Interview with Dr Ian McLuckie of AIES Ltd part I

June 20, 2016 Ian could you say something about yourself and your experience?

Dr Ian McLuckie : I am married with three children: two sons and one daughter and four grandchildren.

I have an MSc in Applied Mechanics and Design of Rotating Machines from Cranfield Institute of Technology (Thesis was design of an Earth Mover Transmission System); where I studied amongst other things: Tribology, Dynamics, Fatigue and Fracture, Stress analysis, Plasticity, Noise, FEA, BEM, FD and programming. I won the Noise prize for best exam result, and I won a scholarship for my PhD.

I have a PhD in Tribology and Dynamics from Cranfield (Thesis was “Instability of a high speed gas bearing rotor systems”), which was both experimental and theoretical and where I studied both aerodynamics and dynamics.

After my PhD I was invited to join GEC-Alsthom as a Chief Mechanical Engineer of Hydro and Special Machines, and I was working on new designs and solving problems with machines in service.  After about 2 years I was head hunted to join a Tribology consultancy, but left them after six months to join ITR (later Romax Technology) working on gear design systems, rotor dynamics and hammer drill dynamics and programs.

I left ITR, as GEC-Alsthom asked me to be a consultant for them, writing rotor design programs and carrying out consultancy with the Dinorwig power station (First Hydro). I decided on a change when I  was asked to work for MBDA, on the fatigue of missiles, both theoretically and experimentally designing fatigue test methods of the whole system and carrying out FEA, dynamics and fatigue analysis.

I was next asked to join Federal Mogul Technology R & D centre in Rugby, as a consultant to help develop a bearing design group, as they had to sell Glacier, and they later convinced me to join as a permanent member of staff as an Executive Engineer.  We worked with AVL and Ricardo on engine design methods and simulation. Plus we worked with Romax developing an Engine Design System that made using AVL and Ricardo engine design software much easier, thus increasing their usage and productivity within the company.

Federal Mogul decided to close the global R & D centre so I took some of my group to AVL, where I became a Director of AVL   AST UK. I worked on various projects, like whole engines, Stirling Engine linear generator and many electrical machines. I also began, what was to become a global initiative to look at whole engine friction with Ford.

I left AVL in 2003 after 3 years, as I wanted to develop my own style of software, and formed AIES Ltd with my wife Valerie and my colleague Scott Barrett. Valerie has a BA and MA and Scott also has an MSc and Doctorate from Cranfield. I asked Ford if we could also tender for the global engine friction project, and they said yes.  The project was a software program to predict whole engine system friction with multi-fidelity models and was in three parts.  a) valvetrain, b) power cylinder system and c) the crank train.

Starting from nothing in 2003, we won the valve train after benchmarking three different engines, and competing against 4 other international engine software companies. This was the basis of our EngineDesigner software architecture and the beginning of our Tribology solvers.

 I have been working as a consultant ever since and we have worked on many interesting projects in aerospace, automotive and power generation areas. I decided to invent Finite Objects and SystemDesigner back in 2006-2007 and we finally got the USA patent in 2014. Could you describe your company and the software developed by AIES Ltd?

Dr Ian McLuckie : We were formed in 2003 after I left AVL as I have already mentioned. We started with the Ford whole engine friction project in mind. We developed the architecture and the whole engine friction system framework in 1.5 years. This was the technology demonstrator for our new patented software approach. Our software is very user friendly and is very productive.

We carry out consultancy and design or develop methods and programs for people in various industries. We have worked in power generation, aerospace, rail and automotive. We have worked on electrical machines, engines, turbo chargers, aerospace actuator systems, gear boxes, pumps, gas turbines, industrial gas turbines and many types of rotating machinery.  Our forte is software development, consultancy and analysis in rotating machinery design. This involves many different disciplines, which include Tribology, Dynamics, Fatigue, Thermodynamics and Fluid Flow, where we have worked on Turbocharger dynamics, bearing instability, gear pumps and many types of electrical machines.

We have Tribology and Rotor Dynamic design software for engines and rotating machinery systems, and we have SystemDesigner or SystemDeveloper which is our patented knowledge based systems with Finite Objects. Which is the solid and hexahedral mesh combined in one environment and that can be carried out by one person. We can also write bespoke solutions, and you can see this on our website What kind of structures is it possible to analyse with AIES Ltd software?

Dr Ian McLuckie :We have software to design engine tribology systems and turbocharger tribology systems. With our new SystemDeveloper system you will be able to build and analyse anything. It is generic, for example like CAD and FEA. Our software is very much more user friendly than any other software or you get your money back. If you look on our website you can see that we can build a variety of different structures and here are a few images:

Dr Ian McLuckie :What is different to other software is that we can very easily set up, model and simulate real machine behaviour by the automatic inclusion of our tribology interfaces. We can do this with multi-fidelity models that are both analytical and numerical. Plus we can easily add stiffness and thermal effects as well.

Some major vendors can only use a stiffness abstraction between the contacting surfaces (journal and bearing). Others can do what we do but not so easily, which may put off users. Does your software give a possibility to build geometry in its own environment?

answear in part II



About AIES Ltd

logoHave worked for and with GEC-Altshom, AEA technology, Federal Mogul Research, AVL, Rolls-Royce, Cummins, Goodrich, ITP, Babcock and Romax. Projects include predictive and experimental methods on whole engine projects, gas turbine dynamics, pump dynamics, transmission systems, turbocharger dynamics, generator and motor dynamics and locomotive drive trains.

From news concepts through to solving in sevice problems.


FEA, FEM, CAE, CAE software, Finite Element Method, CFD, engineering




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