Additive Printing, Data-centric Engineering and Smart Materials Present New Challenges and Opportunities for Structural Integrity and Systems Performance - LR Foundation Invites Int'l Collaboration

2015-10-15 10:19 2028

SINGAPORE , Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lloyd's Register Foundation, the leading UK charity supporting engineering-related research and education worldwide, today launches its Foresight review of structural integrity and systems performance at The Third Lloyd's Register Foundation Lecture at the National University of Singapore.

Modern society depends on complex products and engineering systems whose failure can lead to catastrophic consequences. The performance and safety of these systems is an area which the LR Foundation can make a significant difference by targeting its research funding. This Foresight review guides the Foundation's grant giving priorities in order to fund high quality research which has a real impact on the safety of life and property.

Singapore was chosen for the launch as the Foundation recognises not only the excellent research capabilities within Singapore, but also its importance as a gateway to other research excellence within the region. The Foundation's trading group, Lloyd's Register Group Ltd, has located one of its two Global Technology Centres in Singapore, has supported clients in Singapore for 137 years and is proud of its association with Singapore in its 50th year anniversary. As a global charity, the LR Foundation wants to engage with the best researchers globally and encourages researchers in Singapore and the wider region to engage with Foundation research programmes.

Prof Richard Clegg, Managing Director of the Lloyd's Register Foundation said: "Our report highlights the current best practice, technology trends and research needs so that we can enhance safety by fundamentally changing the design, manufacturing and reliability of complex infrastructures from the component to the system. We invite researchers from around the world to help us develop this programme."

Building on the findings of this review, the Foundation will identify aspects of structural integrity and systems performance on which to focus its research grants and education programme. The Foundation has awarded a £15m grant towards the establishment of the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), working in partnership with TWI Ltd, through their sponsorship of the Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRF). This will fund 83 PhDs over 10 years for which partners from around the world can apply.

The Foundation's Foresight review of structural integrity and systems performance identifies the key safety challenges that exist in structural integrity and systems performance and recommends five priorities for future research and development:

1. The safety of systems containing 3D and 4D additive manufactured parts, including:

  • The new field of 4D printing, where the shape of a 3D printed item can change by a self-activated process triggered by the environment
  • Research into the mechanisms of in-service degradation to ensure long-term integrity of additive manufactured parts
  • Ensuring appropriate recognised training exists for those operating and creating parts by additive manufacturing

 2. Engineering science challenges: advancing the state-of-the-art to maximise safety, including:

  • Complex loading -- modelling how force is transmitted between environment and structures
  • Residual stress engineering to increase fatigue life
  • Assurance of long-term performance of coatings

3. Development of an economic whole-system approach to demonstrate safety and integrity

4. Data-centric engineering, including:

  • Designing for data, recognising that embedded sensors, intelligent systems and data management will form part of engineering design requirements
  • Promoting data availability for public use including academic research and system improvements
  • Data analytics, coordinating with the work of the Alan Turing Institute to analyse data quickly and identify actions

5. Minimising the risks associated with maintenance and inspection, including:

  • Use of drones and robots to conduct inspection and/or maintenance
  • Developing assets and systems that are able to monitor their own condition
  • Design and build structures and equipment that require no maintenance or inspection

The review was drawn together by a panel of international experts, including members from Lloyd's Register, UCL, University of Tokyo, Shell, University of Western Australia, National University of Singapore, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, TWI Ltd, Fraunhofer Institute, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Rolls Royce.  The panel met in London and Singapore in June 2015, and were led by Professor Michael Fitzpatrick, LRF Chair in Materials Fabrication and Engineering at Coventry University, who will deliver The Third Lloyd's Register Foundation Lecture this evening.

This Foresight review is the third in a series from the LR Foundation; the Foresight Review of Big Data launched in Dec 2014 led to a £10million research grant for the Turing Institute over five years, and the Foresight Review of Nanotechnology, published in April 2014 resulted in awarded grants totalling £9 million to three international consortia in the field of nanotechnology. The National University of Singapore (NUS) is directly engaged in two of these grants, one in partnership with the University of Cambridge and one in partnership with the Nobel Laureate Andre Geim at Manchester.

Notes to editors

The Foundation's publication, Foresight review in structural integrity and performance can be downloaded from the website at

About the Lloyd's Register Foundation

The Lloyd's Register Foundation: Connecting science, safety and society
The Lloyd's Register Foundation is a UK charity, established in 2012, which funds the advancement of engineering-related education and research and supports work that enhances safety of life at sea, on land and in the air. It is funded by the profits of its trading arm, Lloyd's Register Group Limited, a global engineering, technical and business services organisation.

Its vision is to be known worldwide as a leading supporter of engineering-related research, training and education that makes a real difference in improving the safety of the critical infrastructure on which modern society relies. In support of this, it promotes scientific excellence and act as a catalyst working with others to achieve maximum impact.

The Lloyd's Register Foundation's strategy for 2014-2020 focuses funding on four strategic themes: promoting safety and public understanding of risk; advancing skills and education; supporting excellent scientific research; and accelerating the application of research. Four research themes have been prioritised: structural integrity and systems performance; resilience engineering; human and social factors; and emergent technologies. See more at:

In the first full year of operation as the Lloyd's Register Foundation, the charity awarded grants of £16.8 million, funding 61 programmes in 19 countries, including Finland, Norway, Finland, Canada, China, USA, South Korea, Netherlands, Singapore, Greece, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and UK. Specific research being undertaken includes marine and offshore deep water engineering, geotechnics, materials performance, transport systems, environmental, Arctic shipping and nuclear energy.   

Lloyd's Register Foundation is a registered charity (Reg. no. 1145988) and limited company (Reg. no. 7905861) registered in England and Wales, and owner of Lloyd's Register Group Limited. Registered Office: 71 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4BS, United Kingdom

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Source: Lloyd’s Register