Engineering Nonlinearity Half-Yearly Meeting Cambridge 2016

By Geraint Jones



An Engineering Nonlinearity Half-Yearly Meeting took place in Cambridge on 7 and 8 January 2016. Recently refurbished lecture and meeting rooms in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering played host to 60 attendees from the project’s academic and industrial partners, academic guests, and Andreas Kontogeorgos of the EPSRC.

The first day was opened by Principal Investigator, Prof. David Wagg, who welcomed everyone to the meeting, then handed over to Prof. Robin Langley of the University of Cambridge, to give the local hosts’ introduction. Prof. Langley gave some updates on recent developments in Engineering at Cambridge, noting that a recent generous donation by Dyson had facilitated a new building and the refurbished lecture and meeting rooms in the existing Engineering Department used by the meeting. Prof. Langley then introduced the Keynote Speaker, Dr Hugh Hunt of the University of Cambridge, who had recently appeared on various media programmes, including a Channel 4 programme reproducing the Barnes-Wallace “Dambusters” project. Dr Hunt proceeded to deliver an inspiring, thought-provoking, jargon-busting keynote covering his recent work on potential “planet cooling” technologies, and demonstrating various rotational dynamics concepts using simple objects such as coffee cups, bouncy balls and home-made boomerangs which he encouraged the audience to disseminate to the potential engineers of the future, at as young an age as possible! For more information on Dr. Hunt’s inspiring work please visit his website:

The day then continued with an overview of project progress from Prof. Wagg, and continued with presentations from each of the project’s academic partners on the significant developments made across the five thematic areas. These were: Active Control presented by Prof Steve Elliott; Bifurcation Analysis presented by Prof. Champneys and Dr Thibaut Putelat of Bristol University and Dr Alex Shaw of Swansea University; Nonlinear Modal Analysis and Testing presented by Prof. Simon Neild, Dr Tom Hill and Dr David Ehrhardt of the University of Bristol; Random Vibration presented by Prof. Robin Langley of the University of Cambridge; and System Identification by Prof Keith Worden and Dr Nikos Dervilis of the University of Sheffield.

After a full day of presentations, attendees took time out to continue their debates and discussions over dinner at Trinity College, Cambridge.
The second day began with an Industry Lecture from Dr Ben Jeffryes of ENL Project Partner Schlumberger entitles “Multiple Solutions in Drag-Bit Drilling”.
Presentations then continued with elevator pitches from ENL researchers and associated PhD students in anticipation of their poster presentations, which followed during the ensuing coffee break, and were very well received.

Dr Andreas Kontogeorgos then gave an update of the current state of play at the EPSRC, followed by a session on “Upcoming opportunities in Verification and Validation and System Identification, led by Prof. Keith Worden.

Prof. David Wagg then brought the main presentations to a close in leading a summary discussion of the highly successful 2-day meeting. The ENL Management committee then met in closed session; in parallel the ENL researchers met for a networking session, tasked with coming up with around 4 working groups which would progress there preferred aspects of ENL by holding meetings via web conference.

EPSRC: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council