Meet Science and Engineering leader of tomorrow - Mark Jabbal

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Mark Jabbal is helping to develop greener, more fuel efficient aircraft. Aerospace engineering is an area of research that he feels passionate about. Mark talks about his work and also how experience in industry really helped to inspire him.

Mark is involved in an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) campaign called New Outlooks in Science and Engineering (NOISE).

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My name is Mark Jabbal. I’m a researcher at the University of Manchester in the Aerospace Engineering Department. I guess the main gist of my research is looking at how we can make aircraft more green and we’re particularly looking at specific types of technologies that can go onto an aircraft wing in order to help offset the drag and therefore make it more greener by making it more fuel efficient.

One of the types of technologies we are looking at is something called a synthetic jet, which is a little device which can blow air out of it and the idea is basically by putting many of these on an aircraft wing we can replace the function of what a conventional flap would do and therefore help potentially for the aircraft to save weight and reduce the fuel burn and make it more greener.

There’s been technologies which have been developed in the past. One good example is the riblet. The riblet is basically mimicking shark skin and it’s known that sharks are actually very fast in the sea and the reason for this is that their skin gives an ability to reduce drag with these riblets or grooves in their skin and the technology has already been developed and is actually used in Speedo swimwear, which a lot of athletes are using, and it’s also been demonstrated on a trial for an aircraft as well to reduce drag.

I think having a career in science or engineering is very important because if you look around in today’s society all the things that we take for granted and depend on, the lighting, the electricity for computers and so forth, has all been developed and designed by scientists and engineers and those innovations, those innovators we’re going to need in the future for our next society that comes along and so it is vitally important that we encourage scientists and engineers to carry on what they are doing and to promote the next new generation.

My dad was into engineering and encouraged me in that field, but actually I already had an interest in science and engineering at school and particularly a work experience I went on at Rolls Royce Aerospace which really got me engaged with the whole aerospace engineering thing. Getting on site and talking with the engineers there and seeing it’s really interesting work that they are doing, its not all very boring as the picture might present sometimes. That I think really turned it on for me and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing today.