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Q&A with Peter Dearnley

What motivated you to write Introduction To Surface Engineering (SE)?

My aim has been to create a comprehensive single authored review book on Surface Engineering technologies and applications and how they are interlinked. For many reasons, this has not been previously possible. I feel it is vital for readers to assimilate and critique what is well known and practiced and where the frontiers of knowledge presently are in the subject. 


Who is the primary audience for Introduction to Surface Engineering (SE)?

I have strived to make the subject accessible to any reader with some knowledge of physical sciences. Specifically, I hope it will be read by practicing engineers and scientists as well as research and undergraduate students.  


What are the market needs/key challenges this audience faces?

When any person enter a new field of enquiry (like surface engineering (SE)) they can be easily overwhelmed by the immense quantity of available technical papers and books. For various reasons, many such works prove to be ‘false friends’ because they are almost too focused.   Very often individuals get misdirected and stumble into lines of investigation that are not original or are based on false premises. This book helps with this task by presenting SE topics in a succinct and accurate manner.


Does your book solve this need/challenge? How?

For example, Chapter 2, helps to overview the great diversity of SE technologies and what their capabilities are. Partly this is achieved through SE charts and SE process selection charts (Chapter 2) and partly through friction-temperature and friction-pressure operating maps (Chapter 6). 


What unique features do you think make the book stand out in the market?

Its comprehensive nature, encompassing not only the three major strands of SE technology (Chapters 3 to 5) but also reviewing how SE can mitigate against surface degradation effects that limit component/product life – these ways of mitigation are explored in depth in Chapters 6 to 10. Chapter 2 also provides a unique insight not encountered in other works. 


What does your current research program look like and what are you working on?

I have many SE research interests, ranging from cutting tool protection schemes to enabling better and more durable surfaces destined for corrosion-wear (tribocorrosion) applications.  


About the author

P. A. Dearnley C.Eng., FIMMM, is Director of Boride Services Ltd. He commenced his materials engineering experience in the UK steel industry, latterly completing a B.Sc. (1977) and Ph.D. (1980) at the University of Birmingham. Following several post-doctoral positions with Industry (Sandvik Ltd) and University (Birmingham and Cambridge) he became an active faculty member (Lecturer and Senior Lecturer) at the University of Auckland and the University of Leeds, where he led many research and teaching initiatives in surface engineering. Presently he is Director of Boride Services Ltd, UK where he continues his specialist research interests in developing plasma based surface engineering solutions for improving the durability of cutting tool and biomedical materials.


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