The Bristol Composites Institute at the University of Bristol has appointed two new co-directors, Professor Ole Thomsen and Professor Stephen Hallett, to succeed the founding director, Professor Michael Wisnom.
The transition will mark a significant change for the Bristol Composites Institute, which was launched under the leadership of Professor Wisnom as the Advanced Composites Center for Innovation and Science (known as ACCIS) in 2007. The new Co-Directors will build on on a solid heritage of global research and innovation. Bristol Composites Institute research is informed by the needs of our industrial partners and our changing world. For example, weight and cost saving technology derived from BCI research has been incorporated into Rolls Royce’s composite fan blade development program, and award-winning spin-off companies like iCOMAT are innovating in processes and reducing labor costs. cost of lighter and stronger carbon fiber composites.
From renewable energies to green aviation and medical devices, the applications of composite materials are endless. Recent research successes include; working with the International Space Station, a £ 1.5million grant from EPSRC to study cellulose-based materials and a £ 2million grant from the European Research Council to study neuroactive mechanical metamaterials natural.
As Co-Directors, Professors Thomsen and Hallett will lead the BCI in a world where the value of composites research and its potential to solve global challenges are increasingly understood.
“We are delighted and honored to be jointly appointed as Directors of BCI. Professor Michael Wisnom has done a truly remarkable job in founding the BCI and developing it to its status as a world leading institute for composites research. We would like to thank Michael for his unprecedented work. dedication and great service in BCI’s success story. We look forward to developing BCI even further, in close collaboration with BCI staff and students, faculty and university, including our colleagues at NCC and industry partners.
Professor Ole Thomsen holds the NCC Chair in Composite Design and Manufacturing at the Bristol Composites Institute, the University of Bristol and the National Composites Center. Professor Thomsen’s main research interests are: the design, experimental and computational characterization of lightweight composite structures.
He previously held managerial positions at the University of Southampton, UK; Aalborg University, Denmark; European Space Agency, European Space Research and Technology Center, Netherlands; University of Delaware, Center for Composite Materials, United States; Technion, Israel. He has been a European publisher, Composites Part B: Engineering since 2018; and previously was Chairman, Innovation Fund Denmark, Research Council for Technology and Production Sciences 2012-2014 (equivalent to EPSRC). He was made a member of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (equivalent to FREng) in 2007 and was made a knight by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 2012.
Professor Stephen Hallett is Professor of Composite Structures at the University of Bristol where he is currently Deputy Director of the Bristol Composites Institute and Director of the Composites University Technology Center (UTC) supported by Rolls-Royce. His main research interests are: the failure mechanisms of composites, the computer model for mechanical performance and manufacturing processes of composites, textile composites, impact and high throughput effects.
He has worked at the University of Bristol since 2000, before which he worked in the automotive industry. He is a fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE) and received their Kenneth Harris James Award for best paper on an aerospace topic in 2016. He is Composites Topic Editor for Composites and Advanced Materials (since 2019) and on the editorial advice for materials and design.
Professor Ian Bond, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “As a member of the Bristol Composites Institute, I myself am deeply aware of the enormous impact that Michael’s leadership has had on the ground and of the positioning the UK at the forefront of advanced materials. science and technology. Our strong and close relationships with our many partners, but most importantly with the National Composites Center and Rolls Royce via UTC, were established under the leadership of Michael and his legacy in composites and the broader research arena. cannot be overstated.
Professor Michael Wisnom joined the University of Bristol in 1987 after an already distinguished career in industry, reaching the level of Technical Director, Europe, for SDRC Engineering Services. During his stay in Bristol, he grew the Composites Research Group from just 4 faculty members in 1999 to its current 30 academic staff and over 200 research staff and postgraduate students. His work and leadership has placed the University of Bristol at the forefront of international composites research. He continues his role at the Institute as a part-time professor of aerospace structures.
The Bristol Composites Institute is a specialist research of the University of Bristol based at the Faculty of Engineering. BCI benefits from the affiliated academic staff of the University of Bristol Schools. The activities of the Institute are supported by numerous grants from the Research Council and a wide range of industrial funding. High-level activities include the EPSRC-funded Doctoral Training Center and the EngD Industrial Doctoral Center in Composites Manufacturing; the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub and the Rolls-Royce University Technology Center (UTC). The Bristol Composites Institute works closely with the National Composites Center (NCC) on R&D activities, helping to bridge the gap between academic research and its application in industry.
The EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training in Composites Science, Engineering and Manufacturing is part of the Bristol Composites Institute and operates a fully funded four-year doctoral program. Students undertake cohort-oriented training and cutting-edge research in close collaboration with world-renowned academics in the field of composite materials.
MSc Advanced Composites is a one-year postgraduate course that provides students with a deep theoretical understanding and working knowledge of advanced composite materials.