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First Workshop on Intelligent Machines and Maintenance supported by DVP

Staff in the School of Engineering and the School of Physical Sciences and Computing have met with specialists from other universities and industry from across Europe in a two day workshop to discuss the potential of a pioneering area of intelligent machines called “Tribotronics”. The meeting, involving 20 delegates, took place under funding from the Distinguished Visitor Programme (DVP) with additional support from the School of Engineering and was led by Prof Ian Sherrington and Prof Ted Smith from the Intelligent Machines and Maintenance Group.

The potential for a wide range of “blue sky” research projects involving the development of several “disruptive technologies” was discussed in the context of intelligent machines which would be able to use on-board sensors, intelligence, micro-actuators, controllable fluids, the “internet of things” and other novel concepts to look inwardly on their own performance in order to self-regulate their operation rather like the human body.

The aims of the meeting included identifying topics for collaborative research funding applications and forming the core of a European network to lead research and development in this subject which will be based within the Intelligent Machines and Maintenance Group operating in the Engineering Innovation Centre, University of Central Lancashire. To assist with finding funding sources, Zoe Bond and Heather Cobain from the Funding Development Service, were on hand to help delegates by reviewing relevant funding streams for the planned research. They will also work with Prof Ian Sherrington and Prof Ted Smith in the preparation of an application for funding a Europe wide network.

Prof Ian Sherrington said: “This is an exciting new initiative and with so many experts already in place within the organisation, the University of Central Lancashire is well placed to play a key role in the development of this subject.”