JetX members from 10 teams and 2 programmes came together last week to assess progress during the first semester, individual performance and each team's plans and strategies for the current semester.
The meeting, which was held at Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor, took place at the end of the most exhaustive review process so far. Feedback was collected from all levels within the organisation, from the junior team members to the board members and each team and team leader was assessed for the team function, performance, skills & personal experience. The 39-page internal report gives a good idea to all teams about any particular areas where the might have missed the target and how they compare against all other teams. Chris said:
The review not only gives us an opportunity to evaluate all teams, given that the number has doubled in the last year, but also enables us to provide useful feedback or information at a time when the teams can learn from it and use it constructively for the current semester.
Overall, we have been very satisfied with the progress so far and the performance of most teams. Feedback also shows that our implementation of Freedcamp earlier this year has improved cross-team communication, which has been problematic in the past. Most X-Plorer 2 teams are almost ready to deliver key performance and assembly improvements to the engine programme, whilst Kronos has made a steady start in laying the design foundations. Electronics has already delivered some interim solutions to problems of the EMS and is working towards the new system. Congratulations to the X-Plorer 2 Turbine team and Hannah Garcia Doherty for being the top scorers in the team performance and team leadership categories respectively for this semester!
The full team will come together again in March for a more in-depth technical review. We would also like to thank the staff at Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor for their help and hospitality!
In the meantime, a small number of vacancies has become available for both programmes and our applications are now open! Applications at this time of the year are reviewed on a rolling basis and may close as soon as vacancies are filled. You can find out more by visiting this page.
October was an extremely busy month for all of us in JetX both internally and in terms of public engagements! In the first half of the month we finalised the new teams and the specifications for the new engines, X-Plorer 2 & Kronos.
On the 19th we had our first full team meeting for the year, which saw a full house of the largest and most diverse team to date! All members were briefed on our targets for the year, the working procedures and introduced to our new project management platform, Freedcamp.
On the 21st we took the X-Plorer 1 to the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow for the Open Day where we had the chance to talk to many enthusiastic students and parents. We were glad to receive a lot of positive feedback which motivates us to keep inspiring the younger generation to pursue a career in STEM and engineering in particular.
On the 24th JetX was also represented at the Creative Lab opening at the School of Engineering showing an overview of the project from early design to testing. We are glad to see more spaces which enable collaboration between students being introduced and hope this is also the start of increased support for student activities.
On the 25th we were kindly invited by the Glasgow University Engineering Society (GUES) to their annual Dinner with Industry which took place at the Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening and had the chance to talk to more engineering students and representatives from companies about the X-Plorer 1 and our plans for the future.
Dinner with Industry 2017 (Left to right): Brogan Gauld, Cami Leslie, Chris Triantafyllou, Mohamed Hatab & Calum Gernon
Finally, on the 27th our president along with heads of other clubs and societies from the University of Glasgow and other Scottish universities attended the IMechE's Scottish Region Annual Dinner. Chris had the opportunity to talk to representatives of other universities and get an insight of the support and resources they have access to, as well as talk to some of our partners in industry and academia from the greater Glasgow region.
We are glad to have proudly represented all our X-Plorer 1 sponsors in all these events and hope to continue our cooperation with all of them and even more in the future! So far we are pleased to see all 10 teams to have made a good start in breaking down and analysing their tasks and challenges. The theoretical design stage has now began for both programmes and the electronics team is working on replacing some parts that will improve the performance and reliability of the EMS on the X-Plorer 1 during its final testing.
Our largest recruitment drive to date is now complete! JetX saw a whooping 175% increase in the total number of applications compared to the same time last year.
The significant increase in vacancies due to the introduction of a second programme, Kronos, as well of a small number of non-technical roles to assist with sponsorship and event planning tasks led to an increased acceptance rate of 56%. Commenting on the increased demand JetX president, Chris Triantafyllou said:
"We were expecting a steady increase in applications as we have seen in previous years, but we were very pleased to see so many applicants from all years of study expressing interest in our projects. Intensifying efforts to bring major improvements to the X-Plorer 2 and the introduction of a second programme, Kronos, show our commitment to providing a unique learning experience to more engineering students than ever before."
As part of our recruitment process we also spent nearly 20 hours interviewing 51 applicants. For a second year in a row, Schedulista has been the platform of choice for organising all appointments, which ensured this was a streamlined process, making it as simple as possible for us and all applicants!
In terms of top level management, Andrew Paul has been appointed Programme Director for the X-Plorer 2 and Hamzah Mushtaq has been promoted to Programme Director for Kronos. Among the 43 new recruits, 6 are students in their first year and 3 are post-graduate students with the rest coming from all years of study in-between and from 11 degree programmes making this the most diverse team to date. Commenting on the recruitment process Hamzah noted:
"I'm very impressed with the overall calibre of individuals we have working on Kronos and this takes us a step closer to accomplishing something truly special. Kronos will be the only project of its kind anywhere in the world, and these people get to be an integral part of it. I feel honoured to be leading the project and I am looking forward to working with people from all engineering backgrounds in order to deliver such a complex system."
All candidates have now been contacted and we have a busy schedule in terms of meetings coming up. The joint team leaders-programme coordinators briefing will take place next week and the first full team meeting with take place on the 19th of October. We are looking forward to a very exciting year ahead and working with so many bright young engineers and our industrial partners!
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Our first ever presence in a trade fair has been a great success, as dozens of people from industry, academia and the public visited us to find out more about our work and projects!
Over three days, we displayed the first 3D-printed jet engine model to feature an integrated monitoring system at the 22nd TCT Show held at the NEC in Birmingham. The expo saw a wide range of manufacturers and suppliers come together, exhibiting new technologies, impressive 3D-prints and unveiling new potentials for cooperations.
We were delighted by the interest from the public, academics from UK universities and professionals from the additive manufacture, materials, aerospace, electronics and engineering services industries. We are looking forward to turning these contacts into partnerships in the future that will help us further advance our engine development programmes and promote our work.
Finally we would like to thank Arnold, Edgar and Dolf from Formfutura for hosting us and for giving us this fantastic opportunity to exhibit our work! It was great fun to spend three extremely busy days with the team and we hope to be back for TCT 2018!
JetX will be attending the 22nd TCT Show hosted at the NEC in Birmingham from the 26th to the 28th of September!
TCT Show is one of the world’s leading events focused on 3D manufacturing technologies and in it continues to deliver business-critical insights on 3D printing, additive manufacturing, CAD/CAE, metrology and inspection. By bringing together dozens of inspirational speakers, an expansive show floor with over 250 exhibitors, ground-breaking product launches, specialist technology tracks, a dedicated start-up zone and many more interactive show floor attractions, TCT Show continues to set the agenda for the industry.
This year we are kindly hosted by our sponsor, Formfutura. The Netherlands-based high quality filament manufacturer has been supporting our projects for almost two years and as a matter of fact, the X-Plorer 1 has been 3D-printed exclusively using Formfutura EasyFil (TM) filaments.
The X-Plorer 1 will be on-display for the duration of the show before making the journey back to Glasgow for further testing. Come down to stand E70 to check the engine, talk to team members for more information on our future plans and even get your own 3D-printed JetX keyring (while stocks last)! The show is free to attend and you can sign up by following the link below.
See you there!
Our applications are now open for more vacancies than ever before! For the first time, applicants can not only choose to apply to a specific team, but also to a specific program.
Our recruitment this year coincides with the announcement of a second, brand-new engine program that will run in parallel with the X-Plorer 2. Named Kronos, the project will focus on the development of a low bypass military jet engine that will aim to balance cruise and combat performance!
This is not just an exciting development for our portfolio but also shows our commitment to the student population. Demand to get involved in JetX has always been high and this both allows us to recruit more of the best young engineers, as well as expand our focus as far as jet engine design is concerned.
Also for the first time, we have a number of non-technical roles available related to sponsorship, outreach, marketing, events and students of any background are eligible to apply! To find out more information about all roles and options related to applications, please follow the link below. Applications will remain open until Sunday, September 24th, end of day!
Jet-x.org is the latest website to be featured by EEWeb as the 'Engineering Site of the Day'!
EEWeb is one the largest electrical engineering communities for hardware engineers across the globe. AspenCore manages the website along with EETimes, Embedded.com, EDN.com and other tools related to hardware including PCBs. AspenCore operates as a subsidiary of Fortune 500 and global electronic products and services provider, Arrow Electronics. JetX president, Chris Triantafyllou said:
"Electronics are a very special part of our project. We paired a functional 3D-printed model with a complete and seamlessly integrated electronics system, adding tremendous potential to what we could achieve in terms of data acquisition. Even in a simulated testing environment, this means we are able to quantify design and performance improvements through actual testing. We are very glad to be featured on EEWeb's website which shows that work we do has attracted the attention of the aerospace, 3D-printing and, now, electronics industries.
You can read more on EEWeb's website or by clicking on the EEWeb logo below!
We are delighted to announce that our first project, the X-Plorer 1, has been honoured in the global design competition, Project of the Year 2017, organised by Dassault Systèmes!
The competition which ran from April through June received 214 entries across a wide range of areas including aerospace, automotive, product design, biomedical and materials engineering from all over the world. Dassault Systèmes is the French multinational software company behind major engineering tools such as Solidworks, CATIA and SIMULIA. The X-Plorer 1 has been designed entirely using Solidworks, which has also allowed us to perform initial simulations to examine structural integrity and performance. Dassault Systèmes was ranked second in the Corporate Knights Top 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World in 2016 and was the highest ranked technology company on the list.
Each of the three brands' prizes were awarded by a jury consisting of two professionals for each respective software which judged the entries "on the basis of several criteria including innovation, originality, technicality, optimal use of the Solidworks solution, work carried out and any other similar criteria." The X-Plorer 1 was one of two UK entries that won an award, along with Gaetano Arena from the University of Bristol for his work on morphing structures for flow regulation, modelled using SIMULIA.
Apart from winning the Solidworks jury prize, the X-Plorer 1 also came 9th in the public vote and we would like to thank each and every person that voted for us and picked our project among the hundreds submitted! Both awards, along with the news that the XP1 has also been shortlisted for the upcoming 3D Hubs Student Grant final are incredible rewards in recognition of the hard work and dedication that the team has shown in the last two and a half years! We want to take this forward and not only engage more students next year, but also keep on encouraging younger people to become the pioneers of tomorrow!
The X-Plorer 1 has successfully completed the first phase of testing which included a series of static runs! This was the first time the engine was actuated by air alone with the structural integrity of the 3D-printed assembly also put to the test. The on-board electronics were also tested for performance in the range exhibited by the XP1.
Reaching this milestone means that we not only have a working model to the capacity that we expected but also that it has cleared checks for wind tunnel testing which will be scheduled for autumn 2017. JetX president Chris Triantafyllou said:
Today marks a major milestone for this project which has been in the making for the past two and a half years! We have now acquired data or identified areas to be improved that would not otherwise be possible before or without testing. The fact that the engine remains in full working condition means that we plan to perform wind tunnel testing as well as operate it for longer and at higher speeds.
We would also like to thank our trusted partner Cole-Parmer for their continuing support and extremely fast response for the evolving needs for instrumentation during testing! As the development of the X-Plorer 2 will be at full speed during the upcoming academic year, we would also like to thank each and every partner of ours during the design and manufacture of the X-Plorer 1! Check them out here.
The X-Plorer 1 has been entered in the contest organised by leading engineering design software company Dassault Systèmes. The annual contest calls for designs from individuals or student teams and our project is a great example of creativity and ingenuity in an engineering context. The XP1 is competing in the Solidworks category, the software used exclusively to design the engine, as well as in the general category from public vote.
Show us your support by voting for the X-Plorer 1 by clicking on the appropriate link below! Voting requires a Facebook account, but only takes a minute.
Last week, the team met with engineering executives at Rolls-Royce to present progress of the X-Plorer 1 project and discuss key matters that will broaden our cooperation on a technical basis. Rolls-Royce joined JetX as a key sponsor and we are delighted to be working with one of the greatest jet engine manufacturers with influence on the aerospace sector worldwide.
JetX plans to join the RR efforts, particularly of the Inchinnan team to promote STEM subjects and encourage young people to pursue engineering by presenting the wide range of interesting areas and projects. Furthermore, Rolls-Royce has kindly offered to assist us on a knowledge and technical basis where possible to help us further raise the level and quality of future projects. In a statement to the University of Glasgow's media team, Garry Train, the Rolls-Royce Manufacturing Executive for Compressors, said:
February and March were incredibly busy months that saw the final parts being 3D-printed, including a number of revisions. Some late issues with on-board electronics have been fully resolved, whilst the software that supplements the EMS and allows us to monitor engine performance in real time, wirelessly was also finalised. The electronics and pneumatics are now being fitted while 88 threaded inserts are heat-pressed in nacelle parts to allow for practical assembly and disassembly.
The production is expected to come to an official end next week with pre-testing scheduled for late May.
You can also read the story by the University of Glasgow's Media team here!
Last week saw testing across three areas taking place to either test components before these are fitted onto the X-Plorer 1 or to enhance our understanding of the mechanical behaviour of 3D printed parts.
The week kicked off with electronics checks to test the performance of sensors in environments more realistic to the anticipated in-service ones, check the wireless communication links and readiness of the Graphical User Interface (GUI). 5 sensors have already passed the checks, 1 is pending and issues identified with 4 of them are being addressed this week. The GUI was also found to respond and function well, with only a few bugs left to be sorted by our software engineers.
Finally, we conducted a series of preliminary mechanical tests on 3D printed specimen, manufactured in different orientations. The purpose of these experiments was to quantify the relation and degree of dependency of the 3D printing structure on the mechanical (tensile) capacity of the part. Apart from enabling us to observe the difference in failure modes, the tests have given us data that will be used to optimise and build more complex and accurate FEA models that are based on composite structures. The long-term objective is computationally model 3D printed parts more accurately, which is particularly challenging due to a number of factors.
Testing will continue this week, as assembly progresses. A failure of an LP shaft segment led to intensive work by several of our design engineers who have come up with an improved design. Even though re-printing the parts meant that just over 115 hours were added to the printing schedule, the new design is thought to offer multiple benefits and its immediate implementation will be completed by next week.
This months a series of tasks enter the last stages, as we've reach the last 16 of the batch of 260 initially scheduled prints!
Some adjustments are being made to ease final assembly and we will soon be able to share images from the assembly progress of the actual X-Plorer 1. In the meantime, we've put together a stunning animation of the virtual assembly, giving you a glimpse of the number and variety of components on the engine.
Vibrant colours and dramatic music aside, virtual assemblies are extensively used as part of the design process and are essential in avoiding interferences and other issues that typically arise when components from different teams come together.
The PCU was assembled in late December and consists of 32 components housed in a 3D-printed, custom-made casing. In fact, the main part of the casing was printed in one go, surpassing the compressor casing to become the longest single print, taking 58 hours and 30 minutes! The whole casing used up 125 metres of Formfutura's Easyfil PLA.
The PCU is designed to handle a range of compressed air sources and regulate it to the desired flow rate and pressure before it is injected in the X-Plorer 1 propulsion chamber via the on-board pneumatic assembly. The 21 high quality Camozzi rapid fittings are housed in the PCU, which alongside the 24 additional fittings mounted on the X-Plorer for operational and monitoring purposes were kindly sponsored by the Technomatic Group IKE.
In normal operation, the PCU can supply up to 100 litres of air per minute, monitored and adjusted using an impressive acrylic flow meter, courtesy of Cole-Parmer, leading manufacturer of scientific equipment.
Across the project, the manufacture of all core components is now complete! Assembly continues, as the first stators were mounted last week and the assembly of the drivetrain is expected to start next week.
The team will meet later this week for a briefing and to assess progress for the X-Plorer 2.
Find out more about the services and products of Technomatic and Cole-Parmer following the links:
We are off to an exciting start to 2017 as all core components for the X-Plorer 1 have been 3D printed! Assembly has begun as the first 224 parts were completed on the 7th of January.
A trial to introduce parts with embedded metallic inserts is underway, and the manufacture of the nacelle will soon commence. The team will meet in two weeks' time to assess progress on both engines, and we expect that the core of the X-Plorer 1 will be assembled by mid-February.
For now, we would like to extend our warmest wishes for a happy and creative 2017!
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