OED2018 Speaker Spotlight – David Jonson
Structural Engineering in the Fluid Environment of the America's Cup
Competing for the America's cup is as much a design race as it is a sailing race. The leveraging of advanced technology and techniques in innovative ways has always been central to the design of the yachts. This was the case when America first won the race around the Isle of Wight in 1851, and is still very much the case for the hydro-foiling yachts, designed for the most recent trophy chase of 2017. The importance of optimisation led design, to reduce weight and produce the most efficient composite materials, cannot be overstated. David Jonson consulted with GRM to assist in achieving cutting edge results in racing performance.
“It's the oldest international sporting trophy in the world, and really represents the pinnacle of sailing technology.”
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Born in Empangini, South Africa, David qualified as a mechanical engineer in 1984, completed a Masters degree in 1997 and his PhD in 2002. Specialising in the design analysis of composite structures, most of his career has been in the academic sector, primarily focused on research. David has consulted as a practising engineer for companies and institutions in the defence and industrial sectors, before taking on a new challenge. In 2007, he was part of the South African Shosholoza design team that campaigned for the 32nd America's Cup, and more recently the British challenge for the 35th America's cup.Click to load interview video