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K Worden, W A Bullough and J Haywood
World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd, Singapore, 2003.
ISBN 981-02-4776-1. £39.
This book is "a general introduction to intelligent or smart materials, systems and machines" aimed at "physicists, engineers, materials scientists and computer scientists of all levels, from undergraduates to post-doctoral practitioners". The ten chapters have been written by leading specialists in their respective disciplines. No distinction is made between smart and intelligent systems as is often the case. I believe that the sector would benefit from defining these terms separately. I would propose that smart is a sensor-actuator pairing (and might be a material) whilst intelligent should represent sensor-control-actuator systems (and hence have an embedded microprocessor which can cause the system to take alternative courses of action, i.e. not a material).
The book opens with an overview of the contents of each chapter, then dedicates one chapter to each of sensors, data fusion and vibration control before four chapters on actuator technologies. It closes with consideration of smart biomaterials and natural engineering (biomimetics). The book concentrates on "mechanical" devices and does not fully reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of the subject (e.g. there is no consideration of such concepts as photochromic glass or of low melting point wax in a fire sprinkler.
The book requires the reader to have a broad knowledge. The chapters (especially those on magnetostriction, smart fluid machines and biomaterials) would benefit from some basic definition of the terms used to assist those not versed in the respective fields. The book does not include an Index. There are a number of typographical and grammatical errors within the book, albeit more prominent in certain chapters. Definitions are not included for some acronyms: e.g. SOFO (p21), LIGA (p25), and SEVA (p99)? Further, for the limited number of equations used, there should be a list of nomenclature - some of the parameters used are neither defined nor familiar.
The book is an interesting collection of papers which leaves one seeking more information. The final eight chapters all have references to the contemporary literature. It is perhaps unfortunate that a book which is already short on sensors does not include guidance on further literature in this technical area and fails to acknowledge a key book on data fusion . The flaws outlined above and especially the need to have a dictionary to hand mean that I cannot recommend this book in preference to the alternatives, although it would be a useful complement to them. Gandhi and Thompson  and Culshaw  both provide good introductions to smart materials and structures, albeit more expensive. Friend  is now difficult (not impossible) to obtain. Srinivasan and McFarland  would be my preference for a book skewed in favour of actuator technology (as is the book under review). For biomimetics, I would recommend the book by Benyus  for a jargon-free introduction. The latter pair would be a better investment than the book under review for roughly the same cost.
 XE Gros, NDT Data Fusion, London : Arnold, 1997. ISBN 0-340-67648-5. £80 (Amazon).
 MV Gandhi and BS Thompson, Smart Materials and Structures
Chapman & Hall, London, 1992. ISBN 0-412-37010-7. £123 (Amazon).
 Brian Culshaw, Smart Structures and Materials
Artech House, Norwood MA, 1996. ISBN 0-89006-681-7 £62 (Amazon).
 CM Friend (editor), Smart Materials and Structures
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996. ISBN 0412640309. £69 (Amazon).
 V. Srinivasan and D. M. McFarland, Smart Structures: Analysis and Design
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000. ISBN 0-521-65977-9. £23 (Amazon).
 JM Benyus, Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by nature
Perennial (HarperCollins), New York, 2002. ISBN 0-06-053322-6. US$14 (Amazon USA)
John Summerscales, IEng, FIMMM, FInstNDT, FIAQP
Reader in Composites Engineering, University of Plymouth