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Audrius Zidonis (a Gilkes sponsored research student with a first class BEng Honours degree graduate Mechanical Engineering) has received the Deans Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Studies from Lancaster University's Faculty of Science and Technology. The award, offered annually, recognises excellence in doctoral research.
Gilkes sponsored Audrius for his PhD in engineering project which employed the latest computational techniques to improve the efficiency of one of Gilkes hydroelectric turbines. Gilkes provided industrial supervision for Audrius in the form of past and present employees (Chris Crewdson, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Martin, Dr Jo Scott and Alan Robinson). Dr George Aggidis was Audrius' supervisor.
Following promising results from the computational part of Audrius' project Gilkes designed a model test rig to enable experimental testing and the validation of Audrius' results. The next phase of the project for Gilkes is to validate the manufacture and operational performance of the design.
During his PhD Audrius submitted six journal papers (peer reviewed), three of which are already accepted, which is a measure of the academic strength of the research.
Alan Robinson, Product Development Manager and Industrial Supervisor to Audrius said: "On behalf of everyone at Gilkes I would like to congratulate Audrius. We are delighted that his hard work and excellent research have been recognised. The award also reflects on the success of the ongoing collaboration between Gilkes and Lancaster University which we aim to continue and develop further with other exciting opportunities."
On receipt of his award Audrius said: "I am very happy to receive this award. I would like to thank Dr Aggidis for his invaluable guidance and Gilkes for both the generous funding of this project and for sharing their industrial experience. What more can you ask for from a PhD when you have access to the latest technology and you are given the opportunity to develop it further?"
Dr George Aggidis added: "Congratulations to Audrius and also a big thank you to Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd and their engineers for their incredible support throughout this research project.
"This award is a positive sign for the very successful collaboration between Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd and Lancaster University Renewable Energy Group in the area of Fluid Machinery research. It now opens the road for the continuation of this success with new research projects and PhD scholarships to other research students like Audrius."