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Reviving the Industrial Visit Staff Profile – Professor Colin Hansen


Reviving the Industrial Visit Staff Profile – Professor Colin Hansen

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									    MECH ENG NEWS                                                     SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
    ISSUE 5
    JULY 2005                                                                THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
          Phone: 08 8303 5460            -   Fax: 08 8303 4367         -            Email: victoria.samra@adelaide.edu.au

                                         Reviving the Industrial Visit
One of the great experiences of any engineering degree is an               the students are then required to submit a group report, which is
industrial visit, which has been a common practice in                      included in their final mark for the module.
engineering degrees all over the world including the School of                It is anticipated that the new industrial visit will have a number
Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Site visits          of advantages for both the students and companies involved,
were typically undertaken in the third year of the four-year               including:
bachelor degree in conjunction with the Engineering                           Third year students have the chance to visit a company they
Manufacturing module. Due to the increasingly high number of                  might be considering for their work experience ahead of the
students that are enrolled in the module, a huge strain had been              final year of their course. This gives students the opportunity
placed on the participating companies, with a great deal of staff             of strengthening their engagement with that particular
input and resources being required, without any direct benefit in             company, or makes them more aware of the operations of the
return. This led to a decline in the number of companies willing              company. This will result in both students and companies
to participate and in 2004 the program was cancelled.                         being more satisfied about their work experience placement.
   The School considers it essential to keep providing industrial             Companies can make a first impression with students that are
visits to our students and the decision was made to resurrect the             only one year away from graduation, and have a chance to
program in a new format and to trial it in the second semester of             attract future employees.
2005.                                                                         Students can make an impression with companies, paving the
   Instead of around 100 to 120 students visiting a small number              way for future employment opportunities.
of companies as was done previously, students can now choose               Discussions with industry have resulted in an overwhelmingly
a company they would like to visit from a predetermined list. A            favourable response to this new program and all companies
maximum of five students and a maximum of one or two groups                contacted to date have signed up to participate.
(as chosen by the company) are then assigned to an individual
company. The groups are then supplied with contact details and             If you would like to find out more details or include your
have to arrange their own site visit directly with the nominated           company in the program, contact Mr Michael Riese by email at
company representative. During the latter part of the semester             mr@mecheng.adelaide.edu.au or call 8303 5460.

                               Staff Profile – Professor Colin Hansen
Professor Colin Hansen has been Head of the School of                       and Sir Keith Smith Fund; the Australian Research Council
Mechanical Engineering since 1996 and an Academic Staff                    (ARC); the University of Adelaide; the Australian Electricity
member at The University of Adelaide since 1986. Prior to 1986,            Supply Industry Research Board (AESIRB); Australian Mineral
he worked as a Consulting Engineer for seven years, including              Industries Research Association (AMIRA); Dept. of State
four years as a Senior Consultant in noise and vibration                   Development; Ford (Aust); Bruel and Kjaer (Aust.); Dept of
engineering with Bolt, Beranek and Newman Inc. in Los                      Industry, Technology and Commerce (DITAC); National
Angeles, USA. Professor Hansen has spent his entire                        Teaching Company Scheme; DSTO-AMRL; Dairy Research and
professional life consulting, researching and teaching acoustics           Development Corporation; SA Water; and the US Air Force
                                    and the control of noise and           Office of Scientific Research.
                                    vibration. For the last fifteen           He has published 10 books, 8 chapters in edited books and
                                    years, his focus has been on           numerous technical papers in international journals and
                                    active noise control and more          conference proceedings. He has supervised over 20 PhD
                                    recently on ultrasonics for            students and many honours projects and he is keenly interested
                                    water treatment. Funding               in the supervision of industry sponsored student projects
                                    bodies and corporations                involving any aspect of design or noise and vibration control.
                                    which have supported his
                                    research over the past 17              Professor Hansen can be contacted on 8303 5698 or email
                                    years include: the Sir Ross            colin.hansen@adelaide.edu.au to discuss possible projects.
 Professor Colin Hansen
                                                               Chilling Sounds
                                                                  By Dr. Carl Howard

                                                                                        conditioning system compared to a conventional vapour-
                                                                                        compression system are:
                                                                                        1. It has no moving parts (except for the fan), and hence is
                                                                                        extremely reliable.
                                                                                        2. The working fluid is either air or helium. Both of which are
                                                                                        benign to the environment, have zero global warming potential,
                                                                                        are non-corrosive, and hence are environmentally friendly.
                                                                                        3. It can be powered from the waste heat generated by an
                                                                                        engine, which improves a vehicle’s fuel efficiency and reduces
Pictures of the thermoacoustic refrigeration device built at the University of          greenhouse gas emissions.
                                                                                        4. The dimensions of parts do not involve exact tolerances, nor
                                                                                        are exotic materials required.
The School of Mechanical Engineering is conducting research                                Researchers in the School of Mechanical Engineering have
into the use of sound to create an air-conditioner which is                             constructed a device, shown in the figure across, which uses
powered by the waste heat from a car's exhaust.                                         high amplitude sound waves to create a 15ºC temperature
Thermoacoustics, as its name implies, uses sound to create a                            difference across two heat exchangers. The device uses air as
temperature difference, or vice versa: a temperature difference                         the working fluid and hence it is environmentally benign. This
creates high amplitude sound waves. The technology was                                  device uses a standard audio loudspeaker to create the high
developed over 20 years ago and is slowly gaining acceptance                            amplitude in sound waves. Future work will involve replacing the
as a viable commercial technology with companies such as                                loudspeaker with a thermoacoustic device that generates high
Unilever and Praxair investing in this technology. The                                  amplitude sound waves and will be powered by the heat
refrigeration industry is searching for alternatives to current                         contained in the exhaust gas from a car engine.
refrigeration technology that does not cause damage to the                                 Dr Howard can be contacted by phone on 8303 3960 or by
environment, and still provides the same cooling capacity at a                          email at carl.howard@adelaide.edu.au
lower price. Some of the advantages of a thermoacoustic air-

               New Aeronautical Centre Sends Research Skyward
                                                 Based on story by David Ellis, courtesy of the Adelaidean

                                                                                           Both men are highly experienced in their respective fields and
                                                                                        also share a love of aircraft, aviation and flying. Prof Hacker and
                                                                                        Dr. Schneider both are seasoned pilots.
                                                                                           Potential activities of the new centre include:
                                                                                           microgravity flight experiments – using the aircraft in free-fall
                                                                                           to create a near zero-gravity environment for a few seconds,
                                                                                           simulating conditions in space;
                                                                                           a “flying wind tunnel” – instead of using laboratory-based wind
                                                                                           tunnels, attaching instrumentation and models to the aircraft
                                                                                           and flying them through real-life turbulence conditions;
                                                                                           alternative-powered aircraft – investigating ways of flying
                                                                                           aircraft with as little fuel as possible, or no fuel at all.
                                                                                           “We will have a strong student base, which means we will be
 Photo by James Knowler, courtesy of the Independent Weekly.
                                                                                        able to get a lot of student involvement in research projects,” Dr
                                                                                        Schneider said.
The universities of Adelaide and Flinders have joined forces to                            Dr Schneider said students in the University of Adelaide’s
create the Centre for Aeronautical Research and Education                               Aerospace Engineering degree would directly benefit from the
(CARE). Based at Parafield Airport, the new centre brings                               experience of working with CARE. “In addition to the benefits for
together the combined strengths of the two universities in                              undergraduate students, the funding we have received will also
aerospace engineering and atmospheric science. Dr Gerald                                support a postgraduate scholarship,” he said.
Schneider co-heads the new CARE centre with Associate                                      CARE has been established with funding from the Sir Keith &
Professor Jorg Hacker.                                                                  Sir Ross Smith Fund and is receiving $450,000 over three years.
   Dr Hacker is Chief Scientist and Managing Director of the                            It also hopes to attract further research and consultancy funding
highly regarded Airborne Research Australia (ARA) at Flinders                           from non-government sources.
University, while Dr Schneider is Sir Keith and Sir Ross Smith
Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of                          Dr Schneider can be contacted by phone on 8303 5920 or by
Adelaide and head of the university’s Aerospace Engineering                             email at gerald.schneider@adelaide.edu.au

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