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Dr Mohamed Moshrefi- Torbati BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MIMechE

Lecturer, Director of Internationalisation

Dr Mohamed Moshrefi- Torbati's photo

Dr Torbati is a lecturer in the Mechatronics research group in Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Southampton, UK, and a senior consulting engineer.

For me the best thing about this Faculty is its vast range of research topics and expertise that allow cross disciplinary work to be carried out.

He is currently the “Director of Internationalisation” for School of Engineering. He supports the Head of School and Faculty Associate Dean (International) in the development and monitoring of a School plan that is aligned with the University and Faculty strategies. He has previously been the program lead for mechanical engineering and part 2 coordinator, industrial liaison and employability officer for the same program.

Since completing his PhD in 1995 in the Institute of Sound of Vibration Research (ISVR) at the University of Southampton, he has been involved in all areas of research, teaching and enterprise. Between 1995 and 1996, he was a research fellow in the mechanical engineering department, working in the area of vibrational optimization. Between 1997 and 1999, he moved abroad to work as a full-time lecturer. In July 1999, he returned to Southampton as a research fellow to work on the integration of advanced active and passive structural noise control methods. In 2003, he was employed by the University of Southampton to work as an industrial consultant and since 2007 he has been a full-time lecturer. His current research interest is in the area of energy harvesting and storage. Between 2007 and 2010, he also worked as a part-time business fellow for a Technology Network organisation in London. He is a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and a chartered engineer.

Research interests

My research interests that have partly been influenced by my consultancy activities can be divided into the following three main areas:

Materials and surface engineering

I have done some work on the long-term reliability of lead-free solder joints that started with a couple of consultancy jobs for industrial clients. I have also worked on the properties of bio-degradable films mainly for soft tissue engineering application. This was done in collaboration with colleagues from Imperial College and Westminster University. My interactions with academics from the Tribology group have resulted in works on erosion-corrosion properties of nanofluids and high energy air-sand erosion of hard materials for offshore industry.

Signal processing and control

My research work on the application of signal processing to sleep EEG signals has been with the intention of developing techniques that can effectively be applied to PSG data sets in order to detect or analyse important events in sleep. Since 1999, I have been working on the integration of advanced active and passive structural noise control methods. My other interests include ultrasonic temperature measurement and applications of receptance method using fractional state feedback.

Energy harvesting and storage

In collaboration with an industrial client, since 2008, I have been working on the design of a storage system that makes use of electrical power harvested by a photovoltaic source in order to compress air at high pressure which is then converted back into electricity in the most efficient manner. The intended design contains some well-established hydro-pneumatic and some newly developed power electronics technologies that are aimed at increasing the overall efficiency of the system. I have also been involved in the design and manufacture of an electromagnetic energy harvesting system for applications where the motion of the mass is constrained.

Research group

Research Institute for Industry (RIfI)

Affiliate research group

Mechatronics Engineering Group

Research project(s)

Application of Data Fusion techniques in identification of sub-clinical Polysomnographic events in children with Sleep Disordered Breathing

In collaboration with the Welcome Trust Children hospital in Southampton and the School of Medicine at Southampton University, we aim to study the effects of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) ins children and develop/improve methods for automatic detection of such abnormality.

Corrosion detection in small diameter buried steel gas pipes

The aim of this work is to investigate the feasibility of torsional guided waves to inspect buried pipes with small diameters. MATLAB scripts have been produced to find the phase and group velocity dispersion curves for lossless plates and pipes of varying sizes and thicknesses. Upon finding the theoretical guided wave characteristics, real world analyses are conducted to determine whether the aim could be achieved in an experimental setup.

Fractional Calculus modelling of non-Gaussian noisy signals

An important class of non-Gaussian signals that is often encountered in practice is characterized by its impulsive nature. In contrast to normally distributed signals, these signals are more likely to exhibit sharp spikes or occasional bursts that result in having density functions with very slow decaying tails. The stable law is a direct generalization of the Gaussian distribution and in fact includes the Gaussian as a limiting case. The main feature of the non-Gaussian stable distribution is its heavy tails making it suitable for modelling signals and noise of impulsive nature. The heaviness of stable distribution tails is controlled by the characteristic exponent a (0<a≤2). A small positive value of a indicates severe impulsiveness, while a value of a close to 2 indicates a more Gaussian type of behaviour. When a = 2, the stable distribution is reduced to the Gaussian distribution. In cases where both Gaussian and non-Gaussian distribution noises simultaneously exist, the conventional filtering methods based on Gaussian model assumption, such as Least Mean Square (LMS) method, will obviously degrade in performance.asset to underpin continuing growth in this sector.

Graphene reinforced lead-free solder composites

There is a need to develop new solder materials that can mitigate or completely remove tin whiskers formation. New soldering materials must possess excellent mechanical, electrical and thermal properties in order to fulfil the ever increasing service demands. A possible solution to improve performance is to form a composite solder by introducing a second phase to the basic alloy in order to control material properties. This Project aims to investigate tin-graphene composites as new solder materials. Graphene is the second phase component. Improved properties can be judged based on criteria such as the strength of the solder and the required stress to cause deformation plus whiskers formation. The important characteristics that can be looked at may include melting point, density, wettability, microstructural analysis, micro and nano-hardness testing, scratch testing, tensile testing, corrosion, surface tension and electrical conductivity.

Hybrid active and passive structural noise control

In this project the feasibility of using active and passive means of vibration control in aerospace structures is investigated. In particular, attention has been focused on controlling vibration transmission through light weight satellite structures at medium frequencies. The structure under test is a 4.5 meter long satellite boom consisting of 10 identical bays with equilateral triangular cross sections. This structure is typical of those that might be used in space telescopes, space stations or synthetic aperture radar systems. Such a structure is typically used to support sensitive instruments in precise alignments spaced tens of metres apart. While a great deal of work has been done on this problem at low frequencies, relatively little has been achieved to date at medium frequencies (here taken to be between 150 Hz and 250 Hz). Nonetheless, this is of importance to new space missions.

Power Management of a Stand-Alone, Small-Scale Compressed Air Energy Storage System

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Module title Module code Role
Mechanics, Machines & Vibration FEEG 2002 Module Lead
Vehicle Powertrain, Noise & Vibration FEEG 3002 Module Lead
Energy Storage Applications FEEG 6019 Tutor
Semester in Industry Project with Reflect Engineer SESM 3034 Module Lead
Semester in Industry Project Aero SESA 3034 Module Lead

Since March 2003, he has been involved in carrying out a large number of consultancy projects through the Research Institute for Industry (RIfI) and has produced numerous technical reports. As a result of his consultancy work, he has established a reputation amongst the client companies in areas such as PCB testing, reed relays, ultrasonic sensors, sand erosion and market research. The consultancy unit has acquired repeat businesses from his clients that include: Ericsson TV (formerly Tandberg TV), scotia gas networks, Upton McGougan, Stannah Stairlifts, CooperVision and Rotork. Below is a selected list of his technical reports.

Selected Consultancy Reports
  1. M.M. Torbati, R. Wood, Corrosion analysis of a pump head, report No. 03/EC346/R, June 2003.
  2. M.M. Torbati, Surface analysis of an electronics enclosure, MECS 03/EC358/C, Oct. 2003.
  3. M.M. Torbati, M. Hill, Ultrasonic detection of contaminants in cotton fibres, 03/EC376/C, March 2004.
  4. M.M. Torbati, R.J.K. Wood, High energy air-sand erosion testing of stainless steel MMCs, report No. 03/EC344/R, March 2004.
  5. M.M. Torbati, Micro analysis of powder samples, report No. 04/MT/008, April 2004.
  6. M.M. Torbati, P.C. McDonald, Cryogenic testing of PU insulating Panels, Report CAU 213, May 2004.
  7. P.C. McDonald, M.M. Torbati, The thermal conductivity of PU foam insulation materials for use in the construction of LNG carriers, pp23, Gaz Transport and Technigaz, France.
  8. J. W. McBride, M. M. Torbati, Failure mechanism of relays, report No. 04/MT/0030/R, Oct. 2004.
  9. M. M. Torbati, Component failure analysis, report No. 04/MT/0041/R, October 2004.
  10. J. W. McBride, M.M. Torbati, Reed Relay Failure Analysis, report No. 04/MT/0030/R, Nov. 2004.
  11. M.M. Torbati, R. J. K. Wood, Review of erosion resistant materials, report 04/MT/0029/R, Jan 2005.
  12. M.M. Torbati, R. J. K. Wood, Erosive wear mapping of AISI 4135 casing hanger steel, report No. 04/MT/0078/R, January 2005.
    13.M.M. Torbati, M. Hill, 'Ultrasonic Temperature Measurement', report No. 04/MT/00115/R, Jan 2006.
  13. M.M. Torbati, J. Bello, R.J.K. Wood, 'Failure Analysis of a spur gear', report 04/RJKW/00114/R, Mar 2006.
  14. M. M. Torbati, R.J.K. Wood, 'Air-sand erosion of selected hard materials’, 04/MT/00113/R, July 2006.
  15. M.M.Torbati, 'High energy sand particle erosion testing of polymeric samples', report No. 06/MT/00219/C, August 2006.
  16. M. M. Torbati, M. Saquib, M. Hill, 'Ultrasonic Temperature Measurements: Using Time-Reversal Mirror', report No. 04/MT/00115/R, October 2006.
  17. M. M. Torbati, S. M. Spearing, 'Micro-examination of multi-layer PCBs subject to heat treatment', report No. 06/MT/00262/C, February 2007.
  18. M. M. Torbati, S. M. Spearing, 'Long term reliability of lead free solders – A literature review', report No. 07/MT/00287/R, April 2007.
  19. M. M. Torbati, T. Markvart, S. A. Sharkh, P. McDonald, 'Design of a solar powered compressed air system', report No. 08/MT/00442/C, June 2008.
  20. M. M. Torbati, 'Commercial assessment of a new coating technology for replacing Hard Chromium coatings, A market research report for ICUK, report No. 08/MT/00452/C, July 2008.
  21. M. M. Torbati, 'Portable biosensors based on Lab-on-a-Chip technology for environmental pollution monitoring', A market research report for ICUK, report No. 09/MT/00528/C, January 2009.
  22. M. M. Torbati, S. Quinn and R.A. Shenoi, "Optimisation and Automation of Liquid Resin Infusion for Large Composite Components", Part of a larger report for TSB Composites Grand Challenge - Affordable Composites Manufacturing, January 2010.
  23. M. M. Torbati, S. Quinn, "Development of Structural Damage Models of Composite Wind Turbine Blades", Job No. 00660/R, October 2010.
    25.S. Syngellakis, M. M. Torbati, "FE analysis of a ground run-up enclosure", Job no. 00735/R, May 2011.
  24. M. M. Torbati, R. G. Wills, B. Mellor, "A review on the acceptable O2 level in biomethane for UK pipelines, Job no. 00719/C, June 2011.
  25. J. W. Wharton, M. M. Torbati, "Cathodic protection of steel gas pipes ", Job no. 00752/C, Feb 2012.
Dr Mohamed Moshrefi- Torbati
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 7/5021/M7

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