University of Durham, UK.

    The CfAI is a research group within the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Durham, tasked with developing ground and space based astronomical instrumentation. Major research areas include adaptive optics and astronomical spectroscopy.  Within the CfAI I am primarily responsible for undertaking optomechanical design of instruments and structures for a diverse range of projects for space and ground based astronomical instrumentation. This entails liaison with observational astronomers to derive instrument and system requirements, development of functional and performance specifications, production of concept designs using 3D modelling and finite element analysis methods, production of engineering drawings and assembly, integration and test of working prototypes. Projects for which I have direct responsibility include:

    Optomechanical design of a laser guide star wavefront sensing system for EAGLE, a proposed spectrograph for the ELT.

    Optomechanical design of the near infrared spectrograph for the ESA dark energy mission EUCLID.

    Optical and mechanical design of the laser guide star launcher and beam combiner for CANARY, WHT La Palma.

    Structural and mechanical design of a 4 metre class Cherenkov telescope for the Cherenkov Telescope Array.

    Development of fibre positioning robots for integral field spectroscopy, e.g. MAIFU (a massively addressable IFU).

    Optomechanical design of a hyperspectral image slicing spectrograph for remote sensing and earth observation.

    Development of instrumentation concepts for profiling of atmospheric turbulence (SLODAR at La Palma & Paranal).

    Relevant Skills

    Use of 3D modelling methods to produce instrumentation optomechanical concepts, production of engineering drawings for manufacture, assembly, integration and test of instrumentation prototypes. Systems and project engineering.

    Design of telescope structures and mechanisms (e.g. mounts, truss assemblies, drive systems).

    Optomechanical design of precision mechanisms, devising methods for the kinematic mounting of optics, use of FEA methods for optic mount design based upon wavefront error and athermalisation of optical assemblies.

    Use of ZEMAX for conducting ray-tracing analyses and checks for critical & illuminated objects, vignetting etc.

    Cryo-vacuum testing of optomechanical assemblies (e.g. JWST NirSpec IFU, VLT KMOS modules).

     2007-2008      Self Employed Consultant Engineer, Oil & Gas.

    Provision of finite element analysis services, specialising in finite element structural analysis of subsea and topside structures (e.g. oil platforms, jackets, risers etc) for clients including Technip, Woodside Petroleum, Chevron, Helix Energy and Noble Denton Consultant Offshore Engineers. I also provided staff training in finite element methods.

    Relevant Skills

    Undertaking of complex, non linear finite element studies, e.g. contact analysis, fatigue analysis, development of non linear elastic-plastic material models, application of time dependent load histories (e.g. wind, wave and current loads). Writing and submission of technical reports to classification authorities. Provision of Ansys training to client staff.

    2003-2007                   Senior Research Engineer, AAF Ltd.

    In this role I undertook aerodynamic and structural analyses of gas turbine systems using CFD and FEA methods for clients in the power generation industry including Rolls Royce, GE, MHI and Alstom. These typically involved evaluation of system differential pressure and velocity profile characteristics, analysis of turbulence and flow separation and the resolution of undesirable phenomena such as vortex shedding and flow induced vibration. I also undertook site visits to troubleshoot gas turbine acoustic and vibration concerns and implemented the use of CFD and FEA methods and the use of multi channel data acquisition for vibration and strain measurement. I also developed a new R&D wind tunnel and test facility and undertook training of staff in CFD, FEA and data acquisition.

    Relevant Skills

    Use of CFD methods for the analysis of aerodynamic flow behaviour and use of FEA methods for the evaluation of structural stress and free/forced vibration response due to mechanical or aerodynamic loads. Gathering of pressure and flow data for the validation of predictive models. Definition, implementation and management of new product development programmes at a strategic and technical level, staff management and training.

    2001- 2003      Lead Product Development Engineer, Calsonic Technology Centre Europe.

    In this role I undertook fluid, thermal, structural and vibration analysis of automotive emissions control products for clients including Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover and Lotus. These included the development of automotive catalytic converters and novel non linear finite element analysis and test validation methods for the simulation of vehicle static and dynamic response. In a commercial capacity I undertook site visits to clients to provide technical expertise and negotiate collaborative development programmes.

    Relevant Skills

    Linear and non linear structural and thermal finite element analysis using Abaqus and IDEAS. Non linear static and dynamic analysis of vehicle components and structures. In lab and trackside static and dynamic testing using electrodynamic and servohydraulic shakers and data acquisition upto 128 channel. Use of time history and frequency based Operating Deflection Shape methods to determine structural modal and forced vibration response. Writing of Fortran codes to extract modal parameters such as dynamic stiffness & damping from vibration test data.

    1998-2001                   Self Employed Consultant Engineer, Vibration and Acoustic Analysis of Rotating Plant.

    In this role I undertook condition monitoring and vibration analysis of rotating plant for clients in the Oil & Gas industry in the North Sea. Typically this entailed measurement and analysis of vibration and acoustic data from turbomachinery such as gas turbines & gas compressors and the diagnosis, trending and resolution of developing faults, e.g. mechanical unbalance, misalignment, identification and trending of bearing and gearbox faults via analysis of bearing and gear mesh frequencies, long term monitoring of the structural integrity of fixed plant and structures via dynamic stiffness analysis.

    1995-1998                   Mechanical Engineer, AMEC Consulting Engineers, Perth, Western Australia.

    In this role I was responsible for troubleshooting vibration and structural problems on rotating plant for clients in the oil & gas, mining and power generation industries. In this role I also undertook acceptance tests and commissioning of new plant and the implementation of predictive maintenance and condition monitoring programmes.  In a management capacity I supervised a team of technicians and was responsible for the provision and promotion of engineering services. I also undertook liaison with new and existing clients to promote the company and develop new business opportunities.

    Relevant Skills

    Use of 3D solid modelling and finite element analysis for the study of the structural static and dynamic behaviour of rotating plant and fixed structures. Multi-channel acquisition of strain, vibration and pressure data in the field. Signal processing using FFT, time waveform, modal and operating deflection shape analysis to diagnose structural vibration and resonance problems. Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance using vibration analysis, motor current spectrum analysis. Use of ODS and cross phase methods for analysis of structural eigenmodes and dynamic stiffness measurement.

    1991-1995      Development Engineer, Research & Development Department, Domnick Hunter Ltd.

    In this role I undertook the design and development of products for industrial gas separation. In this capacity I conducted research and development of new methods for gas separation, development of prototype products, writing of technical specifications, specification of electro-pneumatic hardware and progression of concept products through to the production phase. I also provided technical expertise to the sales, technical and service departments where I undertook site visits to advise upon new installations and troubleshoot existing installations of gas separation plant.

    Relevant Skills

    Development of pressure swing molecular sieve methods for gas separation and purification. Onsite acquisition of pressure, flow and temperature data. Familiarity with a wide range of electro-pneumatic components such as solenoid operated diaphragm and spool valves, logic controls, PLC’s, data loggers and design of complex electro-pneumatic control systems. Design of pressure vessels to ASME codes.


    I am highly motivated, proactive, and able to work under pressure as part of a team or under my own initiative.   I take an analytical and practical approach to problem solving and can communicate effectively at all levels. I am comfortable working in an office or site environment, during unsociable hours or under difficult conditions and I can offer an enthusiastic and energetic commitment to my work.

    Although I am an engineer by profession, astronomy has been a lifelong interest of mine (I ground my first mirror for a 9 inch Newtonian reflector at the age of 12) and I still pursue my amateur interests in astronomy and optics when time permits. In a professional capacity I am extremely interested in combining my engineering skills together with my interests in astronomical instrumentation, especially in the following areas.

    Development of finite element methods for the design of optical mounts, based upon utilising surface slope and wavefront quality as the design criterion.

    • Application of finite element and CFD methods to the development of lightweight mirrors.
    • Use of finite element methods for the investigation of effects of adhesive bonding of optics on wavefront quality.
    • Evaluation of dynamic stiffness of telescope structures to predict effects on long term pointing accuracy.
    • CFD analysis of telescope enclosures, e.g. dome ventilation, thermal control, effects of localised heat sources etc.
    • CFD analysis of the effects of wind loading upon telescope structures, e.g. deformation of truss and mirror assemblies due to unsteady flow around telescope structure, vortex shedding and flow induced vibration.
    • CFD analysis to investigate effects of mirror ventilation and thermal inertia upon mirror figure, local turbulence effects at mirror surfaces, effectiveness of active thermal control of mirror surfaces.
    • Use of CFD to evaluate site selection based upon local topography, local turbulence arising from thermal gradients or wind disturbances upon the telescope and structure and to investigate the effects of unsteady flow arising from flow around adjacent  structures, other observatory enclosures etc.


    The following list is provided as a brief overview of some of my work undertaken to date


    Domnick Hunter Ltd

    Development of gas separation products for provision of breathing air, removal of CO, C02, HC and particulate contaminants.

    Development of innovative filling methods to increase packing density of molecular sieves for gas separation.

    Development of innovative energy saving dewpoint switching system for industrial compressed air dryers.

    Development of nuclear biological and chemical (NBC) protection system for Ministry of Defence Chemical Weapons Establishment.

    Development of new products for zero air generation (ultra pure calibration gas for gas chromatographs, FIDS's etc)

    AMEC Consulting Engineers

    Strain gauging and realignment of damaged propeller shafts on HMAS Torrens for Royal Australian Navy.

    Diagnosis of abnormal vibration on Phalanx CIWS on HMAS Adelaide for Royal Australian Navy.

    Diagnosis of abnormal vibration on aero gas turbines for the Royal Australian Air Force.

    Resolution of abnormal rail car transmission noise for Westrail (narrowband FFT vibration and acoustic data acquisition).

    Diagnosis of abnormal vibration and rotating stall on gas turbine power plants for Wesfarmers LPG Kwinana.

    Structural integrity assessment of mining plant such as ship loaders, stackers, reclaimers etc for Alcoa, BHP, Rio Tinto.

    Condition monitoring, vibration and acoustic analysis of rotating plant such as gas turbines, gas compressors, motor driven pump sets, industrial fans, reciprocating engines and ball mills using narrowband FFT, cross phase and motor current spectrum analysis.

    Undertaking over 100 successful in field dynamic balance of rotating plant ranging from high speed fans to large ball mills.

    Troubleshooting mechanical and aerodynamic related vibration concerns on rotating plant especially gas turbines (multi channel waveform, FFT & cross phase measurement to identify bearings faults, misalignments, surge and rotating stall).

    Use of narrow band acoustic and acceleration FFT spectrum measurements and FEA to identify sources of gearbox noise.

    Calsonic Technology Europe

    Development of non linear finite element methods for vehicle dynamic response to improve vehicle NVH characteristics.

    Development of innovative manifold mounted catalytic converters to reduce vehicle emissions for Lotus.

    Development of innovative high performance exhaust systems for Jaguar, Mercedes, Lotus, Nissan and Land Rover.

    Development of low thermal inertia exhaust manifolds for Land Rover to reduce vehicle emissions and improve converter efficiency.

    Non linear coupled thermal structural analysis of novel manifold mounted catalytic converter to investigate thermal fatigue durability and creep and to improve conversion efficiency by minimisation of converter ‘light off’ time.

    Diagnosis and resolution of persistent abnormal turbocharger vibration and premature failure for General Motors.

    Development of multi channel operating deflection shape analysis to quantify and visualise dynamic response of automobiles.

    Use of FEA methods to design rigid and robust mechanical test fixtures for components undergoing electrodynamic shaker testing.

    AAF Ltd.

    Introduction of CFD methods into the company to minimise differential pressure losses and improve flow characteristics and power generating efficiency for industrial gas turbines for Rolls Royce, General Electric, MHI and Alstom.

    Redesign of Rolls Royce Trent intake system to improve flow characteristics and reduce costs.

    Development of innovative, low pressure drop filtration products for industrial gas turbines.

    Diagnosis and resolution of flow induced vibration in gas turbine intake systems for Alstom Power.

    Diagnosis of high noise levels from GE LM6000 gas turbines on-board Queen Mary 2 for General Electric.

    Development of improved methods for the aeroacoustic analysis of gas turbine intake & exhaust systems including the development of a multi block finite volume time marching aeroacoustic code to predict system aeroacoustic characteristics.

    Development of improved efficiency activated carbon filter beds for gas purification in the nuclear industry.

    Self Employed Consultant Engineer.

    Structural design and finite element analysis of innovative disconnectable transfer system for new FPSO vessel Helix Producer 1 for Helix Energy Inc for deployment in the Gulf of Mexico (to replace topside platforms destroyed by Hurricane Katrina).

    Structural finite element analysis of marine structures for Noble Denton offshore consulting engineers.

    Structural finite element analysis of subsea equipment and structures, e.g. riser assemblies, bend stiffeners, bend restrictors, swivel clamps and piping/pressure vessel assemblies for Woodside Petroleum, Chevron Australia and Technip Oceania, Perth Australia.

    Undertaking finite element structural analysis of drilling platforms & FPSO’s within the oil & gas industry, requiring load case specification, structural design and finite element analysis using Ansys and submission of final reports to the classification authorities.

    Managerial Responsibilities

    Man management of departmental staff when acting in the capacity of Mechanical Engineer, Senior Research Engineer and Lead Product Development Engineer.

    Responsibility for departmental budgets of upto $500K

    Liaison, supervision and control of external contractors onsite. Specification of scope of works and contract negotiation. 

    Project management, scheduling and costing of product development and R&D programmes.

    Specification and procurement of capital plant and works.

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