Andrew Killen and why R&D is so important


Andrew Killen is a Research Associate on the MADE Cymru team. He’s usually out and about collaborating with manufacturers in Wales. We managed to catch him enjoying a well-deserved cup of tea and asked him a few questions about his expertise and the impact of the research and development (R&D) work he does.

What is your background?

Early on in my career I worked in construction and then moved to the power industry where I worked on oil and gas power stations. This really helped me develop the practical experience that I still call upon.

My educational journey started here at University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) many years ago where I embarked upon a BEng in Motorcycle Engineering. I then extended my studies to complete an integrated MEng.

I specialised in engine technology and took a great interest in computational modelling. From here I took part in the EngD programme at Swansea University carrying out research for Rolls-Royce Plc where I looked at the effects of micron level defects in Titanium 64.

What is your role at MADE Cymru?

I specialise in FEA Structural Analysis-Static Simulations (Linear Static Analysis, Non-Linear Static Analysis, Non-Linear Quasi-Static Analysis), Dynamic Load Simulation (Non-Linear Explicit Transient Analysis, Transient Response Analysis, Fatigue Analysis), Thermal Analysis (Non-Linear Steady-State Heat Transfer), Vibrational Analysis (Frequency Response), Linear Buckling, Fracture Simulation, Mass Optimisation, AI Based Generative Design.

So why should a manufacturer collaborate with you and the team?

Competitive advantage

From my experience R&D with the ADE team here at UWTSD, I have found one of the key benefits is to create a competitive advantage for companies to stand out from their rivals.

Innovation drives success in the world of manufacturing and by integrating modern technology into a business it can really drive growth. It is understandable that companies can be hesitant to start experimentation with new technology in fear of slowing down productivity, this is where we can help.

With our team of professionals, all R&D in implementing new technology can be left to us ensuring seamless integration thus taking the risk away from the client.

Helps a company stand out

R&D can enhance a business by helping it stand out from the crowd. Having unique solutions for existing engineering problems not only generates interest in your product but also makes it extremely difficult for other people to replicate it. Giving a real advantage in competitive markets.

For example, during a recent project here at MADE Cymru working with AI driven generative design software, new components were made in such a way that it would be near impossible to be replicated by another company.

Unique designs attract attention, and it is quite common for someone to comment on how futuristic or alien the new designs are. Generative design also helps reduce the time taken during the design process as multiple options are generated for specific boundary conditions improving productivity.

We have access to advanced engineering software

Drawing from decades of experience in engineering and science, the R&D team here at MADE Cymru can help companies source solutions to complex problems using advanced engineering software. These can sometimes not be financially viable for companies to invest in. MADE Cymru can handle the R&D using this advanced software without the need for the client to purchase expensive licences or the need to employ skilled operators.

An example of this would be projects carried out by us that looked at computational fluid dynamics modelling for medical devices. Along with topological mass optimisation for manufactured components in the view to allow safe lifting operations.

Future proofing businesses

R&D helps future proof businesses and keep them ahead of the curve by revealing new and previously unknown technologies or methods. Advancements in engineering technology is growing at an exponential rate and it is no coincidence that the most successful companies participate in extensive R&D allowing them to plan for future events and changes in market.

Here at MADE Cymru we have a talented team of experts who specialise in implementing and educating in Industry 4.0. autonomous and digital systems that are the future of manufacturing, and we are here to guide you in the modernisation of your business.

Be the leader in your sector

Manufacturing companies who take R&D seriously signal to the world that the company intends to stay at the forefront of their sector. This in turn attracts the most talented and suitable members of staff strengthening the very core of the business.

We’d love to work with you

Our funding ends soon and there are only a few weeks left to work with the ADE team. Send us an email [email protected] or call 01792 481199. Even if this project is not suitable for you, there are other fantastic initiatives at UWTSD that might be appropriate.

Fully Funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government. Delivered by University of Wales Trinity Saint David