Jonathan Blackburn takes the Prize. The AILU Young Laser Engineer's Prize was designed to help encourage young people in the UK to develop their interests in laser applications and is awarded "to an individual for a significant piece of work, conducted in the UK, which has led to real or potential economic gain for the parent organisation and that preferably has wider benefit for the industrial laser user community."
Prof Stewart Williams, AILU President presenting the Prize to Jonathan Blackburn
The 2010 winner of the Prize is Jonathan Blackburn, a 2005 graduate of Lancaster University who is currently researching for an EngD at the University of Manchester. His industrial sponsor, Paul Hilton at TWI, nominated Jonathan for his work on the development of SurfiSculpt®, a process patented by TWI for processes involving power beams.
Using an inexpensive 200W fibre laser and commercially available laser marking optics and software, surface features can be produced on metals by controlled melting, moving and resolidification. Jon has conducted systematic experiments in order to determine the most significant process variables affecting the volume of material moved and the overall process efficiency. As an aid to this, high speed video techniques have been developed, in order to gain an insight into the movement and resolidification of the substrate material.
This technique involves only a laser beam and material surface: no additions, in the form of added wire or powder are used. TWI sees significant application
of the techniques in industrial applications and the work performed by Jon has effectively demonstrated prior art for laser beam processing, thus increasing TWI's licence and project income potential for the laser beam technique.
The Young UK Laser Engineer Prize comprises a laser engraved plaque and a cheque for £275.