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The Challenge of the Surface from our own back yard to the ends of the universe

Glyndŵr University Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series 2010/11

Professor David D Walker, Professor of Optics, Glyndwr University

Surfaces control the way in which many manufactured items interact with their surroundings. Examples include bearings where surfaces slide, catalysts that interact with chemicals, solar arrays that convert light into electricity, and fluid-dynamical surfaces such as turbines and propellers.

In this lecture Professor Walker will consider some of the relevant properties of surfaces and contrast how the form and texture of surfaces can be controlled by craft processes on one side, and by modern computer-controlled manufacturing techniques on the other. He will examine the Precessions process (developed by UK spin-out company Zeeko Ltd) from the perspective of polishing complex surfaces where traditional methods fail. This has particular applications for polishing of prosthetic joint implants, which provides a real example of where automated methods are displacing craft processes, resulting in improved lifetimes in the human body.

At the other extreme lie surfaces that combine large sizes up to a metre or more, with the finest control – even down to near-atomic dimensions. This is the case with large optical surfaces – and in particular, mirrors for astronomy, remote-sensing from space, and high-power lasers. The lecture will also look at the international project to build the world’s largest optical telescopes – the 42-meter European Extremely Large Telescope, the greatest challenge of which is the manufacturing of the 1,148 mirror segments, each some 1.4m across. OpTIC-Glyndŵr has been awarded a contract to manufacture seven prototype segments, and Professor Walker will give an overview of the technical approach adopted and the current status of the project.


Professor David Walker | talks | www


Date and Time:

11 April 2011 at 7:00 pm


1 hour



Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University
Mold Road
LL11 2AW
01978 293466
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Organised by:

Glyndwr University
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This lecture is free to attend and open to all. Seating is limited, so to reserve a place please email lectures@glyndwr.ac.uk or call 01978 293466.

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