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Recognising PhD students' research contribution

Geir
Ólafsson
University of Southampton

‘Non-destructive examination of composite to steel joints in the Marine environment’
Image of Geir Olafsson, University of Southampton
University of Southampton PhD student Geir Ólafsson celebrated by BAE Systems for innovative research.
Funded through the Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science and Technology (ICASE), the work of five PhD students from our strategic partner universities has been acknowledged by BAE Systems in a contest for the 2019 ICASE Award.
 
Put forward by our strategic universities for consideration, the students all demonstrated technical excellence and understanding of real-world challenges in the context of defence, and proposing practical solutions.
 
The support I have had from BAE Systems has been brilliant. Right from the start I’ve had access to people, expertise and facilities to help me carry out my research. I think the fact this is an industrially relevant project is just fantastic.

Geir Ólafsson

, 2019 ICASE Award winner, University of Southampton.
 
At an awards event in Glasgow, Geir was announced as the 2019 winner for his research into non-destructive examination of composite to steel joints in the Marine environment. The judges were impressed with the depth of his technical understanding and his enthusiasm for his field.
 
“I’m really proud to have been nominated for the award, let alone win it” said Geir. “The support I have had from BAE Systems has been brilliant. Right from the start I’ve had access to people, expertise and facilities to help me carry out my research. I think the fact this is an industrially relevant project is just fantastic.”
 
Every ICASE student supported by BAE Systems is assigned a mentor. Geir’s mentor, Richard Trumper, Head of Research & Technology for BAE Systems Naval Ships added: “It’s a great example of what ICASE is all about; linking world-class university research with applicable industry challenges in order to deliver innovative, workable solutions. Geir is looking at how to assess the integrity of bonded joints between large composite structures and a steel hull which will simplify the joint design saving weight and support costs. Geir has shown technical excellence as well as great perseverance and focus.”
 
Geir’s PhD Supervisor Professor Janice Barton from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Southampton said, “I am delighted that Geir received the award, he is an excellent student, and it is very well deserved. From my perspective as an academic, it has been a great experience working with BAE Systems Naval Ships and utilising my expertise in mechanics to support Geir’s project.  His PhD will contribute to more sustainable shipping with impact across the commercial sector, as well as in naval applications, by providing more lightweight and durable alternatives to conventional ship construction.”    
 
Dave Short, BAE Systems Technology Director, presented the award at the Glasgow Science Centre. “I was struck by the high calibre of all of the students’ work. They have each demonstrated a passion for their topic, a real understanding of what we do here at BAE Systems and the potential application of their research. They should each be proud of their achievements and I’m excited to see their work develop further.”
 

The 2019 contenders were:

 
  • Ellis Humphreys, University of Birmingham
    ‘Improving target detection and tracking of cognitive radars’
  • Sam Parfitt, Cranfield University
    ‘Smart snake reconaissance system (SASAR)’
  • Zachary Madin, The University of Manchester
    ‘Distributed containment control for autonomous underwater vehicles’
  • Geir Ólafsson, University of Southampton
    ‘Non-destructive examination of composite to steel joints in the Marine environment’
  • Fraser Macfarlane, University of Strathclyde
    ‘Improving long-range sensing to counteract developing threats’ (ICASE Winner 2018)
 
 
 
 
ICASE is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and aims to give students a high quality, challenging research training experience which brings benefit to both the academic and partner organisations.
 
Since 2010, BAE Systems has supported 114 ICASE students at the five universities with whom it has a strategic partnership in the UK. As a company, we invest over £90m per year in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK.