George Lampeas and Vasilis Pasialis won the 2013 George Stephenson Gold Medal for their paper ‘A hybrid framework for nonlinear dynamic simulations including full-field optical measurements and image decomposition algorithms’. George, the lead author, has a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics from the University of Patras in Greece.
Having started work as a Research and Production Engineer at the Hellenic Aluminium Industry, he is now an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics Department at the University of Patras, where he specialises in the analysis of the structural response of different vehicles (aeronautic, marine and automotive) as part of the design process. Working closely with students every day, he has an important role in encouraging them into the profession. “I do my best to motivate them to explore the magical world of engineering. As my topic is very closely related to aeronautics and general vehicle engineering, students are highly attracted.”
Innovative designs of transport vehicles need to be validated in order to demonstrate reliability and provide confidence. It is normal practice to study the mechanical response of vehicle structural elements by comparing numerical results obtained from finite element simulation models with results obtained from experiments. The objective of this paper was to integrate full-field optical measurement methodologies with state-of-the-art computational simulation techniques for nonlinear transient dynamic events. The paper emphasised the need for full-field computational model validation and detailed how the application of sophisticated comparison techniques can result to increased design reliability and to structures with a smaller ecological footprint.
Describing the importance of the paper, George says: “Engineering simulation plays an important role in the design and analysis of all engineered products. Validation, or the process of determining the degree to which a model is an accurate representation of the real world, is one of the most important aspects of engineering simulation. Without sufficient validation, the models include a high degree of uncertainty and when they are used in the design process, high safety and reserve factors should be applied, leading to highly conservative designs. This paper investigates methodologies, which can increase the confidence of simulation models so that they could be used to the design of innovative ecological structures, which can operate under severe service conditions with increased safety and reliability.”
George’s interest in engineering started early: “Since I was young, I have always been impressed by physical sciences and engineering structures, and this was my motivation for becoming an engineer.” He still finds it an inspiring subject, and was recently impressed by the solar powered aircraft, he explains: “Many people watched the Solar Impulse aircraft travelling long distances powered by electricity produced exclusively from solar power. I believe that air transportation has played an important role in people lives since the beginning of commercial flights and demand is expected to increase further. Ensuring cheap and clean flight, as well as all other transportation means, is very important for society.”
George was delighted to win the George Stephenson Gold Medal, he says:”It is an indication that the research we have done is of interest and importance for the engineering community, which motivates further and more intensive efforts.” Looking forward, he sees engineering as the way to improve people’s lives: ”Engineers can contribute to this by, for example, continuing to work for a cleaner environment by designing and producing vehicles and other machinery with lower CO2 and other emissions. By focusing on production of low-cost clean energy which is accessible to everyone, engineers can increase the competitiveness of the engineering sector and play a major role in securing people’s jobs.”
Find out more about the George Stephenson Gold Medal Award