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University professor honoured for outstanding achievement

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Professor Ian Sherrington giving his Donald Julius Groen Prize Lecture in Westminster

Tribology expert Ian Sherrington awarded Donald Julius Groen Prize

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) professor has been honoured for his exceptional work in the world of tribology.

Professor Ian Sherrington was awarded the 2015 Donald Julius Groen Prize and as the winner he was invited to present the Tribology Group’s prestigious Groen Prize Lecture. The lubrication, friction and wear expert was selected for his “outstanding achievements in the Group's sphere of activity”.

His ‘Tribology and Tribotronics: Back to the Future?’ lecture featured an insight into the next decade of engineering innovations. He discussed the development of intelligent systems and components which will be able to ‘think, act, learn and communicate’ with the aid of the ‘Internet of Things’.

In the future, even simple machines will have embedded intelligence and communication capabilities as well as the facility to operate autonomously.

The Director of the Jost Institute for Tribotechnology, based in UCLan’s School of Engineering, focused on how machines of the future will be able to reduce breakdown, manage maintenance requirements and improve performance by using sensors to determine machine condition and control systems to automatically change machine operating state.

Professor Sherrington said: “In the future, even simple machines will have embedded intelligence and communication capabilities as well as the facility to operate autonomously. Completely new machines and components will also emerge which are able to focus ‘intelligence’ inwardly on themselves. They will be able to change their own capabilities in times of special demand and to establish their own state of ‘health’ including levels of wear and quality of lubrication, so they can respond to prevent, or delay, incipient failure.”

The annual lecture, which he gave in Westminster as part of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers event, was the climax of an event which included a presentation competition for PhD students and ceremonies to award of the Tribology Bronze and Silver medals.

Rachel Atkinson | 21 January 2016