Hill Engineering Blog

Two Decades of Excellence: Hill Engineering Celebrates 20 Years of Engineering Innovation

This year, Hill Engineering commemorates our 20th anniversary. This milestone is not just a reflection of time passed, but a testament to our unwavering commitment to engineering excellence. Since our inception, Hill Engineering has been on a mission to empower materials engineers, designers, and managers with the solid data needed to make sound decisions.

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Discover Hill Engineering’s Latest Insights at SEM 2024

We are one month away from the 2024 SEM Annual Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics, which means our presentation is fast approaching! Taking place in Vancouver, WA, from June 3rd through June 6th, this premier event offers an opportunity for professionals, researchers, and industry experts to come together, share insights, and explore the latest advancements in experimental mechanics.

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Fiction author RD Pires is back with a new series, The Tides That Reign

When he’s not working as a contour method analyst, R.D. Pires (or Robby, as he is known by in the office) is busy writing novels for the world to enjoy. We previously discussed writing as a long-time hobby for Robby, as well as his last novel, A Vast, Untethered Ocean. Just a few years later and he’s back with another story, the beginning of his new fantasy series, The Tides That Reign. I got to sit down with Robby and discuss these new adventures, one for his characters and one for himself as an up and coming author. <!–more–>

Camille: You have a new book coming out this summer, titled Design of Darkness, the first in your fantasy series. What can you tell us about it?

R.D. Pires: Design of Darkness is the first in a multi-point-of-view, epic fantasy series called, The Tides That Reign. The story is about people from different cultures and social status coming together to overthrow a tyrannical regime, but thematically it’s about the transient nature of power and whether there is a balance between “good” and “evil” in the universe.

Cover art for Design of Darkness, by R.D. Pires. A purple-hued cave mouth, with a bright light or star shining at the opening. Underneath it are two files of people with hooded cloaks appearing to walk towards this light.
Design of Darkness cover art

Camille: What was it like working with a publishing company for this new series? What are some big differences between this and self-publishing like you did with A Vast, Untethered Ocean?

R.D. Pires: Working with a publishing company has been a very different experience from self-publishing. With self-publishing, you’re making all the decisions yourself – editing, PR, cover art made by you or someone you hired. But with a publisher, you have a team working together to prepare the book for release. They had an artist who drew the cover, they had editors within their team, they have their own social media squad. It really becomes a collective effort getting the book out into the world, and that means you have a group of folks who are rooting for the book to succeed on both a creative and professional level.

Camille: Music seems to have played a big role in your process for Design of Darkness. Can you tell us a little more about that?

R.D. Pires: It has played a big role, and I think it’s similar to why some authors will draw sketches for characters or settings. I’m not a visual artist at all, so the music I’ve written for the story was a way to capture the tone of a character or a scene in a way other than words. The music can come from anywhere, before or after writing. One of the pieces, “The Boat and the Sea,” was composed before I’d written anything in the book, but after it was done, I had an “Aha!” moment, where I thought, “that’s the tone for this scene” – and wrote the scene with that motif in mind.

Camille: Was a fantasy series something you envisioned for yourself all along? Writing multiple books within the same world and with the same group of characters seems like a daunting task.

R.D. Pires: A massive fantasy series wasn’t something I’d envisioned before, but I’ve always enjoyed epic fantasy, so I think I should’ve known I’d end up here eventually. A series like The Tides That Reign was daunting to develop, but also incredibly exciting for me because it’s pure creation. I am constantly adding to my notes about the world and incorporating new ideas into the story even though I’ve had the plot outlined for five years now.

Congratulations on this big milestone, Robby! We can’t wait to see what else R.D. Pires comes up with in the years to come. Design of Darkness is out on June 21, 2024.

New Publication – Near Edge Residual Stress Measurement Using Incremental Hole Drilling

A new Hill Engineering article titled “Near Edge Residual Stress Measurement Using Incremental Hole Drilling” has been published online in Experimental Mechanics. This study examines the effects of performing a hole drilling residual stress measurement near the free edge of a specimen. Below is the abstract text.

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R&D Project: Strain gaging inside a tube

We are always trying to improve upon existing techniques and explore new methods so we can assure our customers that they are receiving the best services we have to offer.

After we spread out into our new laboratory space, we found some interesting things during the move that were hidden away. Something that caught our eye was a project a member of our lab team did, dealing with applying a strain gage to the inner diameter of a long tube with limited access.

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Enhancing Efficiency: Hill Engineering’s scanning profilometer system

In the intricate world of residual stress analysis, the pursuit of precision is an ongoing endeavor. The Hill Engineering Scanning Profilometer (HESP) was a result of this perennial struggle, offering a satisfying, in-house solution that revolutionized our ability to perform contour method residual stress measurements.

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Contour Method Reproducibility Publication

Hill Engineering has participated in a collaborative, interlaboratory effort to quantify contour method residual stress measurement reproducibility. The study, entitled ‘Interlaboratory Reproducibility of Contour Method Data in a High Strength Aluminum Alloy’ was published through Experimental Mechanics, and is provided open access on Springer Link. The background, objective, and methods  from the abstract text are as follows:

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Hill Engineering Aims For The Horizon With Expansion

Hill Engineering is ringing in 2024 with a new expansion. By incorporating a neighboring suite into our office design, Hill Engineering now occupies our entire building, positioning us for greater achievements in the future.

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Residual Stress 101: The Hole Drilling Method vlog

The incremental hole drilling method is one of the most common residual stress measurement techniques employed at Hill Engineering. A reliable and rapid process, it’s the subject of our latest Residual Stress 101 episode.

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