4D additive printing, data-centric engineering and smart materials present new challenges and opportunities for structural integrity and systems performance – LR Foundation invites international collaboration

15 October, 2015, Singapore – The Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the leading UK charity supporting engineering-related research and education worldwide, today launches its Foresight review of structural integrity and systems performance at The Third Lloyd’s Register Foundation Lecture at the National University of Singapore.

Modern society depends on complex products and engineering systems whose failure can lead to catastrophic consequences.  The performance and safety of these systems is an area which the LR Foundation can make a significant difference by targeting its research funding. This Foresight review guides the Foundation’s grant giving priorities in order to fund high quality research which has a real impact on the safety of life and property.

Singapore was chosen for the launch as the Foundation recognises not only the excellent research capabilities within Singapore, but also its importance as a gateway to other research excellence within the region. The Foundation’s trading group, Lloyd’s Register Group Ltd, has located one of its two Global Technology Centres in Singapore, has supported clients in Singapore for 137 years and is proud of its association with Singapore in its 50th year anniversary.  As a global charity, the LR Foundation wants to engage with the best researchers globally and encourages researchers in Singapore and the wider region to engage with Foundation research programmes.

Prof Richard Clegg, Managing Director of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation said: “Our report highlights the current best practice, technology trends and research needs so that we can enhance safety by fundamentally changing the design, manufacturing and reliability of complex infrastructures from the component to the system. We invite researchers from around the world to help us develop this programme”. 

Building on the findings of this review, the Foundation will identify aspects of structural integrity and systems performance on which to focus its research grants and education programme. The Foundation has awarded a £15m grant towards the establishment of the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), working in partnership with TWI Ltd, through their sponsorship of the Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRF). This will fund 83 PhDs over 10 years for which partners from around the world can apply.

The Foundation’s Foresight review of structural integrity and systems performance identifies the key safety challenges that exist in structural integrity and systems performance and recommends five priorities for future research and development:

  1. The safety of systems containing 3D and 4D additive manufactured parts, including
  2. Engineering science challenges: advancing the state-of-the-art to maximise safety, including:
  3. Development of an economic whole-system approach to demonstrate safety and integrity
  4. Data-centric engineering, including:
  5. Minimising the risks associated with maintenance and inspection, including:

The Foundation’s publication, Foresight review in structural integrity and performance can be downloaded from http://www.lrfoundation.org.uk/publications/structural-integrity-and-systems-performance.aspx