Prof Seán Leen of NUI Galway leads I-Form’s Materials Processing Modeling research platform. His experience and expertise in computational modeling of non-linear material behaviour, including cyclic plasticity, micromechanics and metal microstructure evolution (with particular application to key materials performance indicators, such as fatigue) makes him a natural leader for this research area. He has previous experience as a PI in the Rolls-Royce UTC in Advanced Manufacturing Technology (University of Nottingham) and as an engineer with MCS International (now Wood Group); his research collaborators include Rolls-Royce (EPSRC funding). His awards include the IMechE Donald Julius Groen Prize, twice, in 2003 and 2013.
Research Interests (Lay Summary)
My research within I-Form is focussed on using computer models of the additive manufacturing process to design next generation materials to overcome the limitations of the current additively manufactured materials and surpass conventionally manufactured parts. This will allow 3D printing technology to deliver on the quantum leap promised for digital transformation of manufacturing in the engineering industry. We are developing computer simulations of the laser-induced melting and cooling of material powder during the process to understand, and hence control, how the new material solidifies. This will allow controlled design of metals, for example, to give significantly enhanced properties, such as fatigue life, for longer lasting components, higher quality manufacture and reduced material waste. 3D printing will thus provide improved manufacturing quality for highly customised products, with increased sustainability.