The National Research Network (NRN) in Advanced Engineering and Materials (AEM) is founded on Wales’ strong tradition of engineering ingenuity promoting research excellence & industrial engagement across a wide range of engineering challenges. Our research strength is shown across Swansea, Cardiff and Bangor University as well as industry lead TWI Ltd through the thematic areas of modelling, materials and sensors.
We have engaged with 71 organisations from around the world including key Welsh companies such as Qioptiq and IQE and internationally renowned organisations such as Airbus, Rolls Royce and Huawei. We are also engaged with a number of small spin out enterprises such as Rockfield and Biovici Ltd.
We believe that exposing STEM activities will open up opportunities and further engage youngsters in STEM education and why we are proud to be one of the main sponsors for this year’s Science Pavilion at the National Eisteddfod. We want to share our extensive knowledge and expertise of these particular themes and findings from our studies, more widely through STEM outreach events.
The NRN AEM will be showcasing a host of interactive science demonstrations from the 7th - 12th August in the Science Pavilion. From laser engraving to seeing solar energy in action - we welcome you into the world of all things engineering!
NRN AEM - Taking You into a World of Science
A World of Uncertainties – 7 – 8 August
We often assume that the physical systems being studied (for example mechanical systems) as well as the experimental measurements (e.g. the displacement readings) are known exactly. However, the systems being studied can never be known exactly and uncertainties always exist. Dealing with uncertainties is the only way forward to ensure robust fail-safe operation of engineering systems. Uncertainty Quantification and Management (UQ&M) is rapidly becoming an important area of research with wide application in numerous fields including aerospace, automotive, energy systems. Practical systems and computational models from the aerospace and automotive industries are presented to demonstrate the effect and the need to analyse uncertainties.
‘Molecular Gastronomy at the National Eisteddfod’ – 7 – 8 August
Kids aged 0-99! Let your curiosity lead you to our outstanding set of hands-on activities. We have something for every taste: create balls-and-sticks models with chickpeas, have a play with non-Newtonian fluids, power a LED light with a lemon - experience magic tricks with light & much more!
Seeing things differently – 7 – 8 August
How do you find out what's inside something without touching it?
NRN AEM researchers are working on a technique called MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) which is a way of 'seeing' inside the body. It's very useful in healthcare as it doesn't use ionising radiation, which can be dangerous.
Come and find out more via various interactive activities including 'Guess the Fruit and Veg' - can you figure out what shadowy shapes represent which fruit?
How do I engineer a low cost prosthetic foot?” – 9 – 10 August
Meet NRN AEM researchers and the prosthetic team from Morriston Hospital, Swansea to understand the science and the ‘black art’ behind customising a prosthetic foot. Learn how we can measure muscle power and what forces we exert when we walk. Discover how nanoscience has helped to improve material properties to aid in manufacturing a prosthetic foot. Finally, get a glimpse of the new and innovative mechanism that NRN AEM researchers have developed for a passive prosthetic foot. Can you improve our design before it is rolled out into a wider market? We are open for new ideas. Come to the exhibition and challenge the team!
“Living Light” – 9 – 10 August
In the abyssal depths of the ocean exists an alien world. Over millions of years of evolution, the creatures which inhabit this dark, hostile environment have developed an ingenious strategy to survive: bioluminescence, the production of light from living organisms. During this demonstration, you will explore how creatures of the ocean use bioluminescence to lure prey, attract mates, deter predators and seemingly vanish into thin air! Learn how scientists in Wales and around the world are harnessing the power of bioluminescence to tackle important issues, from pollution and global warming to understanding and curing diseases.
‘Solar Energy in Action!’ – 11 – 12 August
With 2017 Science Pavilion’s theme being low carbon energy, the NRN AEM’s interactive demonstration on Solar Panels, known as Photovoltaic cells is the perfect way to show you the power of nature. Using thermal imaging cameras we will take you into a world of new energy showing you how energy is generated with the use of the sun; enabling us to power everyday objects such as phone chargers whilst also discovering how light sources are powered by the Seebeck power generation. Come and experience the future of energy!
‘Laser Engraving’ – 11 – 12 August 2
Using the latest laser engraving equipment you will be able to choose a pattern to engrave on a souvenir keyring whilst learning the science behind how lasers work and the uses they have in our lives.