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CoSeM CDT design, build & test project video

23 November 2022

This new video from the CoSEM CDT presents the work of the 2021 cohort as they undertake their ‘DBT’ project.

A key aspect of the first year taught component of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Composites Science, Engineering, and Manufacturing (COSEM CDT) is the Design, Build and Test (DBT) group project. Each year the students are faced with a new challenge and this year the students were tasked to create an experimental setup to probe for the stability landscape of a thin-walled composite cylinder. The cohort was split into three groups, each containing students from both engineering and non-engineering backgrounds giving the groups a wide range of skills.

During the project, the three groups covered all aspects from the design of the cylinder and experimental setup, to the production of the two parts. Each of the groups focused on a certain area, Manufacturing, Testing and Modelling, with all three groups collaborating to create an experimental set-up that laterally probed a composite cylinder to determine its stability landscape, which was also supported by the creation of an FEA model. Finally, the composite cylinder was stressed under a compressive load various times until it buckled. (Quite loudly!)

The three groups documented their progress and work throughout the duration of the unit, and with the aid of Alex Moss (2019 CDT cohort), this has been compiled into a short video of the entire project.

The DBT group project provides the students with a range of challenges and skills that may not have been acquired otherwise by more traditional teaching methods. It allows the students to put the theoretical knowledge learnt throughout the year into practice. The project runs in parallel to other units that the students undertake, leading to them improving on crucial skills such as time and project management.

Lichang Zhu, of the Testing team, said: “DBT is the most impressive group project in the first year of CDT. The DBT project is different from traditional coursework, it does not have a single correct answer, and there is no documented instruction. We learned by continuously iterating our plan for testing the cylinder through discussions within our team. We also got rapid feedback from highly experienced senior CDT students and lab technicians. Project management is another skill that I learned by collaborating with the lab and the mechanical workshop.”

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Further information

The CoSEM CDT (established in 2019) has evolved from the highly successful and established ACCIS CDT (2014-2024) to address exciting doctoral training opportunities for multidisciplinary composite materials engineering and manufacture.

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