Faculty of Engineering

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Mike Clifford

Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering



Mike Clifford is a member of the Food, Water, Waste Research Group.

Research Summary

My research fits within four main themes - appropriate technology, composites processing, dynamical systems, and fluid mixing. I have published over 60 papers in refereed journals and conferences… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

My research fits within four main themes - appropriate technology, composites processing, dynamical systems, and fluid mixing. I have published over 60 papers in refereed journals and conferences over the last ten years.

Appropriate Technology

Drawing on my links with Tearfund, an international relief and development charity, I have sourced suggestions for engineering projects from Cambodia, India, Uganda, Mongolia, Bolivia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Nepal and many other developing countries. These projects have solved practical problems and have provided sources of income generation for deprived communities across the globe. Students who have worked on these projects have been inspired to investigate the relationship between technology and development, and three have taken up summer placements overseas with Engineers Without Borders to experience the challenges of working with developing communities at first-hand. As a result of these activities, the profile of the University and the UK has been enhanced, and media interest has raised the awareness of the role engineering can play in changing communities for the better.

Composite Materials

My main interest in composite materials lies in deformation of preimpregnated material (thermosetting and thermoplastic) during forming components. Mathematical models of in-plane shear and void migration have been developed together with forming trials and material characterisation studies in the EPSRC project Design and Optimisation of Textile Composites. Two themes flowing from this work - rheological behaviour of textile composites, and optimising textile composite components - are currently being developed and have resulted in a successful DTi research funding application together with colleagues at Manchester University and Herriot Watt University. I'm also working on nanocomposites and investigating natural fibre composites, making items of furniture from cardboard, straw and recycled carpet.

Dynamical Systems

Analysing nonlinear dynamical systems, especially parametrically forced structures was the subject of my Ph.D. and continues to be one of my research interests. A recent successful EPSRC grant application together with colleagues at Manchester University facilitated the study of nonlinear vibrations of laminated structures using novel numerical algorithms. Work on pendulum type dynamical systems is continuing with colleagues at Aberdeen and UCL. I am also developing interests in Biomechanical modelling, in particular studying the dynamics of shaken baby syndrome and the dynamics of bungee jumping.

Fluid Dynamics

Mixing in laminar chaotic flows is an area of industrially relevant fluid mechanics that I have studied since 1997. Numerical models of chaotic laminar flow have been analysed, and the rate that chemical reaction occur in lamellar systems (thin structures formed by the exponential stretching and global folding associated with chaotic dynamics) has been predicted and compared with results from higher dimensional simulations. An experimental rig that mixes chaotically has been designed

Past Research

Pollution transport studies, car exhaust emissions and building ventilation.

Future Research

Appropriate Technology, Dynamics, Composites, Mixing

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates from Home, EU and international countries who are interested in the following research areas: Appropriate technology, sustainable materials, biogas, cookstoves, natural fibre composites, engineering education research.

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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