As part of my mechanical engineering masters I conducted research looking into assessing the mechanical and dynamic stress-strain properties of the ROLI seaboard playing surface. The aim being to gain a comprehensive understanding of the material, allowing future design decisions to be made using material models.
Without getting into unnecessary detail the project taught me three core skills that are both relevant to designers and engineers:
Deep dive research
I started with a literature review of the most cutting edge material modelling techniques and the testing procedures that went along with them.
I had to devise my own experiments to get relevant data to inform the material’s mechanical and dynamic properties. This involved prototyping several different tests before settling on the correct experiment to provide the correct data.
Using raw data to inform a material model required serious mathematics, but also helped me see how to use real world information to build models for future design decisions.