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PhD engineering success

Posted 30 August 2011

Doing a PhD is a very hard process and during the three years that I studied, I don’t think there was a day where I didn’t think about it.

Dr Guy, James Ward, Dr Chico Santamarta, Professor Dick Godwin and Paula Misiewicz

Harper Adams is pleased to announce the completion of the first two Douglas Bomford Trust sponsored PhDs undertaken at the University College in Shropshire.

The projects investigated two different agricultural engineering issues, the first studied the production, storage and combustion of fuel pellets from oilseed rape straw, and the other the flow of torque in the transmission of a four-wheel drive tractor using novel torque sensors.

The Douglas Bomford Trust, a charity that enables the advancement of engineering for agriculture and land-based industry, co-funded the two PhDs, which were completed by Dr. Leticia Chico Santamarta and Dr. Ianto Guy.

Dr Chico-Santamarta, whose project was also sponsored by Claas Stiftung and Harper Adams, said: “My PhD investigated the production and utilisation of OSR straw pellets for combustion purposes.

“I feel extremely relieved to complete it. Doing a PhD is a very hard process and during the three years that I studied, I don’t think there was a day where I didn’t think about it.

“I’m very thankful to all three of my sponsors; otherwise the project wouldn’t have been possible.”

Dr Chico-Santamarta has recently commenced her role as Postdoctoral Researcher in Sustainable Technologies at the University College, continuing her research and also lecturing.

Dr Guy’s project studied the effect of the differences in the relative speeds of the front and rear wheels of a four-wheel drive tractor on its tractive efficiency. It was also sponsored by power technology specialists, ABB of Sweden, who developed the torque sensors used in the project.

Dr Guy, who now lectures in the Engineering Department at the University College, said: “While completing my PhD, I discovered some interesting, unexpected behaviour in the way power flows through the transmission.

“The project also demonstrates for the first time the use of ABB's Torductor technology in an off-highway application, this is a significant step in the development of the study of four-wheel-drive transmission behaviour.

“I am extremely grateful to the Douglas Bomford Trust for their support in completing my PhD, and also to Ray Clay, my Douglas Bomford Trust mentor, who has been extremely supportive and helpful throughout the project.”

As well as teaching on the Off Road Vehicle Design courses, Dr Guy is continuing to develop his research activities in the areas of off road vehicle mobility and transmission behaviour.

For more information about research at Harper Adams University College, visit www.harper-adams.ac.uk/research

James Ward and Paula Misiewicz are two other Douglas Bomford Trust sponsored PhD students, who will complete their research in the near future (see photo).

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