Ben Thomas

Dr Ben Thomas

  • 01202 965079
  • thomasb at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Design
  • Poole House P311, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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Biography

Since arriving at Bournemouth University in 2002 Ben has followed a lifelong passion for Sustainable Design through both research and teaching. Bournemouth University was approached by the RNLI around 2002 with a request to assist them with a number of launching issues with their new Tamar class lifeboats. It was found that they lifeboats were getting stuck on the launch slipways and that the workaround solution of manually applying grease to the slipway was resulting in potentially harmful substances bio-accumulating around the base of the slipway. Following the award of MSc Sustainable Design (2004) Ben was offered the opportunity to study this problem in direct collaboration with the RNLI. This resulted in the development of a novel, water-based lubrication solution and upgraded slipway panel fitting criteria for the RNLI that eliminated the need for grease to be used on the launch slipway. This work was subsequently shortlisted for the Times Higher Education awards in the category ‘Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology’ in 2010...

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Research

Ben has continued to be active in sustainable design research following the award of his own PhD entitled ‘Sustainable Design of Lifeboat Slipways’ in 2009. This has included research work in collaboration with SKF, Longitude Consulting Engineers Ltd., the Balmain trust and continued work with the RNLI. In addition Ben has developed a series of small scale research projects in collaboration with Oviedo University in Spain to investigate the material properties of recycled plastics.

Research topics within this field include the potential for mixed recycled plastics as a replacement for low-grade Polyurethane wheels, the characterisation of High Impact Polystyrene material properties under repeated recycle cycles, the characterisation of ABS material properties under repeated recycle cycles and the acoustic potential for recycled plastics to replace then use of hardwood tone woods in certain musical instruments.

Wider research topics also include lubricant condition monitoring work with the RNLI aimed at developing a novel, real-time condition based maintenance schedule for RNLI craft to reduce costs and to minimise maintenance induced failure. Ben also acts as supervisor to research work in collaboration with SKF looking at the characterisation of surface flaws on Silicon Nitride ball bearings.

Current research activities include two new match-funded PhD studentships entitled ‘Cradle to Cradle: Recyclable Materials Applied to Small Marine Leisure Craft’ (in association with Longitude Engineering), and ‘An Optimised Tidal energy Design for Poole Harbour’ (in association with the Balmain trust) as well as on-going plastics recycling work.

Journal Articles

Conferences

  • Hall, A., Herbert, R.J.H., Britton, R. and Thomas, B., 2016. How persistent are assemblages upon wooden and rock groyne “reefs”? In: International Temperate Reef Symposium 26 June-30 August 2016 Pisa, Italy.
  • Saifullah, A., Thomas, B., Tabeshfar, K. and Cripps, R., 2016. Impact properties analysis of rotationally molded polyethylene and polypropylene for a wide range of temperatures. 1686-1689.
  • Saifullah, A., Thomas, B., Tabeshfar, K. and Cripps, B., 2016. Rotationally moulded thermoplastic sandwich composites in small marine leisure craft: Fracture properties and damage analysis of the composite structure.
  • Roberts, A., Thomas, B., Sewell, P., Aslani, N., Balmain, S., Balmain, I. and Gillman, J., 2016. The Potential of the Water Hammer in Pico-Scale Tidal Power Systems: an Experimental Investigation.
  • Anand, M., Hadfield, M., Thomas, B., Cantrill, R., Austen, S., Viesca, J.L. and Garland, N., 2014. Experimental analysis of anti-wear performance of marine engine lubricants. In: 5th World Tribology Congress 8-13 September 2013 Torino, Italy.
  • Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2010. Alternative Lifeboat Slipway Bearing Materials. In: Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology 2010 7-10 September 2010 Leeds Trinity University College, The University of Leeds, UK.
  • Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2010. Wear and friction modelling on lifeboat launch slipway panels. 209-+.
  • Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2010. Sustainable Design of Lifeboat Slipway Launches. In: 37th Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology. Tribology for Sustainability: Economic, Environmental and Quality of Life 7-10 September 2010 Trinity and All Saints College, The University of Leeds, England.
  • Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2010. Wear and Friction performance of lifeboat launch slipways. In: Third International Conference on Tribology and Design 11-13 May 2010 Algarve, Portugal.
  • Thomas, B., 2008. Sustainable Design of Lifeboat Slipways. In: 35th Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology “Duncan Dowson at 80” 9-12 September 2008 Trinity and All Saints College, The University of Leeds, England.
  • Thomas, B., 2008. Wear Mechanisms applied to Lifeboat Slipway Launches. In: 1st International Conference on Abrasive Processes 21-25 September 2008 Churchill College, Cambridge.
  • Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austin, S., 2008. Wear Mechanisms Applied to Lifeboat Slipway Launches. In: 1st International Conference on Abrasive Processes 21-25 September 2008 Churchill College, Cambridge.
  • Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austin, S., 2008. Experimental Wear Modelling of Lifeboat Slipway Launches. Paper XXVIII(VI). In: 35th Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology “Duncan Dowson at 80” 9-12 September 2008 Trinity and All Saints College, The University of Leeds, England.
  • Thomas, B., 2005. Sustainable Design of Lifeboat Slipways. In: Reception for Younger Engineers at the House of Commons 6 December 2005 Portcullis House, Westminster, London.
  • Thomas, B., hadfield, M. and martinez, S.. Potential Application of Recycled Plastic Materials as a Replacement for Polyurethane Wheels. In: Tribology and Design 2012 3-5 September 2012 Kos, Greece. WIT Press.

Theses

Posters

  • Hall, A., Britton, J.R., Thomas, B., Herbert, R. and Hull, S., 2017. Can ecological enhancement be used to improve artificial structures within marine protected areas? In: Marine Protected Areas. Science, Policy & Management, Poole 15-17 May 2017.

PhD Students

  • Alice Hall. Can inshore structures halt marine biodiversity loss?
  • Abu Saifullah. Cradle to Cradle: Recyclable Materials Applied to Small Marine Leisure Craft
  • Adam Roberts. An Optimised Tidal Energy Design for Poole Harbour
  • Abdul Waheed Awan. Defect Characterisation in Silicon Nitride Bearings
  • Mayank Anand. Oil Condition Monitoring Systems for RNLI Lifeboats

Profile of Teaching PG

  • 2014-09 DEC: M - Individual Masters Project
  • 2014-09 DEC: M - Materials Optimisation for Sustainability (Flexible Learning)
  • 2014-09 DEC: M - Materials Optimisation for Sustainability

Profile of Teaching UG

  • 2014-09 DEC: H - Future Trends and Sustainability
  • 2014-09 DEC: H - Final Design Project
  • Design Projects [BADBMS/I]
  • DEC: H - Design Projects 3
  • DEC: I - Resources and Environment

Grants

  • Water Hammer Engine Project - Student Research Assistant (BU Student Project Bank, 23 Jan 2017). Awarded
  • ‘An Optimised Tidal energy Design for Poole Harbour’ (BU / Balmain trust, 01 Jan 2014). Awarded
  • ‘Cradle to Cradle: Recyclable Materials Applied to Small Marine Leisure Craft’ (BU / Longitude engineering, 01 Jan 2014). Awarded
  • Investigation into potential academic and research collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences - Wurzburg-Schweinfurt (BU, 02 Jan 2012). Awarded
  • Potential research collaboration with Carlow Institute of Technology, TU Delft and Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (BU, 07 Jun 2011). Awarded

External Responsibilities

  • Plymouth University, Award External Examiner (2015-2017)
  • Plymouth University, Subject External Examiner (2013-2017)
  • University College Yeovil, Link Tutor

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • A short, one-day course introducing the key concepts around sustainable design. The course is aimed at professionals and the general public and is focussed on developing a practical understanding of sustainability that can be used to reduce our real-world emissions
  • A short, one-day course introducing the key concepts around sustainable design. The course is aimed at professionals and the general public and is focussed on developing a practical understanding of sustainability that can be used to reduce our real-world emissions
  • Take part in creating a sustainable design plan for campus and community! We’ll have guidance from experts in sustainable design, ecology, permaculture and the green economy. Working together, how many positive solutions can we find to live, work and learn more sustainably in Poole and Bournemouth?

Qualifications

  • BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering (Newcastle University, 2002)
  • MSc in Sustainable Product Design (Bournemouth University, 2005)
  • PhD in Friction and Wear Performance of Lifeboat Launch S (Bournemouth University, 2009)

Honours

  • Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology - Nominated (Times Higher Education Awards, 2010)

Memberships

  • Higher Education Academy, Senior Fellow (2014-),
The data on this page was last updated at 04:07 on December 16, 2017.