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Professor Stephen Beck

Professor Stephen Beck

Director of Learning and Teaching- Faculty of Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street
Sheffield S1 3JD
Room RC02f
Telephone +44(0)114 2227730
Fax +44(0)114 2227890


Dr Stephen Beck is a graduate of Bath University where he studied Mechanical Engineering. After graduation he was offered a post at Fermilab in Chicago where he developed software to control anti-protons.
He was awarded his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sheffield. The topic was the stability of ventilation systems in nuclear power stations which involved fluid mechanics, waves in pipes and power fluidics.
After a couple of postdoctoral jobs (on fluidics, modelling waves in oil drillstrings and high temperature heat exchangers) he was offered a lectureship in Thermodynamics at the Department. He became a Senior lecturer in 2002
Dr Beck has been working on flow measurement, leak detection, leaks from pipes, leaky gaskets (spot the theme), heat transfer from radiators and renewable energy. His interest in Energy, and teaching have combined make him one of the main investigators on the (£9.3M) Doctoral Training Centre on energy and the environment.
He is interested in quality enhancement of teaching and has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Learning and teaching development for the faculty of Engineering. He is currently Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching, Coordinating Learning Throughout the Engineering Faculty
For reasons unknown to even himself, he is also interested in various forms of committee work both within the University and for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, where he is on the Academic Assessment Committee and the Academic Standards Panel, accrediting other Mechanical Engineering Departments.

Other professional achievements:

  • Member on IMechE Academic Acceptance Committee and IMechE Academic Standards Cimmittee

  • Member on Editorial Board of Flow Measurement and Instrumentation (Published by Elsevir)

Areas of Research

My main research interests are in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, notably flow measurement, pipe networks, energy use and heat transfer. I have used fluidic devices and numerous flow measurement techniques. My work is mostly experimental, but I use CFD and analytical techniques as tools in my research programmes.

I also have interests in power production, refrigeration and heat exchange processes.

My interest in heat transfer, and energy use has led to some interesting work on combined radiation and convection. This has been applied to galvanising furnaces and radiators. I am also interested in energy use in general an am currently researching into heat transfer and use in buildings.

My early work on the modelling of pressure waves in pipes is being expanded to cover the control and real time analysis of fluid pipeline networks. The signal analysis has led to a novel method of leak detection that works even in branched pipeline systems. This ties in well with the work that I have conducted on fluid leak rates through cracks.

Research projects

I currently have five postgraduate students studying with me.

  • Tiyafi, P., Leakage in Plastic Pipes, 2010-, Sponsored by the Stream IDTC, Severn Trent Water and WRC
  • Williams, J., Holistic study of solar panels, 2010-, E-Futures DTC student
  • Castleton, H., Energy use in schools, 2010-, E-Futures DTC student
  • Shati, A.M.A., Free convection and radiation heat transfer, 2009-, Libyan Government Studentship
  • Ghazali, A., Advanced Leak Detection Techniques, 2008-

Fourteen of my students have submitted or completed their PhDs. Recent graduates are

  • Bukhari, M., Fractal Flowmeter, (2012)
  • Collins, R., Smart materials for flow control (2010)
  • Chong, H.A., An investigation into isotropic turbulence (2008)
  • Tahgveai, M., Identification of features in fluid filled pipelines (2007)
  • Shim, H.R., Innovative HVAC for automobiles (2007)
  • Garrard, A., Electrochemistry and flow of fuel cells (2006)


Current Research Grants

  • Yorkshire Water Transients and Burst Disks, 2011-13, £180k (CI)
  • Yorkshire Water Framework Retainer, 2011-15, £529k (CI)
  • KTP - DTI and Kingspan Renewables, 2010-12, £155k (PI)
  • Doctoral Training Centre - e-futures: EPSRC, 2009-17, £5.9m (CI)
Publications uSpace Apply

University of Sheffield
Dept. of Engineering Materials
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin St.
Sheffield S1 3TD

tel +44 (0)114 2225506
fax +44 (0)114 2226015

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