DIC Installation

The 3D Digital Image Correlation system has been installed alongside our Instron test frame and is ready for use (bar individual calibration). We’ll start with some simple tensile tests next week to check things over then move on to laser clad steels and dental ceramics.


Gratuitous photo below:

Progress is made

It has been quite quiet here, but that does not mean we are not moving things forward. It just has been a bit slower with a very full teaching timetable for the first half of the academic year and the marking season after the festive season. But with that nearing it’s end, we are looking forward to getting back up to speed with the development of the lab.

Quick update:

  • We took delivery of the laser enclosure and it is now ready for the laser system and y-z stages to go in.
  • The load frame is in place and has been tested, waiting for an adapter to get the second load cell installed.

Load Frame and Laser Enclosure in place
(excuse the mess, I wanted to document the state immediately after the installations were done)

It feels a bit like Christmas ….


Instron Load Frame

We are entering the finishing straight of the first phase of the project, coinciding with the end of the financial year.

Laser Safety Enclosure

A successful MEng group project has designed the components for the flow circuit, which are being prepared for manufacture, and a lot of parcels and crates are arriving.

The Instron load frame has arrived in the lab and is awaiting commissioning, and the safety enclosure that will house the class 4 laser system for the Particle Image Velocimetry is being manufactured at Boldman, awaiting fitting of the wall panels – on seing that photo, we had to double check the drawings and take a tape measure to the room …. it will fit.

We’ll keep you updated on the process …..

International Day of Light

Ted Maiman

Today in 1960, Theodore “Ted” Maiman, demonstrated the first laser (ruby crystal laser) in Malibu. To celebrate that occasion, we had originally planned to make this day – the international day of light – the day our PIV laser system is fully operational.

Unfortunately the best laid plans of mice and man don’t always work out, and there were a few delays with the order of our laser enclosure, which hopefully will be here in June.

So, while we can’t fire up our own laser, please join us in commemorating “Laser Day”.

A Pack of Wolves

Our very own Mini-Supercomputer

We strongly believe that in these modern times computational and experimental studies have to go hand in hand. You could say, that’s the raison d’etre for this lab. No computational simulation is worth anything, if it doesn’t agree with reality and modern experimental studies are more often about validation of computational models than not.

With that in mind, we have been working on our computational capability to compliment the experimental side, and have set-up ecmBEO, a small beowulf/warewolf cluster.

This cluster is built from decommissioned HP Z-Stations operating a CentOS 7 Linux, warewolf cluster distribution software with stateless and headless slave nodes (in the computational context, the term “slave” is still politically and, more importantly, technically correct), slurm load leveller and a variety of computational software (to be extended).

To stick with the theme, we have put a couple of Ironwolf HDDs in, which provide a workspace of 8TB (mirrored).

This cluster is not intended as competition to the SHU cluster, but as a prototyping system, with lower barrier to entry – especially for students. Since we are using the same load leveller system (slurm), all scripts and run-files should be easily transferable to the big machine.

So, if you are able to operate a numerical code from the command line, and want to give our pack of wolves a workout, get in touch with us.

If you have a Z210 or newer workstation that is not used anymore, please donate it. If you are due a system upgrade, ask IT if you can add the old machine to the cluster.


Welcome to the homepage of the new Experimental and Computational Continuum Mechanics facility at Sheffield Hallam University.

It has been awhile, but we have a home now and when we get a few minutes off teaching, we are driving the setup of this new lab forward.

We hope that the new facility will be operational by the end of the teaching year, ready for an exciting summer of research.

If you have any ideas for projects you want to do in this new facility, check out the capabilities page, and get in touch with us. We are looking forward to working with you!