Positive Displacement Compressors Group
The Centre for Positive Displacement Compressors evolved from independent work, begun in the nineteen eighties on Screw Expanders at City University and Screw Compressors at the University of Sarajevo. Work started in 1993 with a collaborative project, on estimating the performance of screw expanders, funded by the EPSRC. As a result of this, it was recognised that there was a serious lack of engineering science based knowledge of how to design and predict the performance of these machines, and this was confirmed by discussions with industry. It was also realised that by combining their abilities and using the existing test facilities at City University, Professors Ian Smith and Nikola Stosic could offer industry advisory services that were not then available elsewhere.
Accordingly, with the participation of Holroyd, of Milnrow, Lancs, Professor Stosic was awarded a Royal Academy Chair in this topic and the Centre was initiated in February 1995. From the outset the aims were to advance an engineering science based approach to the design and manufacture of positive displacement machines, especially of the twin screw type and to supply consultancy services to industry in the form of analysis, design, testing and development and training of engineers working in this field. A most important feature of the Centre was that from its inception it would be entirely self funding and salaries, equipment and all other financial requirements to maintain it would be derived solely from external funding. To date, thirteen years after its inception, this aim has been met in full and even exceeded to a small extent.
A number of initiatives were taken from the start in order to gain outside interest and support. This included the preparation of brochures describing the Centre's facilities, which were distributed at conferences and trade fairs but most importantly, an approach was made to the IMechE to jointly host an international conference on compressors and their systems at City University. This has been held biennially since 1999 and is now a recognised forum for meeting and discussion on compressors, which is attended by engineers from more than twenty countries. The sixth conference is due to be held in 2009.
Starting as an unknown entity, over the years, the Centre has developed an international reputation for excellence in compressors and expanders. All the original aims of the Center have been met and to date, more than sixty organisations in 31 countries have used its services and more than £3 million of research contracts have been completed. From this five test rigs have been built and over one hundred and thirty refereed papers have been published in conference proceedings and journals. In addition, seven patents have been filed, two monographs have been published and a third is in preparation. From these, 8 PhD theses were either completed or submitted and more than 20 MSc theses and more than 50 final year projects were submitted.
In recognition of the quality of their work, members of the Centre have jointly received eleven awards including the James Clayton Prize, which is the IMechE's most prestigious award. This was awarded jointly to Professors Ian Smith and Nikola Stosic in 2006.