Case Studies

Smart Cat's Eyes - Preliminary Design Assessment

Jon Douglas – Digital Simulations and Modelling Expert

By Engaged Expert

Jon Douglas


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Jon Douglas is an engineering consultant with over twenty-five years of experience across a wide range of sectors including nuclear, gas turbines, renewables, aerospace, and general industry.

The Background

Element Digital Engineering was approached by a client in the transport industry who had invented an innovative, smart cat’s eye to improve road-safety on unlit roads. Our experience in the R&D stages of product development was required to help progress the concept and support justification for further investment.

The Challenge

To avoid excessive development costs, our client wanted to install new electronic hardware within the shell of existing cat's eyes. However, they were not confident that this shell would sufficiently protect the electronics from the harsh road conditions. Our objective was to evaluate the suitability of existing cat's eye shells with the client's proposed electronic hardware.  


The Solution

Our Digital Engineering experts performed a back-to-back study against their existing product, using Linear-Elastic Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and following relevant ASTM testing standards. By performing a relative evaluation against a proven design with known performance, we bypassed the limitations imposed by the low maturity of the design.  


The Result

Overall, the results of the study were promising, although some areas of concern were identified. We worked with the client’s design team to develop and evaluate design iterations to remove these areas of concern. Our client is satisfied that we de-risked the design and has now commissioned manufacturing of a prototype and road-trials.

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