Peter Schwarzel – Engineer, Futurist & Innovator
Peter was born in Sydney Australia in the late 50’s. His father was a carpenter, so Peter had tools in his hands as soon as he could lift them. He helped his dad build houses, fences and sheds. During his formative years he pulled apart most of the man-made objects within reach, to the chagrin of his family. However, he learnt a lot about how things worked. After high school he commenced part time Civil Engineering studies at the University of NSW.
A couple of years into the course Peter decided that concrete and steel were too heavy to build the types of structures that interested him, so he changed to Mechanical Engineering, choosing subjects that centered on advanced materials and mechanical design. While studying he held numerous positions in industry. He worked for Lucas Aerospace as a fuel system technician & pulled apart a jet engine to the annoyance of the company; as a machinist making robots & medical equipment and later he became a robotic welding specialist with ESAB/ASEA.
At this time he met his future wife who wanted an adventure. Study was put on hold when they bought bicycles and rode from Toowoomba to Carnarvan Gorge in Central Queensland then to Cape Tribulation, some 3000km in all. Still wanting to be together & cycle some more, they then rode around New Zealand’s South Island.
On returning to Australia Peter knocked on doors to find work and a mast manufacturer needing an Engineer “launched” his connection with boats. Goldspar allowed Peter to play with high tech aluminium alloys and carbonfibre as they supplied masts and fittings to the racing skiff classes such as the 16 & 18 footers. However, with his considerable experience around bikes he decided to build aluminium bicycle frames and started building ultralight frames for triathletes. He then established a bicycle frame factory in Queensland in a joint venture with a major bicycle retailer and consequently built 1000s of aluminium frames. He also built frames for the Australian Olympic Team and several World Champion Triathletes. In 1992 he built a bespoke aerodynamic frame for Miles Stewart on which Miles won the World Triathlon Championship. During this time Peter recommenced studies and graduated in 1995.
After graduation Peter established his own business and started supplying Naval Architects and Boat Builders with structural calculations and composite consulting services. He also designs special purpose machines to the delight of his customers. He became involved with large free standing carbon masts for cruising catamarans and other types of sailing rigs. Peter has consulted to companies such as Southern Spars, Marten Spars and Formula Spars on various projects, mainly to do with buckling analysis. His business CarbonWorks regularly designs or analyses yacht hulls, foils and spars.
Peter has always been interested in high performance materials and advanced engineering. With a growing interest in sailing over the last 20 years he has been involved with the design and building of all kinds of boats and their structures. His specialities are composites, advanced numerical analysis and yacht structures. On fine and windy weekends he sails, on wet and windless ones he builds interesting FEA models of hulls, soft sails, wing sails and hydrofoils.
Resume – Peter Schwarzel 13
Coombabah, Queensland Australia
Ph: +61 7 5529 6892 or +61 408 681 932
Email: peter [@] carbon-works.com.au