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International 2011 Materials Education Symposium

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A 3D Journey Through a Jet Plane

Prof Philip Withers | University of Manchester

A 3D Journey Through a Jet Plane

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An aeroengine is a good example of structural engineering materials at their current limits. Advances in technology have improved engine efficiency by some 70% over the last 40 years and it is expected to improve at a rate of around 1-2% per year for some time to come. This has largely been achieved by state of the art development of new materials and materials processing. UK industry and universities have a strong record of achievement in aerospace research and innovation. To remain so, it will need to attract bright young people to undertake the materials research and development needed to bring new designs to life. Our aim is to stimulate an interest in Materials Science by building on young people excitement about flying. We have assembled a series of exciting 3D images into a journey through the jet engine where everyone can experience how innovative research combined with systematic materials selection, novel manufacturing techniques, and rigorous testing allow engine designers to create more environmentally friendly engines. This 3D stereoscopic learning experience has been rolled out in schools visits and exhibitions, also available as a Materials Science toolkit for schools.