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Dr Ali El Wahed is currently Reader in Mechchanical Engineering at the University of Dundee. He was awarded the PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering by the University of Liverpool in 1991. He has been active in various areas of research, especially in smart materials, applied electrostatics and fluid flowmetering. He has collaborated with world-class companies such as Ford Motor Company on the design and modelling of novel smart fluid devices in addition to his work on electrostatic spraying systems in collaboration with Kellogg’s and Jacobs Bakery. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Advances in Mechanical Engineering.
Dr El Wahed has gained an international recognition for his work in applying electrorheological (ER) and magnetorheological (MR) fluids to a wide range of mechanical devices, as well as in the modelling of their rheological characteristics. His early work on ER fluids in squeeze, which was carried out at the University of Liverpool in collaboration with Nippon Shokubai Co (Japan) and Bayer AG (Germany), has confirmed the existence of an enhanced yield stress over that measured in simple shear mode. He has conducted systematic studies to understand the characteristics of ER and MR fluids under shear, flow, squeeze and mixed modes. In addition, his smart fluid modelling studies have resulted in the development of interactive procedures for designing novel smart actuators for different types of engineering applications. Recently, Dr El Wahed completed a research project on the comparative assessment of the performance of ER and MR devices under impulsive loads. In a similar area, work with Ford Motor Company identified the possibility of using an ER fluid-based clutch mechanism instead of a magnetic coupling on a conventional automotive air-conditioning system so as to permit a continuously variable torque input to the compressor according to variation in the ambient air temperature. His recent work has focused on the application of MR fluids to engine mounts in collaboration with Jaguar, JCB and Lord Corporation. In addition, he is now utilising the smart fluid technology, in collaboration with researchers at Loughborough University and the Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT) into biomedical applications, particularly in devices for physiotherapy and laparoscopy.
Dr El Wahed has been working closely with the industry and managed to find solutions to real engineering problems. For example, he collaborated with Kellogg's and Jacobs Bakery on the optimum design of electrostatic systems for spraying vitamin and marmalade solutions onto their food products. He also helped several UK companies, including Stakehill International, Empire Engineering and Prochem Services with their pressure-relief valves design and testing. In addition, he has carried out computational fluid dynamic simulations and model testing of civil structures, such as the Lowry foot bridge, Salford (Parkman Co) and the King's Waterfront Complex, Liverpool (Bingham Cotterell/Stadium Group Ltd).