CerTest at JEC 2023

JEC World is the global trade show for composite materials and their applications. Held in Paris, JEC World is the industry’s leading event, hosting all the major players in a spirit of innovation, business, and networking.

Principal Investigator, Professor Ole Thomsen, attended along with Professor Janice Barton to learn about new developments taking place in the composite world. With hundreds of product launches, startup cnferences, live demonstrations and networking opportunities, JEC World offers an amazing opportunity for the CerTest team to learn more about new and exciting developments that could impact or influence our research, both current and future, of the certification process and the reshaping of the testing pyramid.

Success for CerTest PhD students

There has been lots going on for two of our CerTest PhD students at the University of Bath. They have each had notable successes this year with their research outputs.

Jiraphant Srisuriyachot’s published paper “Carbon fibre lattice strain mapping via microfocus synchrotron X-ray diffraction of a reinforced composite” has been selected for Diamond Light Source Science Highlights 2022 as well as their 2022/2023 annual review which has not been released yet.

In March this year, Thomas Maierhofer won the 2nd Prize in the SAMPE UK & Ireland Student Seminar Competition 2023 in Belfast. He delivered a brilliant seminar titled: A route to Certification of Bonded Termoset Composite Structures via Resistance Welding.  As a result, Thomas has been invited to represent the UK & Ireland at the 38th SAMPE Europe Student Seminar in Madrid in October this year and will also join and be part of the SAMPE YES committee for one year.

Congratulations to Jay and Thomas!


New testing procedures at Southampton

two researchers smiling in front of test rig

CerTest Research Associate’s, Tobi Laux and Riccardo Cappello, have recently been visiting the University of Southampton from the University of Bristol. They are currently working on the development of a novel sub-component testing procedure that provides insights that cannot be obtained through traditional coupon or full-scale testing.

To achieve this, we are combining full-field imaging techniques such as Digital Image Correlation and Thermoelastic Stress Analysis to capture detailed information about the behaviour of materials under complex loading conditions.

The activity is conducted on a bespoke multiaxial test rig housed in the Large Structures Testing Laboratory (LSTL) at the University of Southampton, which requires the team to travel there regularly.

Seminar by Dr Jevan Furmanski from UoDayton, USA

Dr Jevan Furmanski

University of Dayton

Abstract: Recent advances in additive manufacturing with continuously-reinforced composites (AM-CC) has enabled the use of this process to realize mass-efficient, topology-optimized (TO), bioinspired structures.  The consideration of the use of AM-CC-TO primary structure has raised critical questions about this material’s performance and limits of manufacturability, both linked to defects at multiple length scales. This talk will briefly cover challenges related to AM-CC-TO structure, including defect structures, topological junctions, and reconsideration of structural allowables for attritable (limited-lifetime) aircraft.

10:00 to 11:00 20th February 2023 University of Bristol, Queens Building, Faculty Board Room

We would like to thank Jevan once more for the seminar which was well received by all those who attended, both virtually and by more than 40 people online.

Seminar by visiting academic, Professor Dan Zenkert

Dan Zenkert presenting to the CerTest team at the University of Bristol

We recently welcomed Professor Dan Zenkert to the University of Bristol where he delivered a fantastic seminar on Multifunctional Carbon Fibre Composites to the CerTest team and to the wider Bristol Composites Institute as well as partners from the National Composites Centre.

Dan Zenkert is, since, 2001 a professor in Lightweight Structures at the department of Engineering Mechanics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dan’s early research work was mainly focused on sandwich structures and sandwich core materials. He has also worked with cost optimisation methods for composite structures and recyclable composite materials. His current research interest is the area of so called structural batteries aiming at developing structurally load carrying materials that simultaneously store electrical energy like a battery. This research is now extended to include more functionalities to carbon fibre composites, such as sensing, morphing and energy harvesting, all properties intrinsically built into the load carrying material itself.

The presentation, on the 3rd Feb 2023, gave a brief introduction to so called structural batteries which in short are carbon fibre composite laminates that store electrical energy just like a lithium-ion battery. But more functions can be integrated using the coupling between mechanics and electrochemistry:, strain sensing, shape-morphing and energy harvesting – all built in to the material itself.

Prestigious prize won by CerTest PhD student

Rafael Ruiz Iglesias a PhD student and CerTest project team member based in the Bristol Composites Institute supervised by Professors Janice Barton and Ole Thomsen, and Dr Geir Olafsson has received the British Society for Strain Measurement (BSSM), Young Stress Analyst prize. The competition is sponsored by Airbus and involves writing a 1000 summary of the applicants project, the project summaries are ranked by a panel of experts in Experimental Mechanics and the top four applicants are invited to present their work at the BSSM Annual Conference. and this year took place in Oxford at St Anne’s college. The competition is open internationally and the other three finalists came from Netherlands, Portugal and UK Industry.

Rafa’s presentation was entitled  “Subsurface Damage Assessment in Composite Laminates Using a Novel Full Field Imaging Technique” which is aligned to the EPSRC funded Programme Grant Certification for Design – Reshaping the Testing Pyramid. Each finalist was allowed 15 minutes for their presentation followed by five minutes of intense questioning; there were over 100 delegates in the audience. Rafa’s presentation was extremely visual and engaging, which the judges appreciated and placed his work first.

The outcome of the competition was announced at the conference dinner, which provided a very nice end to the evening with Rafa receiving first prize. Congratulations to Rafa!

CerTest Presentations at ECCM20

That’s it! – sadly ECCM is all over for another year.

What a tremendous conference – with so many fascinating and truly inspiring presentations given. All of the CerTest project group were able to meet old friends and to make many new connections.

Aewis Hii Presenting: “A Kinematically Consistent Thick Shell Homogenisation”

Rafael Ruiz Iglesias (PhD Student, CerTest) said: “It’s been a great conference that composites researchers used for sharing ideas, network and having a good time! I would like to thanks first the Bristol Composites Institute and The CerTest project for this super opportunity and my supervisors Janice BartonOle Thybo Thomsen and Geir Olafsson for their big support through this event.”

The CerTest project team were joined at the conference by a wider circle of colleagues from the Bristol Composites Institute – see group photo below:

BCI Group Photo ECCM20
BCI Group Photo ECCM20

Looking forward to seeing everyone at ECCM21 in Nantes, France in 2024!

CerTest update from ECCM

The ECCM20 Conference got off to a great start with an opening Reception at the Olympic museum overlooking Lake Geneva and the incredible mountainous scenery beyond.

Over the past two days members of the CerTest project team have already given some excellent presentations of their recent work. For some members this is the first in-person conference they have been able to attend, and all of the team are pleased to be able to network with others to share their research, discover synergies with the research of others, and forge new connections.

CerTest Team
CerTest Team Members at Reception

So far we have had the pleasure of hearing presentations from the following speakers:-

Monday, 27 June

Garden 6 / 17:15 – speaker: Roy BULLOCK (61961). Title: Ply Orientation Effects in Multidirectional Carbon/ Epoxy Open-Hole Specimens Subjected to Shear Loading.

Garden 6 / 18:45 – speaker: Neha CHANDARANA (62343). Title: Damage characterisation in open-hole composites using acoustic emission and finite element, validated by X-ray CT.

Tuesday 28 June
Garden 8 / 11:45
 – speaker: Tobias LAUX (62344). Title: Hybrid testing for composite substructures.

Garden 5 / 14:30 – speaker: Aewis HII (62521). Title: Development of a Concurrent Multi-scale Analysis Framework using Shell Elements for the Progressive Failure Analysis of Composites.

This evening Prof. Janice Barton will present:

Garden 9 / 18:15 – speaker: Janice BARTON (62222). Title: A new test for validating models of lightning strike damage on CFRP laminates.

With many more to come over the next few days! Keep watching this space for a final update….

CerTest – New Publication

We are happy to share our latest paper from the CerTest programme, which was recently published in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering.  

In multiscale modelling of composites, computational homogenization allows us to link the behaviour of material on the finer length scale to a point on the structural scale. However, this process is associated with loss of spatial information on the larger scale. For example, a multiscale model would have information that a wrinkle exists somewhere in the material, but it will have no way of knowing its location. To do this, a second order computational homogenization technique which maintains spatial information has to be developed. This is the focus of our recent paper.

Our colleague Aewis Hii has done an impressive job putting this together.  Thanks go to Bassam El Said and also to Stephen Hallett for his invaluable guidance. Here is an open access link to the article, we hope you find interesting:   


Prestigious Award for CerTest Research Challenge Leader

CerTest are delighted and extremely proud to announce that Prof. Janice Barton, (CerTest Research Challenge 3 Lead) was awarded the prestigious William M Murray Award for her lecture at the Society for Experimental Mechanics in 2020 and was finally able to be presented with the award in person at this year’s SEM conference in Pittsburgh (13-16 June 2022).

The award was in recognition of her pioneering contribution to the development of Thermoelastic Stress Analysis (TSA).  It merits additional recognition as she is the first female recipient of this award.  

Prof. Janice Barton

The CerTest project team feel very lucky to have the benefit of Prof. Barton’s expertise in this area to help with the ground-breaking work being done on the project.