Tue, 09 July, 2019
The Welding Institute Annual Awards took place on 2 July, where a number of awards were given in recognition of outstanding contributions to materials joining and welding technology.
This year’s Richard Weck Award winner was Dr Jeroen De Backer, a Principal Project Leader at TWI Sheffield. The Richard Weck Award, which is named after a former Director General of BWRA and The Welding Institute, is made annually for the most worthy Industrial Member's report from the TWI Core Research Programme.
Jeroen won the award for his report entitled, ‘Development of Robotic Bobbin and Stationary Shoulder Friction Stir Welding,’ which described significant advancements in friction stir welding (FSW) using a range of techniques on a robot to join complex component geometries with the aim of facilitating industrial uptake. The FSW techniques included conventional, floating-bobbin, stationary shoulder and corner stationary shoulder establishing capability, including the effect of welding forces on robot path accuracy, the range of component thicknesses and the overall repeatability of the process. This research has attracted considerable interest from companies worldwide and provides the underpinning knowledge for the application of the techniques in industry.
Jeroen joined TWI’s Friction and Forge Processes department in 2014 and is based in the TWI Technology Centre (Yorkshire). A native of Belgium, Jeroen obtained his Master of Science degree in Electrical Automation Engineering at KU Leuven, Belgium, a Licentiate of Engineering degree from Lund University, Sweden, and a doctoral degree in Production Technology at University West, Sweden.
Jeroen’s passion for innovation and sustainability is reflected in his research on friction stir welding, a clean welding process, without fumes or shielding gas, and with low energy input, which, in turn, is applied to applications such as lightweight aerostructures and battery trays for electric vehicles, with the objective of reducing the overall ecological impact of transport. Jeroen has over 10 years of experience with FSW and his research is focussed on process automation and robotisation. Jeroen is currently leading a European research project within the Clean Sky 2 Joint undertaking and has previously led publicly funded projects in Sweden and the UK.
In addition to his role as project leader at TWI, Jeroen is part-time lecturer at the department of engineering science at University West in Sweden, where he supervises MSc and PhD students. He has published over 20 papers in scientific journals and conferences and has been chairman and member of scientific committees at a number of international conferences.