Leeds engineers win prestigious automobile prizes

Students from the School of Mechanical Engineering have won first and second prize in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Communication in Engineering competition (Viscount Weir prize).

Dr Rai Notay, a recent graduate of the school, won first prize for his recently completed PhD project and second prize went to Automotive Engineering undergraduate Tom Allchurch who presented his third year project.

The competition is aimed at young members of IMechE in the automotive field. It encourages undergraduate, postgraduate or recent graduates to enter and present their work. Students are then assessed on the ability to communicate the knowledge of their work effectively to a wide automotive based audience.

Dr Notay’s PhD project ‘Measurement of piston ring pack lubricant residence time in a gasoline engine using laser induced fluorescence’ discussed how modern automotive engine technology is aimed at improving fuel consumption and emissions, but how there is a lack of interest of what’s actually happening to the oil that’s circulating through the mechanicals. The presentation stressed that there needs to be more of a focus on the engine lubricant to help achieve even greater efficiencies. Dr Notay was both an undergraduate and a PhD student at Leeds and now works on a KTP project between the School and Millers Oils.

Tom’s project ‘CFD study comparing the airflow through a standard air intake with a high performance alternative’ involved investigating just how restrictive the standard air box on a car is and comparing this to a cold air intake system.

Speaking about getting first prize in the competition, Dr Notay said “I am absolutely over the moon! It is amazing to see how my research has changed the mindset of industry to think more about how to achieve greater engine efficiencies through understanding engine lubrication”

Tom said “It was a great experience for me to be able to get practice at presenting the project in preparation for my VIVA and final project hand in. Knowing that I had the competition coming up helped me to focus on getting some good results out of the CFD software which I could present to the panel with confidence."