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Grant Steven - University of Sydney, Australia


Grant Steven was born in Clydebank, Scotland in 1945 with a family background in shipbuilding and tool-making.  His engineering career started at 14 when he commenced as an apprentice fitter and turner in John Brown’s shipyard. The trade certificate was finally gained in 1964 in conjunction with the beginning of an undergraduate course in mechanical engineering at the University of Glasgow. This was followed by a four year scholarship to undertake research at Oxford University.

In 1970 Grant took up a academic position in aeronautics at the University of Sydney, Department of Aeronautical Engineering. He was appointed Lawrence Hargrave Professor of Aeronautical Engineering in 1985. 

Over 350 research papers have been published and several research books put out by international publishing houses.  Much of the research undertaken has been in the fields of numerical methods, especially FEA, and structural optimization.  

Grant Steven is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and was a council member of NAFEMS from 2001-2004. In December 2000 Grant took up the post as Professor in Engineering at the University of Durham. 

In 2004 Grant returned to Sydney where he re-joined the Research and Development team at Strand7 the FEA company he founded in the 1980s.

Presentation Abstract

50 Years of Stress

t was in 1963 that the author first saw the equations of equilibrium and compatibility for a 3D continuum.  He was amazed by the torturous mathematics required to extract a few basic solutions, a circular hole in an infinite plate, a point load on a half-space.  He undertook his doctorate at Oxford, adding to the list of complex 3D solutions for cylindrical bodies in contact.   Fast forward the intervening years and such hard won solutions can now be set up and solved in minutes using FEA. In the beginning of FEA, just to get a solution was thrilling; now optimizations, design searches and envelops require many thousands of iterations for large models are commonplace.  Such is the penetration of FEA that it is clear to this author that it is not going to go away. This talk considers some of the new directions in FEA; also it focuses on current issues around education and training, the increasing complexity of products and analysis, with examples drawn from the last 50 interesting and stressful years.