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HomeAcademic staffDr Geoff Goss

Dr Geoff Goss

gossga@lsbu.ac.uk

Mechanical Engineering and Design

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I worked my way through the part-time route of higher education as a mature student. My BEng (hons) Mechanical Engineering was at LSBU, my MSc in Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos at UCL, and my PhD at UCL too, supervised by Prof Michael Thompson (FRS). For some years my work was dominated by teaching. I was Course Director for LSBU Mech Eng and led a successful i regain professional accreditation for CEng (which had been removed). I subsequently focused in prosthetics, becoming familiar with the national prosthetics network. I led a team building on innovative prosthetic limb, financed by amputee ex-soldiers.

My research area is on the large deformations of elastic rods and involves application of Cosserat theory.

Since 2017 I have been PI on Modelling the Mechanics and Engineering Applications of Animal Whiskers (MMEAW), a multidisciplinary research project involving animal behaviourists and mechanics. This research has two lines of inquiry. First, modelling the intrinsic shapes of whiskers of various mammal species. Second, applying mechanics to examine the deformation of whiskers when they bend upon contact with objects. The overall aim is to determine the forces and moments acting at the whisker base, which arise from contact with an object, for it is those forces and moments that are processed by the creature's neuro-circuitry and inform it of its environment. That knowledge is useful for robotics engineers developing tactile robots. From a mechanics’ perspective whiskers are long slender flexible rods, that undergo large elastic deformations. Consequently, Cosserat rod theory is applicable to this (nonlinear) boundary value problem. My analytical studies are complemented by a bespoke experimental laboratory. My comparative morphological research encompasses different species, but also applies to the range of whiskers on a single species. We have studied hundreds of rat whiskers. That led us to conceive the Universal Euler Spiral as an elegant template for depicting and comparing whisker curvatures. Mostly whiskers have smooth profiles, but currently we are examining the undulating profiles of seal whiskers. Consequently, we are developing a new technique of skeletonisation, one that's consistent with rod theory.

MMEAW additionally involves experimental research using nickel titanium wire and strip to study the forces and moments acting. Over the years, I have developed a bespoke laboratory for rod research, which has been useful for other research projects. Experimental data gathered from that lab, along with parallel theoretical work, has culminated in a number of publications in reputable international mechanics journals. At the time of writing I am busy constructing new experimental set-ups for a range of experiments that I want to carry out with my Research Fellow to validate new results from our theoretical studies. That new equipment and set-up additionally facilitates 3D experimentation i.e. twisted and bent rods.

My long term aim is to establish a world-class versatile experimental laboratory that facilitates a range of diverse boundary value problems; ones that address real-world nonlinear phenomenological problems. In a wider scheme I am interested to extend this experimental work to investigate fluid-rod interactions.

Postgraduate Research Supervision
Current
Miss Gemma Ann RansonAnalysis of Amputee Needs in Northern Sri LankaPhD

Awarded in the last 5 years
Mr Ridouan ChaoukiLoop Formation and Contact Problems in Elastic RodsPhD
PhD

UCL

1997
2003
Welding Technician
LSBU

Welding and manufacturing student projects and research rigs

1990
2004
Education
FunderYear wonProjectRole
Royal Society2021MMMMammalWhiskers: Morphology, Mechanics and Movement of Mammalian WhiskersPrincipal Investigator
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)2016MMEAW: Modelling the MEchanics of Animal WhiskersPrincipal Investigator
Mammal Society
2000

Filter publications

Ecomorphology reveals Euler spiral of mammalian whiskers.
Dougill, G., Starostin, E.L., Milne, A.O., van der Heijden, G.H.M., Goss, G.A. and Grant, R.A. (2020). Ecomorphology reveals Euler spiral of mammalian whiskers. Journal of morphology. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmor.21246

The Euler Spiral of Rat Whiskers
Starostin, E., Grant, R.A., Dougill, G., van der Heijden, G.H.M. and Goss, G. (2020). The Euler Spiral of Rat Whiskers. Science Advances. 6 (3). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aax5145

Reach of an Inclined Cantilever with a Tip Load
Singh, P. and Goss, V.G.A. (2019). Reach of an Inclined Cantilever with a Tip Load. Archives of Mechanics. 71 (6), pp. 595-614. https://doi.org/10.24423/aom.3254

The Clamped-Free Rod Under Inclined End Forces and Transitions Between Equilibrium Configurations
Singh, P. and Goss, V.G.A. (2019). The Clamped-Free Rod Under Inclined End Forces and Transitions Between Equilibrium Configurations. Journal of Engineering Mathematics. 117 (1), pp. 65-78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10665-019-10009-7

Critical Points of the Clamped-Pinned Elastica
Singh, P and Goss, VGA (2018). Critical Points of the Clamped-Pinned Elastica. Acta Mechanica. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00707-018-2259-3

Asymptotic analysis of the clamped-pinned elastica
Singh, P. and Goss, VGA (2018). Asymptotic analysis of the clamped-pinned elastica. Archives of Mechanics. 70 (4), pp. 1-20.

Large Llamas with Silver Shoes
Goss, VGA (2017). Large Llamas with Silver Shoes. Society & Animals. 25 (2), pp. 144-162. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685306-12341443

Loading paths for an elastic rod in contact with a flat inclined surface
Goss, VGA (2016). Loading paths for an elastic rod in contact with a flat inclined surface. International Journal of Solids and Structures. 88-89, pp. 274-282. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2016.02.042

Whisker Sensing by Force and Moment Measurements at the Whisker Base
Starostin, E.L., Goss, V.G.A. and van der Heijden, G. (2022). Whisker Sensing by Force and Moment Measurements at the Whisker Base. Soft Robotics. https://doi.org/10.1089/soro.2021.0085

Morphological peculiarities of a harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) whisker revealed by normal skeletonisation
Goss, G., Starostin, E., Dougill, G. and Grant, R.A. (2022). Morphological peculiarities of a harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) whisker revealed by normal skeletonisation. Bioinspiration & biomimetics. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-3190/ac5a6b

What can whiskers tell us about mammalian evolution, behaviour, and ecology?
Grant, R.A. and Goss, V.G. A. (2021). What can whiskers tell us about mammalian evolution, behaviour, and ecology? Mammal Review. 52 (1), pp. 148-163. https://doi.org/10.1111/mam.12253