Patrick joined the Centre for SMART in 2015 initially as a Research Associate to cover water efficiency in manufacturing, in particular the food industry. As of January 2017, Patrick is a Lecturer in the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, and is continuing his research.
Patrick brings a combination of commercial and academic experience to the role, including over three years as a Technical Specialist serving industrial clients at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, and previous posts at the University of Milan and the City University of Hong Kong. His expertise covers manufacturing process improvement and new process development. Projects he has run have covered areas as diverse as novel uses of injection moulding, surface mount electronics assembly, devices for biological cell handling, production track and trace, product quality assurance, and extended product reliability. His PhD is in solid state physics, which was obtained from the University of Abertay Dundee. He has published 34 refereed papers in international journals.
The focus of Patrick's current research is water use efficiency in food manufacturing, one of the major areas of industrial water use. The research hypothesis is that opportunity exists to significantly avoid or reduce water usage and effluent production by understanding water flows at the unit process level. By contrast current industry water management practices concentrate on supply side or end-of-pipe (effluent treatment) measures which do not address the fundamentals of why and whether existing volumes of water use are required. His approach combines proving of instrumentation for non-invasive water monitoring, water flow modelling and plant simulation, and support for decision making regarding investment in water efficiency measures.
The results are expected to be applicable across manufacturing more widely. The research is timely because in the near future water will rival energy as a sustainability issue, with demand for freshwater exceeding local supply in more and more regions of the world. Water supply quality and reliability, and restrictions on effluent discharge contents and quantity, are already concerns for manufacturing industry in the UK and will become increasingly important.
Patrick maintains an interest in the electronics manufacturing industry and lectures on the Institute for Circuit Technology (ICT) Annual Foundation course. While in Hong Kong he learned to speak Cantonese to a reasonable level but is now very rusty. However he is doing better in the Italian language, and still visits Italy frequently after his period working there. Patrick also draws and paints.