William Wong Distinguished Lecture – Bicycles, Motorcycles and Feedback

The William Mong Distinguished Lecture on “Bicycles, Motorcycles and Feedback” presented by the Faculty of Engineering is to be held on Wednesday, May 28, 2008.


Details of the Talk

Professor David J.N. Limebeer received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 1974, the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, in 1977 and 1980, respectively, and the D.Sc. degree from the University of London in 1992. He has been with Imperial College London since 1984, where he is currently the head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He has published over 100 papers and a textbook on robust control theory. He is a past editor of Automatica and a past associate editor of Systems and Control Letters and the International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the IEE, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the City and Guilds Institute. His research interests include control system design, frequency response methods, H-infinity optimization and mechanical systems. He is qualified as an IAM senior motorcycle instructor and received a RoSPA certificate for advanced motorcycling.

May 28, 2008 (Wednesday)

17:30 – 18:45

Lecture Theatre A, Chow Yei Ching Building

The design and development of modern road vehicles calls for a combination of disparate engineering disciplines. If customer requirements are to be met in a cost-effective manner, modern computer modelling, design and manufacturing processes must be used. Following a broad introduction, the lecture will introduce the idea of using ‘feedback theory’ to improve the dynamic behaviour of high-performance motorcycles. The ‘controller’ is a network of passive mechanical components, and is seen as possible replacements for the conventional steering damper. The design and synthesis of these compensation systems make use of an analogy between passive electrical and mechanical networks. This analogy is reviewed alongside the links between passivity, positive reality and network synthesis. Compensator design methods that are based on classical Bode-Nyquist frequency-response ideas will be presented. Initial designs are subsequently optimized using a sequential quadratic programming algorithm. A number of simple networks are investigated and compared with a general bi-quadratic positive real function. The results show that, compared with a conventional steering damper, it is possible to obtain significant improvements in the dynamic properties of the primary oscillatory modes, known as ‘wobble’ and ‘weave’.

This event is free of charge.

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