Dr Ben Thomas
- 01202 965079
- thomasb at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
- Principal Academic In Sustainable Design
- Poole House P124, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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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... Ben continued to work with the RNLI following the completion of his PhD in 2009 and was appointed to the post of Lecturer in Sustainable Design shortly after. Within this post Ben has led the development of Sustainable Design teaching within BU Design and Engineering courses while continuing to research sustainable design issues including material and acoustic properties of recycled plastics and the design and use of local small-scale hydro-power around Poole Harbour. In addition to his research work and sustainable design teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in 2011 Ben took on the role of Course Co-Ordinator for Design Business Management BA. Ben continues to be active in both teaching and research and has recently been awarded two match-funded PhD studentships in collaboration with local companies to investigate marine sustainable design issues.more
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.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person's work contributes towards the following SDGs:
- Guimarey, M.J.G., Viesca, J.L., Abdelkader, A.M., Thomas, B., Hernández Battez, A. and Hadfield, M., 2021. Electrochemically exfoliated graphene and molybdenum disulfide nanoplatelets as lubricant additives. Journal of Molecular Liquids, 342.
- Guimarey, M.J.G., Abdelkader, A.M., Comuñas, M.J.P., Alvarez-Lorenzo, C., Thomas, B., Fernández, J. and Hadfield, M., 2021. Comparison between thermophysical and tribological properties of two engine lubricant additives: electrochemically exfoliated graphene and molybdenum disulfide nanoplatelets. Nanotechnology, 32 (2).
- Saifullah, A., Thomas, B., Cripps, R., Tabeshfar, K. and Wang, L., 2020. An investigation of low velocity impact properties of rotationally moulded skin-foam-skin sandwich structure. Polymer Engineering and Science.
- Roberts, A., Thomas, B., Sewell, P. and Hoare, E., 2019. Generating renewable power from water hammer pressure surges. Renewable Energy, 134, 1392-1399.
- Saifullah, A., Thomas, B., Cripps, R., Tabeshfar, K., Wang, L. and Muryn, C., 2018. Fracture toughness of rotationally molded polyethylene and polypropylene. Polymer Engineering and Science, 58 (1), 63-73.
- Anand, M., Hadfield, M., Thomas, B. and Cantrill, R., 2017. The depletion of ZDDP additives within marine lubricants and associated cylinder liner wear in RNLI lifeboat engines. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications, 231 (1-2), 162-170.
- Anand, M., Hadfield, M., Viesca, J.L., Thomas, B., González, R., Cantrill, R. and Battez, A.H., 2016. Assessing boundary film forming behavior of phosphonium ionic liquids as engine lubricant additives. Lubricants, 4 (2).
- Roberts, A., Thomas, B., Sewell, P., Khan, Z., Balmain, S. and Gillman, J., 2016. Current tidal power technologies and their suitability for applications in coastal and marine areas. Journal of Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy, 2 (2), 227-245.
- Anand, M., Hadfield, M., Viesca, J.L., Thomas, B., Hernández Battez, A. and Austen, S., 2015. Ionic liquids as tribological performance improving additive for in-service and used fully-formulated diesel engine lubricants. Wear, 334-335, 67-74.
- Awan, A.W., Hadfield, M., Thomas, B., Vieillard, C. and Cundill, R., 2013. An experimental investigation of rolling contact failure within silicon nitride subject to micro surface defects. 5th World Tribology Congress, WTC 2013, 2, 1142-1145.
- Tzanakis, I., Hadfield, M., Thomas, B., Noya, S.M., Henshaw, I. and Austen, S., 2012. Future perspectives on sustainable tribology. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16 (6), 4126-4140.
- Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2011. Increasing Durability Performance of Lifeboat Launch Slipway Panels. Journal of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.
- Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2010. Wear and friction modelling on lifeboat launch slipway panels. WIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences, 66, 209-221.
- Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2010. Wear and Friction Modeling on Lifeboat Launch Systems. Tribology Transactions, 53, 584-599.
- Thomas, B., 2009. Discussion: Experimental wear modelling of lifeboat slipway launches. Tribology International, 42, 1862-1863.
- Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2009. Wear observations applied to lifeboat slipway launches. Wear, 267 (11), 2062-2069.
- Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2009. Experimental Wear Modelling of Lifeboat Slipway Launches. Tribology International, 42, 1706-1714.
- Saifullah, A., Thomas, B., Cripps, R., Tabeshfar, K. and Wang, L., 2023. An analysis of rotationally moulded sandwich structure's repeated impact properties. AIP Conference Proceedings, 2607.
- saifullah, A., Thomas, B., Cripps, R. and Wang, L., 2020. Repeated impact properties of rotationally moulded skin-foam-skin sandwich structure. In: ANTEC 2020 30 March-2 April 2020 San Antonio, TX, USA.
- Anand, M., Hadfield, M., viesca, J.-L. and Thomas, B., 2019. Experimental Study on the Effect of Marine Engine Lubricant Degradation on Tribological Performance of Cylinder Liner and Piston Rings Contact Using a Tuning Fork Technology Based Oil Sensor. In: International Conference on Marine Engineering and Technology 5-7 November 2019 Military Technological college, Muscat, Oman.
- 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. 4th International Symposium on Environment Friendly Energies and Applications, EFEA 2016.
- 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, B., 2016. Rotationally moulded thermoplastic sandwich composites in small marine leisure craft: Fracture properties and damage analysis of the composite structure. RINA, Royal Institution of Naval Architects - Innovations in Small Craft Technology 2016.
- 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. Annual Technical Conference - ANTEC, Conference Proceedings, 1686-1689.
- Anand, M., Hadfield, M., Thomas, B. and Cantril, R., 2016. The Depletion of ZDDP Additives within Marine Lubricants and Associated Cylinder Liner Wear in RNLI Lifeboat Engines. In: 1st International Conference on Materials Design and Applications 30 June-1 July 2016 Porto, Portugal.
- Anand, M., Hadfield, M., Thomas, B., Cantrill, R., Austen, S., Viesca, J.L. and Garland, N., 2013. 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 performance of lifeboat launch slipways. In: Third International Conference on Tribology and Design 11-13 May 2010 Algarve, Portugal.
- 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 modelling on lifeboat launch slipway panels. TRIBOLOGY AND DESIGN, 209-+.
- 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., 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., 2008. Wear Mechanisms applied to Lifeboat Slipway Launches. In: 1st International Conference on Abrasive Processes 21-25 September 2008 Churchill College, Cambridge.
- 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., 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.
- Thomas, B., 2009. Friction and Wear Performance of Lifeboat Launch Slipways. PhD Thesis. Bournemouth University; School of Design, Engineering and Computing.
- Thomas, B., 2004. Minimising Impact: How legislation and sustainable design can reduce the environmental cost of a mobile phone. Master's Thesis. Bournemouth University; School of Design, Engineering and Computing.
- Mayank Anand. Oil Condition Monitoring Systems for RNLI Lifeboats
- Abdul Waheed Awan. Defect Characterisation in Silicon Nitride Bearings
- Adam Roberts. An Optimised Tidal Energy Design for Poole Harbour
- Abu Saifullah. Cradle to Cradle: Recyclable Materials Applied to Small Marine Leisure Craft
- Alice Hall. Can inshore structures halt marine biodiversity loss?
Profile of Teaching PG
- 2014-09 DEC: M - Materials Optimisation for Sustainability
- 2014-09 DEC: M - Materials Optimisation for Sustainability (Flexible Learning)
- 2014-09 DEC: M - Individual Masters Project
Profile of Teaching UG
- DEC: I - Resources and Environment
- DEC: H - Design Projects 3
- Design Projects [BADBMS/I]
- 2014-09 DEC: H - Final Design Project
- 2014-09 DEC: H - Future Trends and Sustainability
- (2017/2018-...) BEng Engineering Flexible Learning Project
- Water Hammer Engine Project - Student Research Assistant (BU Student Project Bank, 23 Jan 2017). Awarded
- ‘Cradle to Cradle: Recyclable Materials Applied to Small Marine Leisure Craft’ (BU / Longitude engineering, 01 Jan 2014). Awarded
- ‘An Optimised Tidal energy Design for Poole Harbour’ (BU / Balmain trust, 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
- Plymouth University, Award External Examiner (2015-2017)
- Plymouth University, Subject External Examiner (2013-2017)
- University College Yeovil, Link Tutor
Public Engagement & Outreach Activities
- An Introduction to Sustainable Product Design (13 Jun 2014)
- An Introduction to Sustainable Product Design (10 Jun 2013)
- The campus permaculture project
- PhD in Friction and Wear Performance of Lifeboat Launch S (Bournemouth University, 2009)
- MSc in Sustainable Product Design (Bournemouth University, 2005)
- BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering (Newcastle University, 2002)
- Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology - Nominated (Times Higher Education Awards, 2010)
- Higher Education Academy, Senior Fellow (2014-),