A J Medland

Professor A J Medland

Department: Mechanical Engineering
Job Title: Professor of Design Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)1225 826158
Fax: +44 (0)1225 826928

E-mail Address: A.J.Medland@bath.ac.uk

Postal Address:

Mechanical Engineering
University of Bath
United Kingdom


Tony Medland started his professional career working first as a Patents Engineer and then as a Stress Engineer for Westland Helicopters before continuing his research studies at University College London.  In 1969, he joined Cambridge Consultants Limited, where he became Senior Mechanical Engineer before taking up an MOD Fellowship in shock and impact of structures, for which he was awarded his Ph.D.  He subsequently was employed as a Consulting Engineer at  PA Science and Technology Centre, Cambridge.

He joined the staff at Brunel University to help set up the Special Engineering Programme.   There he developed an interest in Design Theory and Computer Aided Design.  Together with Dr. Glen Mullineux, he has created a generic problem solving approach to design based upon constraint resolution techniques.  This is now being applied to a wide range of industrial problems, including the control of co-ordinate measuring machines, the interpretation of errors in manufacturing and the design mechanism to meet specific performance requirements.  In 1985 he was awarded a Personal Chair for his work in Computer Based Design and was Chairman of the Centre for Geometric Modelling and Design.  He joined the University of Bath in January 1995 as the Hebron and Medlock Professor of Design Engineering, where he has established new courses on Design and Innovation and expanded his research in Design Machine Analysis, Human Modelling and Constraint Resolution Techniques.

Current research

Machinery design

The research group in constraint modelling processes  (constraint modelling) has been supported by the DTI, MAFF and industry to undertake research into the design of machines. The Process and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA) is similarly supporting the research and has been involved in a number of projects.

Current projects include:

MAFF LINK on ‘Single lining’
An investigation and modelling of the complexities of product movement down conveyors and their interaction whilst being formed into a single line.

EPSRC IMI on ‘Machine/material Interaction’  (pira)
A broad based study of the interaction of packaging material with machines. This study concentrates on carton board and films and is supported by a range of industrial associations and users.

TCS scheme on machinery design
This scheme is with Bradman Lake who design and manufacture a range of carton erecting machines. The current study is directed towards the design of a new range of products.

Research in the application of constraint processes

The constraint resolution process is based upon a generic problem solving approach. Here rules are set for the success of a design activity, ‘free’ variables are declared for the resolution of the problem, and a search initiated to seek a true state of the rules.

This approach is applied to a wide range of problems, as well as those shown above on machinery design.

Currently research is being conducted into the following:

EPSRC IMI on ‘Equipment design for Cervical Smear Testing’ (ish site)
A new approach has been developed at Bristol University for the identification of abnormal cells during cervical testing. The role of the modelling group is to  develop a systems procedure and equipment that would allow this approach to be integrated within medical practice.

EPSRC Start-up (for Sports and Recreational Science) on ‘Human posture’
Here the constraint processes have been used to create a manikin model that is controlled by rules. Activities and postures can be defined by these rules and actions determined that comply with natural human action. This is being developed in order to allow the interaction of humans with machines and products to be studied. Current studies include the design of aids for invalids and the elderly.

TCS on application of constraint modelling software
This programme is run with INBIS Technology and is undertaking the development of a commercial version of the constraint modelling software and its application to a range of problems. This will be both supplied to industry and be used to support consultancy activities being undertaken within INBIS.

Other activities

His other activities include:

The Leader of Working Group 5 on ‘Interfacing Technologies’ as well as  the Leader of Working Group 2 on ‘ Tools and Methods for Design and Analysis’ in the EC themeatic network on ‘Agile and Reconfigurable Manufacturing Machine Systems’ (ARMMS). (armms site)

A  member of the Manufacturing Machinery Foresight Panel reviewing the printing, packaging and machine tools industries.

A Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Institute (AMTRI) and a Trustee of the Education and Benefits Trust of AMTRI. (amtri)

A Director of the Bath Institute of Medical engineering (BIME). (BIME)

Visits the University of Delft to act as Visiting Professor and in his role as Co-chairman of the International Conferences on Tools and Methods for Competitive Engineering (TMCE).  TMCE2000 was held this year in Delft, whilst  TMCE2002 is being planned to be held in Wuhan, PRC. (tudelft)

Constraint Modelling

University of Bath

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Last updated by:  A J Medland on 10th January 2001