Cooking may not be rocket science, but that didn’t stop actual University of Oxford rocket scientist Thomas Povey from applying his smarts to the design possibilities of the sauce pan. He created the Flare Pan which uses a third of the gas and cooks 30% faster than standard pans.
The idea first came to Povey when he was hiking at high altitude and needed to boil a pot of water. He then worked with his students for three years to perfect the design until the cast aluminum pan with ridged fins became the finished product. Those who have done mountaineering may be familiar with something called JetBoil which is a compact system used to boil water. It’s got a similar ridged design. When asked about the similarities, Povey told io9:
I was actually working on this project before the Jetboil was patented, with designs very similar to the Jetboil, so that was not — as you speculate — the inspiration, but is certainly a great product which good design and function – I own one myself. More recently we started to look at household applications, where the optimisation problem is more difficult (needs to work on conventional gas stove, needs to be cleanable, look good, durable in kitchen environment). The design that resulted is the result of that rather different optimisation challenge.
So, looks like similar concepts applied to two different design problems.
See more pictures, including the JetBoil and video, after the break.