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The British Science Festival is coming to Coventry and Warwickshire

BSF news story image.

One of Europe’s largest science festivals is coming to town between September 10th and 13th.

With a schedule comprising more than 100 free events, activities and performances, the British Science Festival will “transform the region into a celebration of science and culture”.

The festival will feature talks from a selection of WMG experts, including Erik Kampert - Senior Research Fellow, Dave Greenwood – Professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems, Mark Williams – Professor of Metrology and Alan Chalmers – Professor of Visualisation.

Held in partnership with the University of Warwick, the programme highlights local strength in digital technologies, smart cities and the future of energy and healthcare.

There’s a special emphasis on the fun, thought-provoking, and societal aspects of science to show how it’s not just confined to laboratories, but something that’s all around us.

Plus, there will be a special filming of The Sky at Night: Question Time with Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Professor Chris Lintott.

Other highlights include interactive experiences like a live 3-D psychedelic show and festival carpool in a driverless pod, discussions on how ‘gaming becomes gambling’, how AI could revolutionise cancer treatment, and how to tackle food poverty with food writer Jack Monroe.

Not to mention, a mud kitchen and tea-blending for adults and a takeover of Coventry’s FarGo Village with comedy, artistic workshops and an escape room.

Book here.

WMG helps Senior Teaching Fellow break cycling world record

Piotr Klin - Senior Teaching Fellow, WMG

In a bid to fulfil a two-year ambition, Senior Teaching Fellow Piotr Klin teamed up with WMG to prepare the race package for his UCI World Masters Hour record attempt on July 21st.

Scooping the cycling accolade at his native Polish velodrome of Arena Pruszkow, Piotr’s distance of 49.649km beat the previous record for the 30-34 age group of 48.234km set by Britain’s Ryan Davies.

The World Masters Hour concept requires racers to ride around a velodrome and cover the furthest distance within 60 minutes. Having narrowly missed out on breaking the Polish hour record in August last year, Piotr collaborated with WMG at the University of Warwick to make technical advancements to his bike, utilising the state-of-the-art facilities at WMG.

Piotr reviewed the 3D printed parts within his bike to minimise the drag on the track, and commenting on his successes, the Coventry resident originally from Lublin in Poland said:

“This is a great achievement for me, and it feels extra special to do this in my home country. The extra time that I have spent training in the velodrome has paid off. WMG manufactured parts were custom made to best fit my body, using 3D scanning and printing techniques to deliver a custom cockpit fit, providing comfort during the longest hour in cycling.

“By leveraging the world-leading expertise and facilities through my collaboration with WMG, I’ve been able to bring the best race package I’ve had to-date and deliver this world record performance.

“I’m excited for new challenges following this milestone and look forward to collaborating with WMG further to post even faster times.”

By breaking the world record, Piotr added a further feather to his cap, which already includes a well decorated repertoire of accolades, including merits for being a three-time Polish Masters National Time Trial champion and his crown of Amateur Sportsman of the Year from the 2018 Coventry and Warwickshire Sports Awards.

Building on his successes, Piotr now hopes to go one better than his second place in 2017 at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships Time Trial in Poznan in August.

Researchers convert car batteries into units that could power farms in the developing world

James Marco, WMG

As part of a Circular Economy for electric vehicle battery systems, as the number of such vehicles increases rapidly, the need to find the best way to reuse and recycle vehicle batteries becomes just as intense.

In partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Future Transport Systems and Videre Global, researchers at WMG, University of Warwick, have found a way not just to recycle those used batteries, but repurpose them as small energy storage systems (ESS) for off grid locations in developing countries or isolated communities.

The repurposed units, each containing approximately 2kWh of energy capacity, will be able to power a small shop, a farm holding, or multiple residential homes.

WMG’s Professor James Marco who was lead researcher on the project said:

“When an electric vehicle’s battery reaches the end of its useful life it is by no means massively depleted. It has simply reached the end of its useful life in a vehicle.

"It is generally accepted that an EV battery has reached end of life when its capacity drops to 80% of a fresh battery. While this is no longer enough to satisfy drivers, it remains immensely useful for anyone who seeks to use the battery in a static situation.”

While such partially depleted batteries remain potentially very useful to other users there are still challenges to overcome, particularly to ensure that they can be used reliably, sustainably, and cheaply in remote locations. These challenges include:

· How to protect the lithium-ion cells from over-charge and discharge

· Can the ESS be made compatible with a variety of other used battery cells and modules from other manufacturers

· How to keep it low cost and easy maintenance, while providing an interface that is easy to use and understand

The WMG team, at the University of Warwick, set about overcoming these challenges with the help of the WMG HVM Catapult and Jaguar Land Rover who supplied batteries and components from the Jaguar I-PACE, their first all-electric performance SUV. The team designed a new Battery Management System (BMS) and packaging that allowed them to create a working and easily portable prototype ESS which included:

• The use of standard low cost components for control, communication and safety functions. All parts were either sourced from the JLR service department or were low cost components purchased from any electrical retailer.

• The ability to use different modules that could be interchanged within the 2nd-life system without having to recalibrate the whole BMS

• Enough energy for a small shop, farm holding or multiple residential homes

• Multiple 12V DC sockets and 5V USB charge ports

• The ability to have the 2nd –life module charged via reclaimed laptop chargers

• Simplified control system for easy integration and deployment

Professor James Marco continues:

“This is a great result that not only provides a highly efficient repurposing solution for automotive batteries but which could also change lives in remote communities. We are now looking for support to allow these new units to be further developed and tested in remote or off grid locations.”

The research project was part of the Innovate UK funded Project: 2nd hEVen (2nd-Life Energy Storage Systems) and is supported by the WMG High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.

Mon 12 Aug 2019, 10:04 | Tags: HVM Catapult Research Battery Systems Engineering

WMG Professor takes on new role as Chair of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine

Professor Caroline MeyerWMG Professor of Applied Psychology, Caroline Meyer, has been appointed as the new Chair of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine for the University of Warwick

Professor Meyer will take up her new role when the current Chair of Faculty, Professor Mike Shipman, steps down over the summer.

Professor Meyer joined WMG at the University of Warwick from Loughborough University. With over 20 years experience in mental health and wellbeing, Professor Meyer sits on the Coventry Health and Wellbeing Board and West Midlands Combined Authority Board. She has also worked extensively with industry, from SMEs to multi-nationals, and third sector organisations, including internationally.

At WMG, Professor Meyer launched a new team focusing on Applied Psychology. This involves the application of psychological theory and techniques (including decision-making and cognitive and behavioural change) to improve mental health, workforce productivity and product innovation. The group also delivers fusion science research-led education programmes.

Professor Meyer will manage this new role alongside her current research responsibilities within WMG.

The role of the Faculty Chair

In addition to chairing the Board of the Faculty, Chairs of Faculties serve on a range of committees at the University, and are responsible for promoting the policies, programmes and procedures within their respective Faculty. Faculty Chairs are also a source of support and act as ‘first port of call’ for Heads of Department and Research Centres in the relevant Faculty and inform and influence the Faculty on key decisions affecting it and the University.

Faculty Chairs are also engaged in the appointment processes for key academic posts within the Faculty. Chairs serve ex officio on the following formal bodies: Senate, Steering Committee, Research Committee, Honorary Degrees Committee, Academic Quality and Standards Committee, Capital, Space and Amenities Group, the Academic Resourcing Committee, and might also act as Chair of the Investigating Committee and Appeals Committee.

New robotic laser measurement system improves and accelerates automotive quality inspection

Engineers at WMG at the University of Warwick have developed and installed a new, robotic measuring system, capable of accurately and repeatedly measuring large objects on the production line, such as car body-shells, in a fraction of the time traditionally taken to measure them on co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs).

The system, installed in WMG’s International Manufacturing Centre, comprises of a large long reach robotic arm - supplied by Kuka - mounted on a 5m track, and is designed to accept a range of different, non-contact measurement technologies.

Ercihan Kiraci controlling the laser

The Nikon Metrology’s Laser Radar, which is a long stand-off laser measurement system, is the first of such technologies to be trialled. It is capable of accuracies better than a hundredth of a millimetre, over distances of several meters.

The two technologies combined, offer a fast and accurate solution for automotive quality control, with particular relevance to car body-shell measurement, whether in a metrology lab or, as is becoming increasingly desirable, on the actual production line itself.

Professor Mark Williams, Head of the Product Evaluation Technologies Group at WMG commented:Mike Donnelly and Ercihan Kiraci operating the laser

“The scale and flexibility of our new robotic measurement system, housed in the same metrology lab as our benchmark twin column CMM, gives us a unique capability within a UK university. Not only can we trial state of the art measurement technologies in a real-world application, but we can also verify system performance against what is currently the gold-standard (for automotive measurement), fully ISO calibrated CMM. This means that we can work with our industry research partners to both integrate technologies and trial solutions, in a controlled and independent environment, and ultimately, help them select and deploy the right measurement solutions for their businesses.”

Lead Engineer Ercihan Kiraci, responsible for the delivery of the project, explains:

Researchers from left to right - Mike Donnelly, Prof Mark Williams and Ercihan Kiraci“With increasing levels of automation in high value manufacturing, vehicle producers are focusing significant effort on collection and use of data for process optimisation. WMG offers a range of relevant measurement technologies, 10+ years of experience in the field, and a strong focus on Industry 4.0 methodologies, making it an ideal testbed for new in-process inspection solutions. The set-up at WMG provides a unique opportunity for collaboration between OEMs, technology providers and researchers, to address manufacturing quality challenges.”

The speed, accuracy and flexibility of the new system, combined, have the potential to bring metrology lab measurement capabilities to the shop floor without slowing down or disrupting the production line, along with real-time quality data aiding rapid decision making and issue resolution. In the future, this could be taken a step further, with the measurement data being fed directly back into the manufacturing process, which would in turn, self-correct and optimise without the need for human intervention. But this will only be possible with the speed of measurement that the new system (and others like it) will deliver.

Whilst the self-optimising production line may still be a few years away, in the short term car manufacturers (and those in other industry sectors, such as aerospace) can expect to significantly reduce the number of out-of-spec vehicles needing re-work at the end of the production line, or making their way to the customer, only to be recalled at great expense.


For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221


Thu 08 Aug 2019, 09:44 | Tags: Metrology Research

WMG Professor takes on new role as Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (North America)

Professor Carsten MapleWMG Professor of Cyber Security Engineering and Director of Research in Cyber Security Carsten Maple has been appointed as Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (North America) for the University of Warwick.

In his new role, Carsten will work closely with Professor Mike Shipman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), to extend and deepen the relationships with the University’s partners in North America, and to pursue opportunities for funding, student mobility, and research and teaching collaboration.

Professor Maple explained: “I am passionate about the international agenda having been a visiting professor at four institutions overseas, and participated in three government-sponsored missions to the United States. I am delighted to be undertaking this important role.”

Commenting on the new role, Professor Chris Ennew, University of Warwick Provost, said:

“Carsten’s profile, skills and experience make him the ideal person to undertake this crucial role to develop University-level strategic partnerships in North America. The appointment of Carsten to the role of Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for North America is a key step towards delivery of the University’s Internationalisation Strategy.”

Professor Simon Swain, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) said: “Carsten’s appointment is an enormous boost to the International team and we are all looking forward to working with him on our hugely ambitious goals in North America.”

Professor Maple is a co-lead of the Cyber Security GRP and the Principal Investigator of the NCSC-EPSRC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research at the University and the Transport & Mobility lead of the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers has provided evidence and advice to governments and organisations across the world, including being a high-level scientific advisor for cyber security to the European Commission. He is a member of various national and international boards and expert groups, is Immediate Past Chair of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing in the UK and a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute.

Professor Maple will manage this new role alongside his current research responsibilities within WMG.

Fri 02 Aug 2019, 11:48 | Tags: Carsten Maple Athena Swan Cyber Security

WMG showcased as part of Australian ministerial visit

As part of an Australian delegation’s visit to the UK, Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Transport Accident Commission (TAC), The Hon Jaala Pulford MP, was welcomed to WMG, University of Warwick on Monday 29th July.

The delegation, including members of the Transport Accident Commission and the Victoria Police, are considering types of technology and innovation to pursue across vehicle, enforcement and infrastructure in the development of its Towards Zero post 2020 strategy.

Visitors explored international best practice and innovation in the context of the project, with the initiative aiming to reduce serious road trauma through innovative transport systems.

Greeted by Professor David Mullins, Interim Head of Department at WMG, the Minister took a tour around WMG’s world-class facilities, including its International Manufacturing Centre (IMC), Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) and newly-opened National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC).

Appointed Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Transport Accident Commission in December 2018, The Hon Jaala Pulford MP is now looking at how different jurisdictions are meeting the road safety leadership challenge and, commenting on today’s visit to WMG, she said:

“We’ve had an invaluable visit to WMG today. There’s a great energy to the partnership between industry and research as we all strive to gain the benefits of connection and automation to safety and congestion management. WMG has given us much to reflect on.”

The Victorian Towards Zero 2016 - 2020 Strategy and Action Plan maps out a plan for Victorian road safety partners to work towards a 20% reduction in deaths and 15% reduction in serious injuries in five years. Professor David Mullins, Interim Head of Department at WMG added:

“It was a pleasure to welcome the Victorian Minister and her delegation to WMG. This provided an opportunity for us to showcase the pioneering work we are doing. We were able to highlight our cutting-edge technology and the infrastructure we’ve built here to successfully run our portfolio of transport-based projects and initiatives.

“This visit was about gathering intelligence to explore innovative technologies and strategies that can reduce the risk of serious road trauma. Being involved in such an important activity and sharing WMG’s expertise and facilities with the world is extremely important.”

Thu 01 Aug 2019, 11:10 | Tags: Intelligent Vehicles VIP Visits

New Malaysian High Commissioner visits WMG

New Malaysian High Commissioner visits WMGProfessor David Mullins, Interim Head of Department (at WMG), was pleased to welcome His Excellency Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany, the Malaysian High Commissioner to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, yesterday (Tuesday 30 July).

Accompanied by University of Warwick Provost Christine Ennew, and WMG’s Director of Client and Business Development, Dr Kogila Balakrishnan, and Business Development Director, Sue Parr, His Excellency was given a tour of WMG’s world-class facilities.

He was especially keen to hear more about WMG’s technology research and collaborative industrial activities including the newly-opened National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC).

Professor David Mullins explained: “We were delighted to welcome the new Malaysian High Commissioner His Excellency Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany on his first visit to WMG and the University of Warwick.

New Malaysian High Commissioner visits WMG“We have had an excellent long and sustained relationship with Malaysia and its key companies and universities. It was very good to be able to show the High Commissioner and his team our research innovations from smart and connected vehicles and digital forensics to energy and electrification. We also had wide-ranging discussions on the importance of industry-engaged education, including Degree Apprenticeships.”


Wed 31 Jul 2019, 13:11 | Tags: Visits VIP Visits

Top Hong Kong entrepreneur receives Honorary Doctorate from University of Warwick

  • Professor Roy Chung co-founded TTI, a global market leader in power equipment, and has been called the “King of Power Drills”
  • An alumnus and Industrial Professor at the University of Warwick, he says the institution encourages “entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative ideas – what an entrepreneur needs”
  • Professor Chung says he learned a lot from WMG and founder Professor Lord Bhattacharyya – “a visionary leader” who was his “lifetime mentor”
  • His advice on how to succeed: “stay focused in your area, and be innovative, creative. Think of something new.”

One of Hong Kong’s top entrepreneurs, Professor Roy Chung, has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Warwick UK – his alma mater, and an institution with which he has forged many significant links throughout his career.

Crowned by the media as the ‘King of Power Drills’, Professor Chung co-founded Techtronic Industries Company Limited in 1985, a company that has become an international market leader in power equipment and owns numerous global brands.

Professor Chung is highly dedicated to the advancement of the Hong Kong industry, and was Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and is now its Honorary President. He won the Young Industrialist Award of Hong Kong in 1997, and was further awarded the Industrialist of the Year in 2014.
He was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star and Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2017 and 2011 respectively. He was also appointed as Justice of Peace in 2005.
Professor Chung holds positions at universities across the world, including his role as Industrial Professor in WMG at the University of Warwick, where he also holds a Doctorate Degree of Engineering.
On becoming an Honorary Doctor of Science at the University of Warwick Summer Graduation ceremonies this week, Professor Chung commented:
“I feel very happy and very honoured to receive such a prestigious award from my alma mater, such an esteemed University.”
He talked about how Warwick encourages “entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative ideas – this is a good combination of what an entrepreneur needs.”

Professor Chung says his success is based on three factors: his sense of entrepreneurship, meeting his business partner, and “in the early 1990s I had the good chance to study the Integrated Graduate Development Scheme of WMG [University of Warwick] in Hong Kong – and that is how I came to know Professor Lord Bhattacharyya. Since then, he was my lifetime mentor.”
“With what I learned from this course, it gave me experience of how to do manufacturing better, and a global perspective.”

He has worked closely with the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, founder of WMG at the University of Warwick, on many projects through the years - including the establishment of a partnership between WMG and the Vocational Training Council in Hong Kong.
“What Professor Lord Bhattacharyya taught me was decision-making, entrepreneurship,” he reflected.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya was a visionary leader – I learned a lot from him. The Integrated Graduate Development Scheme was brought to Hong Kong by him, and through this programme I learned a lot, it opened my mind set. This course is very important to me.”
Professor Roy Chung is an advocate for vocational education and lifelong learning. On the importance of a quality technical education, like that offered at WMG, University of Warwick, he said:
“The concept of having work skills and academic knowledge as equally important – focusing on both of these areas – is the future. Work skills together with academic knowledge are very important, and that is what WMG is doing.
“The Integrated Graduate Development Scheme programme [launched by WMG in 1990] changed me into another person,” he continued.

Professor Chung established the Bright Future Charitable Foundation, which provides education, training and travelling opportunities for students across Hong Kong, mainland China and at the University of Warwick. He talked about what motivated him to set up the Foundation:
“I had very humble start. I was not very well educated in the beginning – I didn’t finish high school because of my family’s financial situation. Nowadays, there is a knowledge economy, so it is very important to gain knowledge […] so I really encourage young people to gain more knowledge – both academic knowledge and work skills.
“That’s why I try to sponsor some of the students who may not be doing well in academic areas but can still take up some kind of vocational training. Some people who do very well in vocational training, and I hope they can do something in academic areas – so I support them.
“That’s why I started this foundation […] I think that every young person should have a brighter future.”
Professor Dave Mullins, Interim Head of WMG at the University of Warwick, commented:
“I am thrilled to welcome Professor Roy Chung back to WMG. He is a person who embodies our founder Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s vision of combining academic greatness with industrial innovation – and we are very proud of him.
“Professor Chung has achieved huge successes in business and industry, and he now uses his talents to help young people follow in his footsteps. His story is an inspiration to all of our students and graduates.
“I congratulate him warmly on becoming an Honorary Doctorate of Science, and look forward to our continued collaboration.”
Professor Chung shared some advice on how to succeed in life:
“Stay focused in your area, and be innovative, creative. Also, get ready for your future challenges. Studying at Warwick is to prepare yourself and get ready for those future challenges. Think of something new.”
Listen to the full podcast here.

Fri 26 Jul 2019, 16:59 | Tags: Education

Graduation day for WMG students

Congratulations to all of the brilliant WMG students who graduated at the University of Warwick’s Summer Ceremony this week.

This year a total of 294 Master’s and Postgraduate Research students graduated from across WMG.

There were 266 Master’s students made up of 193 UK and overseas full-time students, and a further 73, from the part-time Master's programme.

A further 28 graduated from the Postgraduate Research programme including six EngD, 19 PhD and three Master's by Research students.

Professor David Mullins, Acting Head of WMG said: “It was a delight for us to honour the achievements of our new graduates at the degree congregation. It is a wonderful day of celebration for our students, with their family and friends, as they leave their studies to embark on the next stage of their careers.

Dr Roy Cheung Honorary Doctor of Science“We wish them all the very best for their futures and the impact that each will make on their companies and communities.”

Professor Mullins added: “All of us at WMG are very proud of our alumni including Dr Roy Cheung who was also honoured at the ceremony and presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science. Dr Cheung also gave a stirring speech to our graduates on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

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