Bill Austen, Structural Analysis Team Lead at QinetiQ
Bill joined QinetiQ's Structural Design group in 2001 as a Mechanical Engineer. Since then he has worked on and led a broad range of projects, analysing, designing and optimising advanced composite and metallic structures for defence, aerospace, space, automotive and maritime applications.
Bill currently manages a team of skilled structural analysts, designers and scientists, and is responsible for the winning and delivery of technical assessments and complex R&D programmes. Capabilities within Bill’s team include advanced non-linear modelling, failure analysis and structural optimisation using a wide range of Computer Aided Design and Finite Element packages. These capabilities are frequently deployed as part of a multi-disciplinary offering involving Subject Matter Experts from adjacent disciplines such as aerodynamics, manufacturing & materials, control and stealth.
Bill considers himself to be privileged to have worked on many exciting projects, though a particular highlight was the structural optimization of QinetiQ's Zephyr-series 'perpetual flight' aircraft. The latest Zephyr has a wing span of 22.5m but weighs only 50kg, allowing it to break world records for both flight duration and altitude with a 336 hour mission, peaking at 21.5 km in altitude. This was achieved through meticulous attention to detail from all technical disciplines and relied heavily on realistic simulation to optimise its flight performance whilst minimising development timescales and risk.
Bill Austen will present Simulation in research and defence on Thursday 18th at 08:45am.