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Professor Andrew Longstaff is a research director in the Centre for Precision Technologies at the University of Huddersfield
NEWLY-appointed as professor, the University of Huddersfield’s Dr Andrew Longstaff has collaborated with a succession of leading engineering companies and research organisations, pursuing the goal of vastly-improved machine tool performance and boosting UK manufacturing industry.
His new title is Professor of Machine Tool Metrology, and the University of Huddersfield is globally-renowned for its research expertise in the science of measurement and how it can be harnessed by industry.
Professor Longstaff is a core member of the University’s Centre for Precision Technologies and the £40 million, EPSRC-funded Future Metrology Hub, launched earlier this year. Its vision is to transform the UK’s manufacturing performance by delivering significant improvements in the speed, accuracy and cost of measurement.
This has been central to Professor Longstaff’s research career, launched at the University of Huddersfield, where he arrived for his MSc in 1995, embarking on his PhD in the following year.
He specialises in the instrumentation, data acquisition and processing for advanced machine tools and manufacturing machines.
“My research career has focussed on evaluating and improving the performance of machine tools in terms of their build-geometry, control and response to external influences, such as temperature,” states Professor Longstaff.
“A necessary part of this is has been a scientific approach to the measurement of the errors on the machine and of the resulting manufactured part. I have therefore been deeply involved in the errors and uncertainties associated with a wide array of measurement tools, such as co-ordinate measuring machines, comparator gauges, laser interferometers, laser trackers, etc.”
The research of Professor Longstaff and his colleagues has been driven by the needs of industry and this has led to collaborations with many high-profile companies.
“We seek to tackle their everyday problems, while undertaking a parallel research plan that can overcome the problems of the future,” said Professor Longstaff.
“My work concentrates on improving the output of manufacturing systems by analysing the equipment used to produce parts. My area of special interest is investigating the strategies for avoidance, measurement and correction of errors in CNC machine tools.”
In addition to the many engineering companies that has partnered for research projects, Professor Longstaff has also collaborated with institutions that include the National Physical Laboratory.
Other distinctions include a Fellowship to work with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), which is part-funded by Innovate UK. The scheme is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is designed to help academics to work with industry-focused centres to turn their research into commercial reality.
His HMVC Fellowship has seen Professor Longstaff working at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC). Based near Rotherham, this is a world-class centre for collaborative research into advanced manufacturing problems on behalf of its large roster of industrial partners, who include global aerospace giants such as Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems alongside ambitious regional companies.
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