60 Seconds with Mike Welch

60 Second Spotlight on Mike Welch, Michael A Welch (Consulting Engineers) Limited

Ahead of the Bolted Joints Seminar taking place on 8 February we caught up with Mike Welch to hear his thoughts on the topic.

Please briefly explain your current role and involvement with bolted joints.

I am a retired freelance Engineering Stress Analyst and am now an Independent Researcher with a particular interest in preloaded bolted joints.

What changes have you seen in bolted joint technology over the past 5 years?

There has been research activity on predicting/controlling consistency in bolt preload. Some of my own research has fallen into that area.

What are some common challenges engineers face in your specific area of expertise and how will your presentation address these?

Bolted joints tend to be bulky and have a large space envelope requirement. An ongoing challenge is to make joints work at their maximum to keep the space envelope down.

What do you see as the key priorities for engineers working with bolted joints?

Cross fertilisation of ideas is essential to progress in knowledge. “Not invented here” has no place.

In light of technological advancements and industry changes, how do you foresee the future of bolted joint technology evolving?

There has been quite a lot of activity in smart and self-healing material in engineering in general. I can see some of these advances being used within bolted joint technology.

What will you be presenting at the EIS seminar and how will this benefit participants?

I will be presenting some new thoughts on predicting bolt preload relaxation during the early life of a joint.

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