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The Science of Safety

Friday 8 June 2018, 3.00PM

Speaker(s): Prof David Rugg, Rolls-Royce


Jet engines and nuclear reactors need to have low failure rates despite the materials they are made from operating in very demanding and complex environments. The magnitude and timing of mechanical, aerodynamic and environmental damage make prediction of component durability a demanding science. Further complications may arise from changes within the structure of the materials during service resulting in radically different mechanical properties through life. Fortunately, advances in high end experimental and modelling techniques are providing the scientific understanding required to support safe design and operation. Many of these techniques have a strong physics base. These issues will be reviewed with an emphasis on exciting new techniques such as X ray lasers, micromechanical test and cutting edge electron microscopy that was unimaginable only a decade ago. Surprising overlap with manufacturing processes, musical instruments and medical implants will also be highlighted.


David Rugg FREng received his PhD in rapid solidification from Sheffield. He then went to IMI Titanium to work in the R+D group for a period of seven years prior to moving to Rolls-Royce where he has been for over 20 years. He is the Rolls-Royce Senior Fellow for Materials which spans all materials and all business sectors. The role includes extensive interaction with universities and national labs. David drove the Rolls-Royce activity resulting in LCLS X-FEL beam time exploring pressure driven phase transformation in HCP metals. The experimental and modelling team included academics from Imperial, Oxford and Cambridge. David holds a visiting chair at Oxford.

Location: P/L 002