in Aerospace

PhD brings new ideas to safety critical aviation research

Posted 24 July 2017 · Add Comment

A development chemist who has worked with innovators in the field of safety critical aviation fluids for more than six years, is bringing new ideas to Kilfrost, after being awarded a PhD in the study of supramolecular material science.

Dr Nicole Whitelaw studied for three years at the University of York for the qualification, while also carrying out her duties for Kilfrost Ltd, based in Haltwhistle in Northumberland.

Dr Whitelaw said that the PhD would help her to bring innovation to current research as well as to identify alternative ways to improve performance, productivity and efficiency.

Supporting her through the qualification underlines the family firm’s commitment to innovation and in supporting its talented employees’ continued development.

“From the start the company has encouraged me to work to very high standards and push me to achieve the very best of my ability,” said Dr Whitelaw. “They have instilled trust in me as an individual and have ensured that the research was completely my own and allowed me complete control.”

The PhD research involved the study of low temperature, environmentally-friendly, self-assembled nano-materials, which allowed for the analysis of new technology from molecular design through to macromolecular application properties.

Dr Whitelaw added that the results of the research were “outstanding” and work in this area represented a bright future within the aviation and smart technology industries.

She added: “It may also allow me to introduce a completely new technology to the aviation industry, which has never been seen or used before. My research allows for the creation of new products that exceed the performance attributes of current fluids within aviation.

“It has also shown that with intelligent design, smart technology aviation fluids can be tuned and optimised to provide enhanced physical properties, as well as improved holdover and aerodynamic performance.”

Gary Lydiate, Kilfrost Chief Executive, said: “Investing in our staff is crucial to the future of the business and I’m really pleased for Nicole.

“She has worked so incredibly hard. We’re so proud of what she has achieved and are looking forward to supporting her in bringing the research to life.”

Kilfrost is a third-generation, family owned business recognised as the global leader in safety critical, ice and frost protection chemistry and rheology. Working across industrial and aviation sectors, Kilfrost maintains a proud focus on pioneering the next generation of products to raise industry standards and to meet the growing needs of its commercial clients and the wider community.


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