Thinu Herathd developed the structural design of a 4000-litre carbon fibre tank and its fire protection system which is now sold in Europe and the USA. He is a Senior Engineer at Omni Tanker.
Engineering has changed the world. We’re surrounded by the work of engineers every single day. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by making things and solving problems. I decided to study engineering, so I could develop my problem-solving skills and use these skills to improve the way we live.
During my PhD I undertook an internship at Omni Tanker, a company that manufactures specialised carbon fibre road tanks and tank containers to transport highly corrosive and high-purity oxidising chemicals. I worked with the company to design and develop the structural design of a 4000-litre carbon fibre tank and its fire protection system. The tank was designed using a highly advanced mathematical tool known as Finite Element Analysis to predict forces during operation and optimise for the lowest tare mass. The resulting tank was over 40% lighter than the industry standard for a corrosive chemical transportation tank. A real highlight for me was travelling to Germany, where the prototype I made passed fire testing as part of the standards approval process. These tanks are now sold in Europe and the USA.
I love that I was able to use my specialist engineering skills to deliver this project. Now I am valued full time member of Omni Tanker’s engineering team. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did without my knowledge in maths and science. Maths is the language of science and mechanical engineering and plays a huge role in researching, designing, developing, manufacturing and testing engines, machines and other mechanical devices.