BSc Engineering Science (1st Class Hons), MIAgrE.

I am a scientific engineer with in-depth experience of solving problems in drying and cooling of grains, oilseeds and wood fuels through research and development. My expertise in drying covers the range from practical measurements to test how dryers are performing, through to the fundamentals. At Silsoe Research Institute, I developed and improved several simulation models of drying, now well-proven, and used them in research and commercial projects. I am now making full use of these simulation models and measurement technology through my new company, David Bruce Consulting Ltd.

Key experience in drying:-
  • Extensive track record in hot air drying and bulk storage drying, from basic principles and small scale studies to measurement methods on commercial drying systems.
  • I have unique and powerful simulation models at hand to help in diagnosing problems and exploring solutions. These computer models predict the temperature and moisture conditions in complex designs of dryer, and any changes in the quality of the grains or seeds being dried.
  • For several years I led a team carrying out full diagnostic tests on grain dryers linked with computer simulation for performance evaluation. I also led the development and testing of moisture sensing and control systems for dryers, including installation and testing of systems on full-scale dryers.
  • I redrafted BS3986:1998 on methods of test for agricultural dryers under contract to British Standard Organisation.
  • The computer models can also simulate drying of other materials, e.g. particulate biofuels such as wood chips. I have run tests on biofuel dryers and used the models together with the results to improve drying rate and reduce costs.
Key experience in other areas:-
  • Material mechanics: I have skills in measuring the mechanical properties of plant materials, such as plant fibres, cells and oilseed rape pods, and have coupled such data with modelling techniques to understand how these properties arise. The techniques may be on a micrometer scale, and are often relevant to a range of problems in the biomedical and agri-food sector. For example, I developed special, small-scale methods to explore the mechanisms that control the tendency of oilseed rape to shatter and to provide guidance to plant breeders in the development of improved commercial lines.
  • Project management: I have wide experience in preparing, carrying out and commercialising research with a multi-disciplinary team. For example, I coordinated a successful 1.1M LINK project with 10 partners to scale up and exploit a fibre extraction device. The PRINCE2 system of project management is used. I have also led the process of implementing Quality Assurance in my team at SRI.
  • I have authored 50 technical reports and 50 confidential reports on commercial contracts, as well as 47 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  • Collaboration: I very much enjoy developing collaborations with people with different skills from my own and have a good track record of successful delivery of projects.
Example reports and papers:-
  1. Disinfestation of grain using hot-air dryers: Killing hidden infestations of grain weevils without damaging germination HGCA Project Report 345, August 2004.
    (Authors: Bruce, D M., Hamer, P J C, Wilkinson, D J, White, R P, Conyers, S, and Armitage, D M.)
  2. Drying of hemp for long fibre production. Biosystems Engineering (2005) 91(1) 45-59.
    (Authors: Bruce, D.M.; Hobson, R. N.; Hamer, P. J. C.; White, R. P. )
  3. Economic methods of cereal grain drying to prevent spoilage and loss of quality. Chapter in "Cereal grain Mycotoxins, Fungi and Quality in Drying and Storage", Developments in Food Science 26, Ed. Chelkowski, J., Elsevier Science Publishers 1991.
    (Authors: Bruce, D.M.; Ryniecki, A.)
  4. Drying and storage of oilseed rape in the United Kingdom. Part 1. Physical and engineering aspects. Review OS6, publ. Home Grown Cereals Authority, March 1992.
    (Authors: Nellist, M.E.; Bruce, D.M.)

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