Fuel Cells and Industry 4.0 – Mussawar Ahmad

Mussawar Ahmad is  a 3rd year PhD student within the Automation Systems Group at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick (sponsored by HSSMI). He is also working as a Project Engineer in a consultancy capacity supporting the process planning and automation systems design for multiple projects, ranging from automotive fuel cells to military aircraft landing gear (at the time of writing – April 2016). He has a background in Mechanical Engineering having graduated from Brunel University in 2013. He has worked with Jaguar Land Rover and Bosch Automotive to support in the prototype development of notable vehicles including the new Range Rover, the Evoque, the F-type and the Jaguar XE. In addition, he has worked for Centrica Energy as an Integrity Engineer, coordinating and supporting safety critical maintenance of off-shore platforms in the East Irish Sea.

Mussawar’s research interests include the automated assembly of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, focusing on the “hot border” issue that is raised as a result of the interaction between the membrane and gasket/gas diffusion layer relationship. He has had the opportunity to discuss this challenge with Nissan and Honda in Japan who are world leaders in this technology and hopes to set up an experiment in WMG to explore this problem and develop a knowledge-base in the UK. He has also worked on the compression challenges associated with fuel cell assembly and has developed and validated a spring equivalent model to predict optimal compression force.

Within the domain of manufacturing, he is investigating and developing a methodology for mapping and integrating product, process and resource data with an emphasis on the machine and not product life-cycle. He has developed a framework in conjunction with the University of Tampere, Finland and is currently working on implementing it with the use of component-based virtual engineering tools supported by ontologies and enriched by semantic technologies. The vision is to support in the realisation of industrial cyber-physical production systems, which in turn is an enabling technology of the Indsutry 4.0 paradigm. Mussawar has also co-authored several papers about measuring manufacturing system complexity – from manual operations through to machine control code. This stream of research considers the sources of complexity in manufacturing systems, how they can be objectively measured to form a systemic complexity model and then how this data can be visualised and used by engineers to optimise their designs.

In his free time, he plays badminton and squash, and has recently taken up running. When time permits he enjoys bouldering and hiking in the Lake District. On rainy days he enjoys reading and drawing. He is passionate about sustainability and reducing the impact that man has on the planet – this being one of the key drivers in him leaving the oil & gas industry and working to develop renewable energy technologies.

If you have further questions about Mussawar’s research, want to know more about research careers and prospects within engineering, or simply need advice or support, please get in touch by emailing: mussawar.ahmad.uk@googlemail.com

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