About ABL
Consulting Engineering
Research & Development
Publications & Reports

Research & Development


ABL an engineering practice that is active in research and development (R&D). Activity in R&D covers the areas of structural mechanics and analysis, primarily in the sectors of aerospace, marine, and civil engineering structures.


Aerospace is one area of research activity for ABL. Work in this area includes space habitats, deployable structures, and inflatable structures. Part of the research is a collaboration with TrinityHaus at Trinity College Dublin. Trinity Haus is a new centre for research in construction innovation, sustainability and design. Andrew Lennon is a visiting research fellow at Trinity Haus where he conducts part of his research on deployable structures.

Gossamer and inflatable structures are one of the areas of interest. Gossamer structures are ultra-lightweight structures that are highly flexible and can be folded into a small volume yet deployed into a larger volume. Two articles in The Engineers Journal give a general introduction to this area. See the Reports & Publications page for details.

A particular interest is solar sailing. These structures are ultra-large sails that catch the pressure of sunlight (photonic pressure) to push the spacecraft and payload through space. The photonic pressure is low hence large sails are needed for propulsion. The large size yet low mass of the sails brings several challenges in the structural mechanics, analysis, and design of the sails. ABL is working on research in the structural mechanics and design ideas for solar sails and has presentations at two conferences. These presentations are available from the Reports & Publications page.


The marine environment is an area of interest to ABL in consulting engineering and in research and development. Research in the marine area is undertaken in-house and recent projects include the ocean energy industry in Ireland. April 2009 saw the release of a short report intended to stimulate discussion on the need to develop a broad industry sector for ocean energy. This report is the first document to be released from this project and further work is in preparation for later release. The report is available from the Reports & Publications page.

Structural Mechanics

Another area of interest is the effect of geometry on structural behaviour. Geometry is particularly important for high-flexible / compliant structures such as inflatable structures. ABL has published papers and given presentations on this topic at conferences and workshops. The most recent presentations were at the Fourth European Workshop on Inflatable Space Structures in June 2008. The abstracts and presentations are available from the Reports & Publications page.

Further Information

ABL attends a number of conferences and papers and presentations by ABL are available for download from the Reports & Publications page. These documents record some of the research work at ABL. If you would like further information on the research at ABL then please contact us. (Contact details.)


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Site updated 3 October 2009

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ABL Engineering Ltd
Registered office: The Old Laundry, Marlfield Village, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, Ireland
Registered in Ireland: Company Number 408831
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