Professor Andy McIntosh
- Position: Emeritus Professor
- Areas of expertise: aerodynamics; thermodynamics; heat transfer; combustion; ignition; biomimetics - in particular the bombardier beetle spray system
- Website: Andy McIntosh | Bombardier Beetle research
Professor Andy C. McIntosh,
Professor Andy C. McIntosh,
Emeritus Professor (Research)
School of Chemical and Process Engineering
University of Leeds,
Date of Birth : 15/04/52
Nationality : British.
Summary of Research Career
Professor Andy McIntosh (Leeds) DSc, FIMA, C.Math, FInstE, CEng FInstP, MIGEM, FRAeS holds a Visiting Research chair in Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds, and up to 2014 was employed at the University in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering. He also is an adjunct Professor at Mississippi State University USA.
After gaining a first class honours degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Wales (Bangor) in 1973, he worked at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Bedford for 4 years before doing research under Professor John Clarke FRS leading to a PhD in the theory of unsteady premixed laminar flames at Cranfield University in 1981. He came to Leeds in 1986, gained a DSc on the mathematical modelling of unsteady combustion processes within gases, fluids and solids from the University of Wales (Bangor) in 1998, and was awarded a personal chair at Leeds in 2000. A chartered mathematician and engineer, and author of over 200 papers and articles, his research has been in combustion in fluids and solids and he has lectured widely internationally and researched in these fields for over 40 years.
He became a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2002 and in 2003 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and the Institute of Energy.
His work has also included investigations into the fundamental link between thermodynamics and information, and in recent years he has been involved in research in the area of biomimetics where the minute combustion chamber of the bombardier beetle has inspired a patented novel spray technology with applications to fuel injectors, pharmaceutical sprays, fire extinguishers and aerosols. This research was awarded the 2010 Times Higher Educational award for the Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology.
Overview of Education, Employment and Awards
1963 - 1966 Selhurst Grammar School for Boys, Croydon, Surrey.
1966 - 1970 William Hulme's Grammar School, Manchester :
1968 GCE 'O' level (Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board): English Language 3, Mathematics 1, French 3, German 5, Latin 5, Physics 2, Chemistry 3
1970 GCE 'A' Level (Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board): Mathematics A, Further Mathematics A, Physics A
1970 - 1973 University College of North Wales, Bangor :
1973 BSc Degree: 1st Class Hons. in Applied Mathematics
University of Wales, UCNW Bangor.
Sept 1973 - Sept 1977 Scientific Officer, Royal Aircraft Establishment (Bedford)
1977 - 1980 Cranfield Institute of Technology, Bedford,
1981 PhD in Theory of Combustion. Title of Thesis: "Unsteady Premixed Laminar Flames". Aerodynamics Dept., Cranfield Institute of Technology. Supervisor: Professor J.F. Clarke.
Oct 1980 - Apr 1982 Research Officer (supported by DOE contract), Sch. of Mech. Eng., Cranfield Inst. of Tech.
Apr. 1982 - Sept 1984 Research Officer (supported by SERC), College of Aeronautics, Cranfield Institute of Technology.
Sept 1984 - Dec 1985 Lecturer in Mathematics, Luton College of Higher Education.
Jan 1986 - July 1995 Lecturer in Fuel and Energy Department, University of Leeds.
August 1995 Reader in Combustion Theory in Fuel and Energy Department, University of Leeds.
Aug. 1996 Appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA) with Chartered Mathematician status (C. Math.).
July 1998 Awarded DSc degree : University of Wales. Title of thesis : “Mathematical modelling of unsteady combustion processes within gases, fluids and solids”.
Sept. 1999 Appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Energy (FInstE) with Chartered Engineer status (C. Eng.).
August 2000 Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory, Fuel and Energy Department, University of Leeds.
Jan. 2002 Appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP).
July 2002 Appointed a member of the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers (MIGEM).
Dec 2003 Appointed a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Nov 2010 Times Higher Educational Award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology. This was granted for developing an innovative spray technology based on the bombardier beetle.
Since 2014 Visiting Research Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion at University of Leeds.
2016 Adjunct Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA.
Summary of Research Areas
The research of Professor Andy McIntosh has included combustion investigations involving fluids (the interaction of pressure waves with flames, fire and smoke movement) as well as solids. In the area of heterogeneous combustion he has a number of research investigations concerning the modelling of ignition, char formation in polymers and the dangers of thermal runaway of reactive substances. Though this includes traditional fuels such as coal, it may also include biomass, agrochemicals,and anything where chemical reactions are involved. His latter work on biomimetics (the study of innovative engineering inspired by nature) has been particularly well publicised with the unusual work on a patented spray device inspired by the bombardier beetle. This has applications to fuel injectors, pharmaceutical sprays, aerosols and fire extinguishers.
Research Investigations completed
Fundamentals of pressure interactions with flames. This work laid the basis for understanding the different time and length scales associated with pressure wave interactions with existing flames. Short length scale and large length scale pressure disturbances have been investigated.
Interaction of acoustics and flames. With British Gas sponsorship, a PhD programme was conducted where a Rijke Tube burner was built and a simple theory tested concerning the acoustic transfer functions describing oscillating heat transfer of a flame near a surface. Such a mechanism encourages resonance in the tube. The principle of this type of resonance has been established in a number of practical applications where industry is seeking to eliminate it - domestic and industrial boilers, gas turbines etc.
Low temperature autoignition of blended coals. This work investigated the low-temperature auto-ignition behaviour of different types of coal. This is because power stations now receive coal from many locations around the world, and do not rely solely on one source. Consequently the effect of blending different types of coals is important inclusing their self-ignition properties.
Ignition of combustible fluid and vapour within porous insulation material. Many incidents have occurred in the chemical engineering industry where combustible fluid has leaked into porous material and then (days later) ignited. Collaborative projects with Professors Brian Gray (Australia) and Graeme Wake (New Zealand) have led to significant advance sin this field.
Polymer ignition - use of additives to retard ignition. The charring of textiles and furnishings was studied as a means of retarding ignition. Support was obtained from the Raychem company which makes wire cables and is concerned for the safety of the polymer sheathing round the wires.
Catalytic ignition - The ignition behaviour of catalytic devices (such as catalytic converters in cars) has been studied. The prediction of under what conditions (temperature and inlet flow of gases), ignition will or will not occur, has been obtained through these investigations.
Hot spot ignition - This project addresses the ignition behaviour of hazardous materials where there is an existing hot spot already present, due to a hot pipe or some such object nearby. Counter intuitive behaviour has been investigated and collaboration has been ongoing with Syngenta Ltd.
Radiant burners - Investigations were made concerning a new type of metal fibre surface burner. The analysis revealed the practical operating regions for a surface burner and predicted the flashback and blow-off conditions. Another research group at Purdue University has also picked up this method in the last 2 years.
Fire and Smoke movement - A new multi-zone computer program was developed for modelling fire spread and smoke movement in accidental fires (such as the Kings Cross Underground fire in 1987) and other types of incidents. As a result a new computer code FASIT (Fire and smoke movement in tunnels) has been made and further work supported an industrially based project (NHS Estates grant “Fire and Smoke movement in hospitals) which has led to a three-dimensional version of the zone-modelling program FAS3D.
Ignition of explosives – In collaboration with Orica (Mining) mathematical modelling of the combustion process involved in the ignition of Ammonium Nitrate based explosives has been undertaken with a view to understanding the double combustion wave phenomenon that has recently been observed. This is heavily dependent on the two phase nature of the process and the role of pressure in these processes is also very significant. Competitive endo-exothermic reactions in the presence of an advective flow In fluids a strained flow of a reactive fluid can lead to unusual effects due to the strong dependence on the competitive reaction history. The interest of this work centres on situations in which mixing is combined with competitive chemical reactions in laminar flow.Combustion in Nature – a novel spray device inspired by the Bombardier Beetle In recent years work on understanding combustion processes in nature has been undertaken, particularly the investigation into the combustion chamber of the bombardier beetle, with a view to possible application of the extremely efficient ejection device to spray engineering – such as in fuel injectors in car engines and gas turbines, pharmaceutical sprays and fire extinguishers. The work began with an EPSRC grant in this area and has progressed to direct industrial funding and development of a spin out company. The work was awarded the 2010 Times Higher Educational Award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology.
The current work continues to explore industrial applications of this novel technology, and involves building a fire extinguisher prototype in a US university based on the valve system of the bombardier beetle, such that a combination of water and steam can be ejected a distance of 10 metres from a chamber approximately 5 cms. long. By this principle a much more efficient use of water is made, particularly for fighting wild fires such as have been seen in recent years in California. This will enable water packs carried on the back of firefighters to be used very effectively and from a safe distance.
Investigations into the fundamental connection between thermodynamics and information This work draws on the laws of thermodynamics and the definitions of how to parallel such laws for information. The work looks at the boundary between matter and energy obeying thermodynamic principles and coded information instructions which necessarily use a material / energetic substrate. He has published two important papers (see the asterisked ** highlighted papers which show that there is a fourth law of thermodynamics for open systems.
Some notable publications
Shah, A.A., Brindley, J. and McIntosh, A.C. “Gas-phase and heat-exchange effects on the ignition of high- and low - exothermicity porous solids subject to constant heating”, Jnl. Eng. Maths 56, 161-177, Nov. 2006.
Shah, A.A., Brindley J., McIntosh, A.C. and Griffiths J.F. (2007) “Ignition and combustion of low - exothermicity porous materials by a local hotspot.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 463, pp.1287-1305.
McIntosh, A.C. “Deflagration fronts and compressibility”, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A357, 3523-3538, 1999.
Teerling, O.J.; McIntosh, A.C.; Brindley, J. (2007) Pressure wave excitation of natural flame frequencies. Combustion Theory and Modelling, 11(1), pp.147-164.
Beheshti, N. and McIntosh, A.C. (2007) “A biomimetic study of the explosive discharge of the Bombardier Beetle.” Int. J. of Design & Nature, 1(1), pp.61-69.
McIntosh, A.C., “True Science and Origins”, Science in Parliament 64 (3), 22-24, 2007
McIntosh, A.C., Combustion, fire, and explosion in nature - some biomimetic possibilities. Proc. IMechE, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 221(C10), 1157–1164, 2007
Beheshti, N. and McIntosh, A.C. “The bombardier beetle and its use of a pressure relief valve system to deliver a periodic pulsed spray” Bioinspiration and Biomimetics (Inst of Physics), 2, pp.57-64, 2007.
McIntosh, A.C. “New technology derived from a beetle”, Public Service Review (PSCA International), Central Government 16, 150-151, April 2008.
McIntosh, A.C. and Beheshti, N, “Bio-inspiration for new pharmaceutical sprays”, Industrial Pharmacy (Euromed Communications), 17, 12-14, March 2008.
McIntosh, A.C. and Beheshti, N, “Insect inspiration”, Physics World (Inst of Physics), 21(4), 29-31, April 2008.
Shah, A.A., Brindley, J., McIntosh, A.C. and Rademacher, J. “The effects of heat exchange and fluid production on the ignition of a porous solid” Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications, 9(2), 562-584, April 2008.
McIntosh, A.C. “Evidence of design in bird feather and avian respiration”, Int. J. of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4, No. 2, 154-169, 2009.
**McIntosh, A.C. “Information and Entropy – Top-down or bottom-up development in living systems?” Int. J. of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4, No. 4, 351-385, 2009.
Hmaidi, A., McIntosh, A.C. and Brindley, J. “A mathematical model of hotspot condensed phase ignition in the presence of a competitive endothermic reaction”, Comb. Theory and Modelling 14(6), 893–920, October 2010. DOI: 10.1080/13647830.2010.519050.
Prongidis, A., McIntosh, A., Wilson, C.W. and Dolmansley, T. “Enhancement of ignition of a gas turbine by the addition of small amounts of H2O2” Proceedings of the IMechE Part A, Journal of Power and Energy 226, 49-61, Jan 2012.
Sharples, J.J., Sidhu, H.S., McIntosh, A.C., Brindley, J. and Gubernov, V.V. “Analysis of combustion waves arising in the presence of a competitive endothermic reaction”, IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics (2012) 77, 18−31
Gubernov, V.V., Sharples, J.J., Sidhu, H.S., McIntosh, A.C. and Brindley, J. “Properties of combustion waves in the model with competitive exo- and endothermic reactions”, Jnl. Of Mathematical Chemistry (April 2012)
Booth, A., McIntosh, A.C., Beheshti, N., Walker, R., Larsson, L.U. and Copestake, A. Spray Technologies Inspired by Bombardier Beetle, in Bhushan, B. (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of Nanotechnology, Springer, Heidelberg, New York, London, 2012, pp. 2495-2503
Hughes, K.J., Brindley, J. and McIntosh, A.C. “Initiation and propagation of combustion waves with competitive reactions and water evaporation”, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 469 (2160) DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2013.0506, 2013
Watt, S.D., Huang, Z., Sidhu, H.S., McIntosh, A.C. and Brindley, J. “One dimensional chaotic laminar flow with competitive exothermic-endothermic reactions”, ANZIAM Journal, (Submitted April 2019).
Parts of books / Conferences
McIntosh, A.C. (2007) “Functional Information and entropy in living systems” In: 3rd International Conference on Design and Nature, New Forest June 2006, edited by C.A. Brebbia, WIT Press; pp. 115-126; ISBN 1-84564-166-3
Beheshti, N. and McIntosh, A.C. “A novel spray system inspired by the bombardier beetle” Presented Weds 25th June 2008 as Invited Presentation, Design and Nature IV, Proc of 4th Int. Conference on Design and Nature, Tivoli Almansor, Algarve, Portugal, 24-26 June 2008, Ed. C.A. Brebbia, WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Vol 114, pp 13-21, WIT Press, 2008, 978-1-84564-120-7
McIntosh, A.C. and Beheshti, N, “Insect inspiration”, Physics World (Inst of Physics), 21(4), 29-31, April 2008
McIntosh, A. C., "Biomimetic inspiration from fire and combustion in nature including the bombardier beetle" in Biomimetics and Bioinspiration, edited by Raul J. Martin-Palma, Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Proceedings of SPIE Conference San Diego, August 2009 SPIE Vol. 7401 (SPIE, Bellingham, WA 2009) 74010F.
McIntosh, A.C. and Prongidis, A. “Further biomimetic challenges from the Bombardier Beetle – the intricate chemical production system”, Invited presentation at Design and Nature V, Proc of 5th Int. Conference on Design and Nature, Pisa, Italy, 28-30 June 2010
**McIntosh, A.C., "Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems”, Proc. of Symposium Biological Information – New Perspectives, Cornell University, 31st May – 3rd June 2011, pp.179 – 201, DOI: 10.1142/9789814508728_0008, World Scientific, July 2013
Booth, A., McIntosh, A.C., Beheshti, N., Walker, R., Larsson, L.U. and Copestake, A. Spray Technologies Inspired by Bombardier Beetle, in Bhushan, B. (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of Nanotechnology, Springer, Heidelberg, New York, London, 2012, pp. 2495-2503.
Wood, J., Murphy, M. A., Rhee, H., McIntosh, A.C., Horstemeyer, M.F. and Prabhu, R.K. “Bioinspired Shark Teeth Serrated Edges for Penetration and Shearing”, Symposium : Biological Materials Science, The Mineral, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) 148th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Henry B. González Convention Center, San Antonio, TX, March 10 – 14, 2019, TMS 2019 Supplemental Proceedings, TMS & Springer.
McIntosh, A.C. and Beheshti, N. European Patent granted Sept 2009 EP1937333 “Drug Delivery – Spray system based on bombardier beetle”
Beheshti, N. and McIntosh, A.C US Patent granted Jan. 24th 2012 US patent number US8100191 “Vapour Explosion chamber.”
McIntosh, A.C. and Beheshti, N. US Patent granted Feb. 3rd 2015 US patent number US8944173 “Apparatus and method of extinguishing a fire using a vapour explosion process.”
McIntosh, A.C. and Beheshti, N. US Patent granted March 3rd 2015 US patent number US8967494 “Fuel Injector.”
McIntosh, A.C. and Beheshti, N. US Patent granted July 7th 2015 US patent number US9072850 B2 “Drug Delivery"
A unique spray system has been developed in conjunction with Swedish Biomimetics 3000.
Good summary at:
The Naked scientist show, May 2009
Bioengineering - Engineering Inspired By Nature
31st May 2009 : http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/show/2009.05.31/
For the subjects below please see list of publications
- Combustion in Gas Turbine Engines and Enhanced Efficiency
- Fundamentals of Pressure Interactions with Flames
- Hot Spot Ignition
- Ignition of Combustible Fluid and Vapour within Porous Insulation Material
- Interaction of Acoustics and Flames
- BSc (Wales)
- PhD (Cranfield)
- DSc (Wales)
- Fellow of Royal Aeronautical Society
- Fellow of Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
- Fellow of Energy Institute
- Fellow of Institute of Physics
- Member of Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers