60 Second Spotlight on Marc Brown, Vibration Research
Ahead of the Innovations in Battery Design and Testing Seminar at Warwick Manufacturing Group on 18 July we caught up with Marc Brown to hear his thoughts on the topic.
Please briefly explain your current role and involvement in battery testing and design.
I’m an application engineer for Vibration Research, which involves supporting our clients with vibration testing and measurements. There are a lot of companies and people that are new to the world of vibration testing, and I help them in the journey to become competent vibration engineers, even if it isn’t their full time activity (people wear more than one hat these days).
How would you say your industry has evolved over the past two years?
We have been involved a lot more with helping people with tailored testing on platforms / projects where a standard specifications may not be giving them the results they expected. There is also a bigger push for more data to validate models. Certainly, at the moment, the virtual world is generating more questions that need answers or validating of answers.
What do you see as the key priorities for engineers in the battery testing/design field?
I come from an explosive / pyrotechnic background so anything that has a high energy density – safety and risk reduction should be a number 1 priority. The move to insensitive munitions was a key part of modern weapon systems. So designing insensitivity into robust battery designs must be a number one priority!
What is the top challenge facing your industry at present?
How to ensure tests are realistic and achieve the right level of product confidence – without over testing. So understanding the product lifecycle and validating if your test is achieving this is as important as it ever has been.
What key development/s in battery testing and design are you most interested in for the future and why?
Probably, making the process of tailored testing a realistic goal for all. To demystify this process and make it something that engineers with a some training and experience can achieve with the right tools. Maybe AI will be key to helping us. I have seen some amazing organic 3D printed structures designed, maybe we will see these being used in vibration fixture design, where the design can replicate the mechanical impedance of the real structure via the shaker inputs.
What progress would you expect to be made in this field over the next 5 years?
Better testing! I see way too many tests that are “tick the box tests” – So more realism, better designs and less over testing, less failures and better correlation from tests to real life.
What will you be presenting at the EIS seminar and how will this benefit participants?
I’m presenting “Shake it Break it Make it Bounce” – hopefully participants will come away with an appreciation that vibration testing of large complex structures maybe more complex than they first thought, but they shouldn’t be put off from having their own facility and developing their own tailored specifications if appropriate.
Why is it important for engineers to join this event?
If we are to solve the carbon energy crisis and develop a sustainable energy source for transport in the future, then we will need to develop robust designs. Any of the future solutions will likely have a high energy density and be complex and a novel design. So this is the future and we need to make sure it is safe to use and robust!