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Norton Motorcycles supports student electric motorcycle research with WMG, University of Warwick

§ Norton Motorcycles engineers have supported students at WMG, University of Warwick to develop a TT capable electric racing motorcycle, named ‘Frontier’

§ This includes donating a high performance bike frame and data to students undertaking research into study of electric motorcycles at WMG, University of Warwick

§ Students adapted the sports bike platform to run a specially developed electric powertrain rated with a power output of 160kW/201bhp and 400Nm torque

§ Immersion-cooled 16kWh battery pack is the first of its kind for application on a motorcycle, with battery cases manufactured using advanced laser-welding technology to deliver structural integrity and maximise reliability and repeatability.

The Norton Motorcycle Co Ltd is proud to support students at the University of Warwick who are researching the future of electric racing motorcycles. The group of students undertaking the project are aided by the donation of a sports bike frame by Norton Motorcycles, which has been adapted by the student team to be fitted with an electric powertrain, with batteries and control systems designed in-house.

The group of 13 students at WMG, University of Warwick – made up of cross-functional team from first- to final-year degree students, with the support of some EngD students – are joined by a selection of leading academics, engineers and researchers representing WMG, at the University. On-campus research has been reinforced with input, support, mentoring and technical guidance from Norton’s own designers and engineers, further to the supply of the frame.

The finished electric racing bike next to a model of the Norton Motorcycles frame it is built on. The full team from left to right are: Robert Driver – Battery Testing & Characterisation Engineer, David Cooper – Precision Engineer at WMG, Professor Dave Greenwood - CEO of WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Tom Weeden – the professional rider for the team, Lee-Rose Jordan – Project Manager, Student Projects at WMG, Malcolm Swain – Lead Engineer a WMG, Martin Neczaj – Chief Chassis Engineer at Norton Motorcycles, James Grohmann –Lead Design Engineer (Student), Aman Surana – Chief Engineer of Warwick Moto team (Student)The research team supported by WMG Centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult have developed an electric motorcycle powertrain, using a high performance sports model as a platform. The electric powertrain designed to work in the Norton frame is rated with a power output of 160kW or 201bhp, and delivering 400Nm of torque from a standing start. The acceleration and speed characteristics of the electric bike in motion roughly translate into a combustion-engine equivalent of around 900cc to 1,000cc – only slightly less than Norton’s own petrol powertrain, they have called the bike Frontier.

The electric motor draws power from an immersion-cooled battery pack that has been designed and tested by the students and is the first of its kind for application in an electric motorcycle. The battery with a capacity of 16 kWh is designed to last longer with the application of robust thermal management strategies, while also allowing for larger short term power peaks required by a racing motorbike.

In addition, the cooling system will enable the team to operate at a more efficient temperature range by optimising the starting temperature of the dielectric fluid prior to a race or testing, based on the requirements of the track.

The battery can be recharged with the common CHAdeMO connector, facilitating fast charging where available and allowing for a full charge of the battery in around an hour (up to 80% from empty in just 32 minutes). These impressive figures have supported the testing and development of the electric bike prototype, with research teams able to maximise riding time on the track thanks to reduced charging times, allowing for further track-side development and optimisation with the help of a fully instrumented bike.

The battery case was manufactured using laser welding techniques developed at WMG, The University of Warwick, a manufacturing process that is easily repeatable for potential serial production, while also incorporating process-control to maximise reliability and strength of the joints.

Students have been able to craft a functioning electric motorcycle based on the Norton frame in just seven months. The project began in October 2020 with the donation of the frame and associated parts, with students working hard to realise their goal alongside studying for their degrees. The bike has undergone significant testing including much computer-based validation such as CFD of battery cooling, modelling around thermal management, along with physical testing of cells and modules – whilst constantly reviewing engineering decisions to minimise and mitigate the risk of failure.

Aman Surana, Chief Engineer of the Warwick Moto team, said:
“Ever since we started the Warwick Moto project, the overall goal has always been around learning and enhancing our engineering experience. We have gained practical experience in our research that is required to deliver a real-world project, along with balancing considerations such as tight budgets and deadlines, while learning logistics and everything around delivering an industry project. This has made us all the more proud with the way the Frontier looks.

“To have access to Norton’s engineering team, years of experience and data has been a great resource, integral to the design of the bike. Combining the motorcycling knowledge from Norton, with the leading research at WMG, University of Warwick has been a fantastic learning opportunity for all students involved. We’re very excited to see what this collaboration leads to.”

Dr Robert Hentschel, CEO of Norton Motorcycles, said:
“We are thrilled to be able to support the engineers of the future, who are developing tomorrow’s technology today on the basis of a Norton frame. Our support by means of donation of the frame is just the beginning. Norton’s team of designers and engineers have been very interested to observe how this project is taking shape, supporting the student team wherever possible with advice and guidance.

Follow the Warwick Moto team’s journey:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/warwick.moto/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/warwickmotoracing/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/warwick-moto/

ENDS

30 JUNE 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res image available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/junes_2021/wmg---norton_pr_002.jpg
Caption: The finished electric racing bike ‘Frontier’ next to a model of the Norton Motorcycles frame it is built on. The full team from left to right are: Robert Driver – Battery Testing & Characterisation Engineer, David Cooper – Precision Engineer at WMG, Professor Dave Greenwood - CEO of WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Tom Weeden – the professional rider for the team, Lee-Rose Jordan – Project Manager, Student Projects at WMG, Malcolm Swain – Lead Engineer a WMG, Martin Neczaj – Chief Chassis Engineer at Norton Motorcycles, James Grohmann –Lead Design Engineer (Student), Aman Surana – Chief Engineer of Warwick Moto team (Student)
Credit: Norton Motorcycles

About Norton Motorcycles

Norton Motorcycles was founded in 1898 as a manufacturer of fittings and parts to the two-wheel trade.

Norton Motorcycles went on to become one of the most iconic British motorcycle brands, manufacturing famous models such as the 650SS, Atlas, Commando, Dominator, Manx, Navigator and more – constantly innovating in motorcycle technology, with features advantageous for lightness and strength in motorcycle racing. Norton Motorcycles has an unrivalled history in motorsport and the brand name is synonymous with Isle of Man TT racing.

In April 2020, Norton Motorcycles was acquired by TVS Motor Company, India’s third-largest motorcycle manufacturer. Under the leadership of TVS, Norton is based out of a new manufacturing facility in Solihull, West Midlands, building British bikes in England using traditional hand-crafted techniques with modern day machinery for consistently high quality.

 

About Warwick Moto

Warwick Moto is a student led project, with the ultimate aim of creating an electric motorbike to race at the Isle of Man TT. Despite the temporary moratorium of the TT Zero, the team’s ambitions to develop a leading electric motorcycle remain. Originally based on the Honda Fireblade platform, the team switched to a Norton platform in October 2020 for their first electric motorcycle.

The group of 13 students at the University of Warwick, is made up of a cross-functional team from first- to final-year degree students, with the support of some EngD students from different disciplines across the University. They are joined by a selection of leading academics, engineers and researchers representing WMG, University of Warwick.

2016 Senior Manx GP winner, Tom Weeden is the development rider for the team with experience both on track and road racing events. Tom has been an integral part throughout the development process.

The project is possible thanks to sponsors: WMG University of Warwick, WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Norton Motorcycles, DYMAG Performance Wheels, Michelin Tyre PLC, MIVOLT Immersion Cooling by M&I Materials, PWR Advanced Cooling Technology, laserlines Ltd., Xometry Europe, RS Components, Embed Limited, HEL Performance, Renthal, R&G Racing, Rock West Composites, Pro-Bolt & Wraptastic.

 

For further information please contact:

NORTON MOTORCYCLES:

Andrew Roberts
E-mail: andrew@influenceassociates.com 
Tel: +44 (0) 7432 718 801

UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

Wed 30 Jun 2021, 10:47 | Tags: Education Partnerships

Made Smarter launches £1.9 million digital scheme with WMG to help West Midlands SMEs

Image Made SmarterMade Smarter has launched a £1.9 million digital adoption push to drive growth in West Midlands manufacturing and engineering SMEs and help them boost productivity.

Digital experts will provide advice to businesses on how to switch to advanced and automated technologies as well as working to improve employees’ overall digital skills.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub is leading the one-year Made Smarter scheme with its fellow Growth Hubs in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, the Black Country, Worcestershire Business Central, The Marches, and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The West Midlands Growth Hubs are working closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority and their strategic partners WMG, at the University of Warwick and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry to tap into the expertise of their digital manufacturing specialists.

Professor David Greenwood, CEO of WMG HVM Catapult centre, comments:
“Digitalisation for smaller companies needs a different approach than for larger companies. It isn’t about purchasing multi-million pound software systems – it’s about improvements in design tools, manufacturing, digitalising legacy plant and equipment and integration to supply chain systems.

“We are delighted to bring the expertise of WMG and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to help transform the productivity of SMEs who are so critical to the West Midlands regional economy.”

Craig Humphrey, managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said there are potentially 14,500 SME manufacturers in the region who could benefit from the National Made Smarter Movement. He said:
“All the Growth Hubs in the West Midlands are working together to contact SMEs in our areas who will benefit from this practical help.

“Digital technology can appear daunting and with the day-to-day efforts of owners and senior management teams to keep their businesses going during the pandemic, this kind of activity needs to be pushed to the upper end of their priorities.

“But we believe it is key to help SMEs in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector to run more efficiently for their long-term future success.

“The Growth Hubs will be assessing each business that applies to make sure we provide them with the kind of specialist support they need, which in Coventry and Warwickshire could be in the fields of robotics and automation, and artificial intelligence since we are working with WMG and the MTC.

“We will then help SMEs to develop an action plan for adopting digital technology in their own detailed roadmap, which could involve participating in a leadership training programme, being offered a student placement, or receiving a match funded grant.

“The National Made Smarter Movement aims to entice SMEs that are not often reached through the usual business programmes and services, by transforming the digital tools within their companies, which in addition to upskilling their staff and creating jobs, will benefit the regional economy.”

Charlotte Horobin, Make UK Region Director – Midlands & East of England, said:
“The roll out of the Made Smarter Adoption programme across the West Midlands is great news for manufacturers, which we and our members welcome.

“Our 2020 Innovation Monitor highlighted that 18% of manufacturers in the West Midlands were not adopting industrial digital technologies, which we hope the programme will help address. Digital take-up will be key to boosting productivity as we come out of the current COVID crisis, creating more highly paid jobs and underpinning the region’s competitiveness.”

Neill Smith, Head of Manufacturing Support Services at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, said that the Made Smarter scheme perfectly complements its ongoing work to support manufacturing SMEs increase productivity, develop resilience, increase competitiveness and, ultimately, grow their business.

He said: “We help introduce digital systems to SMEs, that capture the right information at the right time, to enable them to make the right decisions and manage their companies more efficiently.

“From supporting the adoption of process control automation, robotics, and digitalisation tools, to helping SMEs with data or system integration and the adoption of augmented and virtual reality tools, we’re supporting companies to use digital data to drive digitally controlled equipment in the latest methods of manufacture.”

To register and find out more information, please visit http://bit.ly/MadeSmarterWestMidlands

ENDS

22 JUNE 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

To find out more about MadeSmarter visit http://bit.ly/MadeSmarterWestMidlands

Made Smarter is a national movement to drive growth amongst UK makers and advance the UK economy. Backed by world renowned businesses and the UK government, it will improve the development and adoption of emerging technologies. Making a real, everyday difference to people from the boardroom to the factory floor.

Made Smarter was formed following a nationwide review into UK manufacturing that recommended three key changes: More ambitious leadership. More innovation in developing new technologies. And faster implementation and adoption of those technologies. We’ll be boosting the digital skills of industry leaders, bringing businesses and research development together to develop new technology, and helping makers embrace new digital tools. In doing so, we’ll inspire the next industrial revolution and make the UK a leader in digital technologies.

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

Tue 22 Jun 2021, 13:44 | Tags: SME HVM Catapult Partnerships

The Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya building crowned best workplace in the UK

Picture of the Prof Lord Bhattacharyya BuildingThe Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya building, home to the National Automotive Innovation Centre, at the University of Warwick, has been crowned the best workplace in the UK, in the Innovation category, at the prestigious British Council for Offices (BCO) awards.

 

The BCO Awards, recognises the highest quality developments in the UK and sets the standard for excellence in both the regional and national office sector.

As a Midlands and Central England regional award winner, the building was then crowned the national Innovation Award winner, at a virtual ceremony last night (Thursday 10th June).

 

Named in honour of Britain’s first ever Professor of Manufacturing, the Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building houses the National Automotive Innovation Centre; a multimillion-pound centre, founded by WMG, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors which is well timed, arriving when a global mobility revolution is underway, and aiming to be a stimulus to the rebirth of an optimistic new age of manufacturing in the Midlands to develop future vehicles and mobility solutions.

 

Fronted by a dramatic elevation, the 33,000m2 building has been sensitively designed for engineers, designers and academics to work together in, with a variety of spaces allowing for both privacy and collaboration. A timber roof spans the structure of the building, demonstrating the sustainable credentials of a facility that cannot but inspire.

 

Executive Chair of WMG, Margot James comments: “I’m thrilled that the Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building has been recognised in this way, it is a great tribute to the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s vision. Having a building that inspires designers, engineers and academics to develop the next generation of transport is excellent news for our partners and the region. The Midlands is the beating heart of automotive in the UK, and the National Automotive Innovation Centre, will be the driving force behind future innovation in transport mobility.”

James Breckon, Director of Estates, at the University of Warwick, comments: “It is great to see this new building being recognised by other professionals and is testament to the wealth of architectural and engineering talent that was brought together to deliver this exemplary sustainable building. It brilliantly draws Industry and Academia together providing an inspirational environment to innovative within. As a landmark building it has transformed the campus at the University of Warwick and is a fitting legacy to the late Prof Lord Bhattacharyya.”

Carol Costello, Practice Leader at Cullinan Studio who led on the interior and workplace design added: “It’s been our pleasure to engage with all the organisations using the NAIC. We had deep discussions about how to create an environment that would foster innovation, creativity and collaboration. The finished building is the result of many passionate conversations to create a truly inspiring place.”

Thu 10 Jun 2021, 21:40 | Tags: NAIC Partnerships

Lead-acid battery lifespan to be increased for use in energy storage systems

· Lead-acid batteries are an established alternative to Li-ion batteries as they are simpler safer to use and are recyclable

· How to increase the lifespan and health of batteries will be researched by WMG, University of Warwick, in collaboration with Loughborough University. This research will make lead acid batteries stronger contender for both commercial and domestic energy storage systems

· Researchers will be using AI to optimise the batteries for energy storage solutions rather than focusing on the battery chemistry

WMG's Energy Innovation CentreEnergy storage systems (ESS) are used in decentralised and complex electricity networks; lead-acid batteries could be a clean and green option for ESS. Researchers from WMG University of Warwick and Loughborough University will investigate how to optimise the management of lead-acid batteries in ESS use.

Europe’s energy storage transition over the last few years has witnessed tremendous growth, increasing from 0.55 GWh 2016 to 5.26 GWh by the end of 2020, with front-of-the-meter deployments such as those by utilities leading the way, representing more than 50% of installed capacity.

These energy storage systems require high-performing, reliable and affordable batteries to ensure the smooth generation and storage of energy for regional and national electrical grids.

The health and lifespan of lead-acid batteries will be optimised in the project HALO-SMART-ESS-LAB (Health and Lifespan Optimization with Smart Manager Algorithms and Recuperative Testing of Energy Storage Systems of Lead-Acid Batteries).

The aim of the project, which is funded by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI), is to achieve significant improvements in cycle life and operational health of lead-acid batteries in energy storage systems (ESS), thereby opening new doors in integrating renewable energy sources into low carbon energy systems.

Extending the lifespan of the batteries will reduce the cost of the overall system, making lead batteries more attractive for domestic, commercial and industrial applications. As well as being cost effective, lead batteries are much safer than Li-ion batteries in terms of health and safety and fire hazards risks, and are widely and fully recyclable.

Researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick will be working with Loughborough University, to focus on application and system operation levels, rather than on internal battery chemistry or technology levels. Existing state-of-the-art battery types such as VRLA AGM batteries will be tested under different cycling profiles to explore in-depth:

· The use of appropriately spaced recuperative charging (overcharging)

· Deeper understanding of the ripple current effect on the ESS

· The use of additional on-line battery voltage monitoring or full BMS

· Applying deep learning algorithms and AI to achieve optimised control strategies decreasing wear-out and failure of battery modules.

 

Principal Investigator, Professor Richard McMahon from WMG, University of Warwick comments: “Energy Storage Systems are a key solution to more decentralised and complex electricity networks, as they can support their stability and maximise the utilisation of renewable generation capacity. We are therefore looking at how we can maximise the cycle life of lead-acid batteries to get the most out of them and make them cheaper and greener for all kinds of renewable energy uses.”

Professor Dani Strickland from Loughborough University adds:

“The availability of low-cost powerful microprocessors is fuelling an explosion in our capability to monitor, understand and impact battery degradation in real world situations at low cost. This project is exciting because it will use expertise in the partner organisations to transition lead acid batteries to the world of big data and smart energy storage.”

CBI’s Technical Manager, Dr Matt Raiford, said: “This kind of collaborative research with universities is exactly what the lead battery industry needs. Working with leading institutions to deliver new insights and modelling techniques for lead battery energy storage is critical for the wider industry to continue their foray into the utility grid storage market.”

ENDS

7 JUNE 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available at:
https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/may_2021/mcmahon_1.jpg
Caption: Isolated multichannel battery and cell voltage measuring circuit for use in series strings
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

Video available to view at: https://biteable.com/watch/2966892/32fa5ade7e8821ec12ec53c21b9b57e4

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

Mon 07 Jun 2021, 10:38 | Tags: HVM Catapult Energy Systems Partnerships

Online museum exhibitions will be more prominent post COVID-19

  • During the COVID-19 lockdowns in England, many shops and services shut their doors, including museums
  • Museums still had to keep their audience interested despite being closed, and therefore moved into the digital world
  • The success of online museum exhibitions have been analysed by researchers from WMG, University of Warwick, highlighting how museums have maintained engagement with audiences
  • Researchers have however highlighted online exhibition successes, that should be maintained post-COVID, therefore changing the way museums traditionally work

When museums closed their doors in March 2020 for the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK a majority moved their activities online to keep their audiences interested. Researchers from WMG, University of Warwick have worked with OUMNH, to analyse the success of the exhibitions, and say the way museums operate will change forever.

The cultural impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been analysed by researchers from WMG, University of Warwick in collaboration with OUMNH (Oxford University Museum of Natural History) who in the paper, ‘Digital Responses of UK Museum Exhibition to the COVID-19 Crisis March-June 2020 published in the journal Curator: The Museum Journal, have analysed the success of online museum exhibitions, and investigated what the future of Museums holds.Picture: Compton Verney’s homepage for the Cranach exhibition which opened in March 2020

Researchers analysed 21 museums who had temporary exhibitions due to open between March and June 2020, and decided to go ahead with the exhibition virtually. The analysis included noting how COVID was considered, how content was presented, and discussing themes of access, embodiment, and human connection.

The research team found that in May-June museums had more online content for their exhibitions, suggesting there was time to prepare the transfer of exhibition online. All exhibitions were different, with some hosting podcasts, some doing filmed walk-arounds and some hosting a virtual room where you click on exhibits.

Although digital exhibitions were a success, researchers concluded online exhibitions do not provide the same social and embodied experience as the physical museum, as you miss the travelling there, welcome from staff, chatting with other visitors and the gift shop or coffee shop after.

They did however highlight that extra material was provided for online content which isn’t traditionally presented in the museum, this included behind the scenes videos for example. Researchers say this suggests museums were trying to give their audiences some exclusives that they would not receive from a normal visit.

Lead Author, PhD Student Ellie King from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

“The COVID-19 lockdowns have created a crucial turning point in the Museum sector, as they now see themselves working in a physical-digital overlap. It is interesting to note how in being forced to shut, museums focused their online provisions around existing physical exhibitions.

“Museums and galleries will continue to adapt in light of a post‐COVID world where practices, both digital and physical, will undoubtedly shift. It is important to see the digital exhibition world as an opportunity to provide unseen materials and attract audiences who may not be able to visit in person.”

Although it’s likely there will be more online material generated by museums and galleries from now on due to the pandemic, there is the issue of staff having the digital skills to manage a new arena of engagement.

Professor Mark Williams, from WMG, University of Warwick explains:

“One of the major tasks of converting to online is the financial implications, 30% of museums have changed staff tasks to provide services online. Despite this, there are concerns that staff teams are not fully equipped to handle such monumental changes.

“This highlights the practical challenge of enabling the rise of digital content for museums, which will be difficult for the sector in such a stretched resource environment.”

Professor Paul Smith, Director at the Oxford Museum of Natural History adds:

“The first COVID-19 lockdown imposed a real-time stress test on museums, and their ability to respond in an agile way to events. The paper highlights the creative ways in which some museums were able to adapt to the unique and unprecedented circumstances they faced.”

This research is part of a wider interest of the CiMAT team in WMG to engage with subject areas beyond engineering. Based on previous research into User Experience, the research group is seeking to apply concepts into areas of the arts and humanities. The research has blossomed with the collaboration between WMG and Oxford University Museum of Natural History. This research, which analyses how visitors experience museums online, is a welcome starting point. The researchers stress to museums that with this rising atmosphere of change on the horizon, it is important they consider such conceptual issues and evaluate audience needs rigorously when developing online offerings to maintain such cultural importance.

ENDS

12 MAY 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/may_2021/compton_verney_screenshot_.jpg
Caption: Compton Verney’s homepage for the Cranach exhibition which opened in March 2020
Credit: Compton Verney

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

Wed 12 May 2021, 10:43 | Tags: Metrology Partnerships Research

University of Warwick and WMG already on route with today’s CBI demand for “Greener Miles”

Picture of Coventry Very Light Rail carriageThe University of Warwick is not just backing today’s CBI report ‘Greener Miles: Delivering on a net-zero vision for commuting’ – which calls on businesses to shoulder greater responsibility for ensuring their workers adopting greener travel habits – it has already taken action. The University of Warwick is already on route with a two year extensive programme to cut personal car use on campus and therefore reduce emissions. WMG, at the University of Warwick, is also deep into a suite of intense research programmes that will help industry, the public sector and consumers across the UK and beyond find sustainable transport solutions which will cut emissions.

The new report published today (Friday 30th April 2021) by the CBI and KPMG and entitled Greener Miles: Delivering on a net-zero vision for commuting – has proposed a series of recommendations designed to cut travel emissions ahead of the Government’s upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan.  Key among those recommendations is a call for businesses to shoulder greater responsibility for ensuring their workers adopt greener travel habits.  

In fact, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has already teamed up with the University of Warwick on a two-year programme to do just that:

E-scooters, buses on demand, Enterprise Car Club vehicles and the Betterpoints sustainable travel app are just some of the innovative transport projects that form part of this two-year ‘Choose Your Way Warwick’ trial encouraging participants to adopt more sustainable transport choices and receive rewards for greener travel.

The trial will look at how the use of new transport solutions like e-scooters, or a car club can affect travel behaviour and replace traditional car use in and around the University campus area.

The projects include:

  • Voi Technology, the UK’s leading e-scooter operator, has brought e-scooters to the University of Warwick campus as part of a pilot research project to help inform Government e-scooter legislation in the UK and research into micro-mobility.
  • Membership of Enterprise Car Club with access to two low emission Hyundai Ioniq cars, for use by staff, students and the local community (subsidised for staff). The vehicles can be booked for anything from half an hour to a full day. As well as the two car club vehicles, members can also use any of the car club’s 1,400 vehicles around the UK and access the wide range of vehicles from Enterprise’s daily rental fleet.
  • The West Midlands on Demand responsive bus service operates in a similar way to a taxi The convenience of the DRT will make it easier for the local community, staff and students to use public transport where a traditional bus service may not be appropriate.

The University has also made a travel policy commitment sets out that travel by train is to be the default mode of transport for journeys under 6 hours and a departmental ‘green levy’ will be charged for any air travel.

The University of Warwick’s Provost Professor Chris Ennew said of this and all the University’s sustainability initiatives:

“Warwick has always been a forward-facing university and today is no different. We know the way ahead has to lead to a better, more sustainable, relationship between people and the planet. As one of the region’s largest employers, we know Warwick has a critical role to play. We have a responsibility as a community and organisation to moderate our individual actions, our research and teaching, and how we run and develop our University. We aim to reach net zero carbon from our direct emissions and the energy we buy by 2030 and to achieve net Zero carbon emissions from emissions arising from procured goods and services by 2050.”

WMG, at the University of Warwick, are also already working with companies and organisations on a range of research programmes to support the sort of sustainable transport that will help deliver the “net-zero vision for commuting” sought in today’s CBI report and the governments Ten Point plan.

Professor David Greenwood, Professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems in WMG said:

“As the UK transitions to net zero carbon by 2050, we must ask whether and how we will commute to work in the future. A personally owned car will not be the only possible answer, and alongside our work on electrifying cars, WMG has strong interests in light rail solutions as well as increasingly autonomous vehicles. Two-wheelers and micromobility will also have a more important role to play, and our research here includes consideration of future regulation and road infrastructure as well as vehicle development and trials. All of these rely on batteries and electrification which also form a significant part of our research portfolio. “

Here are just three of WMG’s sustainable transport research projects:

· Coventry Very Light Rail tours its future home

· Novel e-assisted cargo trike launched (warwick.ac.uk)

· Pod research opens up a swarm of market opportunities for Aurrigo (warwick.ac.uk)

Note for Editors

CBI release: https://www.cbi.org.uk/articles/greener-miles-how-government-and-business-can-work-together-to-reduce-emissions-from-the-commute/

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations
Chief Communications Officer’s Group, University of Warwick
Mobile/Cell: 07767 655860 UK +44 (0)7767 655860 International
Email p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

30th April 2021


Bhattacharyya Award for university/industry collaboration opens for entries

WMG, at the University of Warwick and The Royal Academy of Engineering are inviting entries for a new annual award to celebrate collaboration between UK academics and industry. With a cash prize of £25,000, the Bhattacharyya Award will be presented to the team who best demonstrate how industry and universities can work together. Entries must be submitted by 31 May 2021.

The Bhattacharyya Award is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and was announced in July 2019 and as a tribute to Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya KT CBE FREng FRS, the Regius Professor of Manufacturing at the University of Warwick and founder of WMG.

Starting his career as a graduate apprentice at Lucas Industries, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya became Britain's first ever Professor of Manufacturing. Having seen first-hand how slowly academic advances were translated into real business and social change, he founded WMG in 1980 to help business innovate and help university researchers change our lives. Academic excellence with industrial relevance has always been at the heart of WMG, and today, it is one of the world’s top applied research centres, with a reputation for academic excellence and business results spanning the globe.

The Bhattacharyya Award is open to all UK universities and colleges, which are invited to submit a single entry in this round. Entries may be based on any field but must provide evidence of sustained, strategic collaboration over at least five years that is still active at the point of submission and has spanned multiple projects, grants and activities. The collaboration should be focused around an academic team and one or more declared industrial partners – it should not be restricted to a single lead academic but may reflect a wide institutional partnership.

Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, University of Warwick said “The Bhattacharyya Award amplifies the approach Professor Lord BhattacharyyaPicture of Margot James and Professor Lord Bhattacharyya took in revolutionising how universities research and educate to meet the needs of industry and society. Relevant and impactful research is the product of genuine collaboration; also enabling education programmes that nurture the brightest talent. We are looking forward to seeing a wide range of entries which exemplify the very best of university/industry collaboration.”

Science Minister, Amanda Solloway said: "We are extremely proud to be funding the Bhattacharyya Award, which encourages collaboration between our fantastic universities and businesses. By working hand-in-hand, academic advances can be quickly translated to industry, bringing forward game-changing innovations and helping us to build back better from the pandemic."

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, immediate past-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, will chair the judging panel for the Bhattacharyya Award. She said: “Lord Bhattacharyya was a strong advocate of an effective industrial strategy, seeking a revitalisation of skills policy, a growth in apprenticeships, a focus on the impact of research and training and technology partnerships between industry and universities. We hope that this new award will showcase best practice in developing effective collaborations between universities and industry – and inspire productive new partnerships in the future.”

ENDS

27 APRIL 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

Entries for the Bhattacharyya Award must be submitted by 16.00 on Monday 31 May 2021. Full details of the selection criteria and how to apply are available at https://www.raeng.org.uk/grants-prizes/grants/support-for-research/bhattacharyya-award/how-to-apply

For more information please contact:

Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering

E: jane.sutton@raeng.org.uk; T: 020 7766 0636

or

Lisa Harding at WMG, University of Warwick

E: Lisa.Harding@warwick.ac.uk T: 07824 540 845

 

 

Tue 27 Apr 2021, 13:02 | Tags: Partnerships Lord Bhattacharyya

WMG Associate Professor pledges her support to the Jubilee Sailing Trust

Despite the constraints of the COVID19 pandemic WMG Associate Professor, Mairi Macintyre, was still able to fulfil her annual volunteer commitments to the Jubilee Sailing Trust earlier this year.

Mairi has been supporting the sailing charity since 2012 using her annual leave to board the tall ship and enjoy sailing adventures around the world. Over theMairi Macintyre onboard the tall ship past nine years Mairi, alongside mixed ability colleagues, has taken on various roles including that of a bosun’s mate, an engineer and as a general crew member.

In February’s voyage, the Jubilee Sailing Trust hosted Royal Navy cadets for an essential leadership training exercise with crew members (including Mairi) and cadets forming a bubble on a week-long trip from Portsmouth.

Mairi explained: “The ship prioritises the ability to draw out everyone’s potential, we are all different and always stronger as a crew rather than any individual. Finding ways to enable everyone to find their best selves is what the ship does in spades. This lesson to me is so important to bring to my classroom, and it’s just great fun!”

Mairi volunteering with the Jubilee Sailing TrustAs well as a huge personal achievement, Mairi’s vast volunteering has also enabled her to build fantastic relationships with the Trust, and in turn identify some fantastic research opportunities for University of Warwick students.

One such example is the work of WMG student Tanin Aparimarn. In 2019 he was able to work alongside the Trust creating a 3D printed version of a ship, a VR experience and an app tour for mixed ability people to experience what it’s like on board.

Patrick Fleming, Chief Executive, Jubilee Sailing Trust explains: "The Jubilee Sailing Trust has been committed to providing life changing opportunities to disabled and able bodied people of all ages from all walks of life to experience inclusive tall ship voyages for more than four decades. We are determined to ensure that we work with those in further education to provide onshore and on sea experiences that enhance both learning, leadership and employment opportunities."

Find out more about the Jubilee Sailing Trust and volunteer opportunities here: https://jst.org.uk/

Mon 26 Apr 2021, 09:28 | Tags: Partnerships Our People

Fully electric masterclass created for the next generation of engineers

WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre is working with the Smallpeice Trust and the Faraday Institution to create and deliver a Fully Electric Challenge for year 11 students.

The online course has been created by a team of four WMG graduate trainee engineers, including Ben Hunt; Lauren Cooper; Irma Houmadi and Joshua Wallis, with support from the WMG Outreach team.

Picture electric vehicleIt aims to deliver key insights into the battery industry, provide an overview of transport electrification and explain how this translates to wider areas of society.

Students will have the opportunity to design and build an automotive product using engineering concepts and processes, before presenting their designs and ideas to their peers.

The course will also provide details on a variety of STEM career paths that can help contribute to a morePicture of young engineer sustainable future.

Ben Hunt explained: “This is another great event to be involved in which highlights the exciting range of careers in STEM. I hope we manage to capture the multi-disciplinary nature of electrification during the four-day course, it really is a one-stop-workshop!

“It has been great to work alongside some fantastic professionals in designing the event and I’m looking forward to listening to their lectures myself. The event content is derived from their real-world experience across various industries so I am confident students will be as informed as they could be, certainly more than I was in my final school years!”

Lauren Cooper added: One of my favourite parts of my job at WMG is inspiring the engineers of the future by designing and delivering events like the Fully Electric Challenge. I think it is important to give students a taste of how exciting a career in engineering can be, and demonstrate the importance of STEM in the future world. Through the Fully Electric challenge, we aim to show how broad the subject of electrification is including aspects of battery technology, economics and policy for sustainability in transport as well as wider society. STEM careers provide so many opportunities to learn and make impact in society through the development of technology for electrification. Having studied chemistry and started my career as a graduate at WMG, I have really enjoyed learning how underlying battery chemistries are developed manufactured and implemented utilising knowledge and skills from other areas of STEM.”

Each year 124,000 new engineers and technicians are needed to meet current and future demands. The Smallpeice Trust is an educational charity that inspires young people to pursue careers in science and engineering through events and workshops.

It takes place from 9-13th August (except on 12th August - GCSE results day) from 9.30am to 1.30pm. Once registered each student is sent instructions, a guide to the activities and a kit enabling them to build a battery powered vehicle.

To register your place visit: https://www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk/course-page/8cbb5b40-ae76-eb11-a812-0022481a98e1

Tue 20 Apr 2021, 13:26 | Tags: HVM Catapult Partnerships Public engagement Outreach

World’s largest public scenario database for testing and assuring safe Autonomous Vehicle deployments

§ It’s been widely stated that for Autonomous vehicles to be road-ready they have to be tested for at least 11 billion miles

§ For this to be viable virtual road scenarios must contribute towards these miles, and WMG at the University of Warwick and Deepen AI have made a globally accessible database of scenarios for Governments, manufacturers and researchers to test their autonomous vehicle technology

§ The Safety PoolTM Scenario Database and its role in enabling efficient testing will not only provide insights into the safety and readiness of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Automated Driving Systems (ADS), but will also help speed up the adoption of autonomous vehicles globally by providing the largest public scenario database in the world

The Safety PoolTM Scenario Database, the largest public repository of scenarios for testing autonomous vehicles in the world, has been launched today by WMG at the University of Warwick, and Deepen AI.

The database provides a diverse set of scenarios in different operational design domains (ODDs i.e. operating conditions) that can be leveraged byPicture Ego vehicle (in black) is overtaking agent vehicle (red) on a motorway in a sunset condition. governments, industry and academia alike to test and benchmark Automated Driving Systems (ADSs) and use insights to inform policy and regulatory guidelines.

Initial scenarios have been generated using a novel hybrid methodology developed by WMG, at the University of Warwick, using both knowledge-based and data-based approaches. The Safety PoolTM Scenario Database will allow organisations to create scenarios in their own libraries, collaborate with other organisations via both shared and public libraries and enable the public to submit challenging real world scenarios.

Enabling scenarios to be matched to specific environments and operating conditions means that trials and tests can be undertaken in the simulated environment, controlled test facilities and on public roads, with evidence from each environment being used to inform our understanding of safe behaviours, bringing Autonomous Vehicles closer to market at pace.

It is becoming ever more apparent that Autonomous Vehicles and the Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) that they enable are one of today’s most exciting technological advances with industry, academia and governments investing in the research and development of safe and secure Autonomous Vehicles.

CAM will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a global impact on societal issues around road safety, traffic efficiency and emissions.

However, to ensure that Autonomous Vehicles are road-ready and will be safer than the average human driver, it has been suggested that they must be tested on 11 billion miles of roads, an insurmountable goal in the real world. Therefore, the ability to test on virtual roads in simulation environments is paramount for manufacturers and government bodies to ensure safe behaviours and assure that Autonomous Vehicles are a positive influence on road safety. The true test of an Autonomous Vehicles will not be in just the number of miles driven, but also the quality and complexity of those miles, leading to a wide spread industry adoption of a scenario-based testing approach to ensure that the Autonomous Vehicle’s behaviours and capabilities are ready for the real world.

Dr Siddartha Khastgir, from WMG, University of Warwick, holds a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship enabling him to create methods to test autonomous vehicles over a seven year programme, having already worked on the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and Innovate UK funded Midlands Future Mobility, which offers a real-world ecosystem for development and trialling of Connected and Automated Technology as part of the Zenzic coordinated CAM Testbed UK capability and was fundamental in the development of the scenario database which forms the core of Safety PoolTM initiative Siddartha stresses the importance of a global database of scenarios:

“Safety of automated driving systems is a hard research challenge and can only to solved by national and international collaboration and knowledge sharing. With the launch of Safety PoolTM Scenario Database, we are inching closer to seeing automated driving systems on the roads. Testing and validating automated driving systems transparently in an integrated simulation-based framework and in real-world scenarios will not only provide insights into the readiness of ADS, but also speed up the adoption globally. WMG and MFM are grateful for the support of CCAV and Innovate UK in developing the database and we are excited to be at the forefront of this revolution.”

“The Safety PoolTM Scenario Database lays a key foundation stone for autonomous vehicle safety” said Mohammad Musa, CEO & Co-founder of DeepenAgent vehicle (red on the left) is cutting into ego vehicle's (grey) lane, while another agent vehicle (red on the right) is at front right position, on a motorway in a sunset condition AI. “We are working closely with governments across the world to create a framework for ADS certification that will bring vehicle manufacturers one giant step closer to deploying safe and secure autonomous vehicles on the roads.”

Scenarios in Safety PoolTM Database can be applied to a range of different autonomous vehicle systems, such as Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS), which would see cars drive in an automated manner on motorways by adapting to speed and traffic around them, to trucking, to fully autonomous vehicles and even pods that could be used in town centres and pedestrianised areas as a ‘last mile’ mode of transport.

Safety PoolTM Initiative invites stakeholders to share learnings in the form of scenarios to expedite validation, testing and certification for the entire community.

Safety PoolTM Initiative is a global multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission of bringing transparent, certifiable safety to ADSs, uniting the autonomous vehicle community around standardised certification programs for ADSs worldwide.

Michelle Avary, Head of Automotive from World Economic Forum, comments:
“We are thrilled to work closely with Deepen AI & WMG, University of Warwick, to launch the Safety PoolTM Scenario Database. We believe Safety PoolTM Initiative is going to play a crucial role in standardising and bring transparency to ADS certification globally. We are already in advanced talks with many countries to adopt ADS certification frameworks based on Safety PoolTM database scenarios.”

 

Richard Morris, Innovation Lead for CAV at Innovate UK, comments:

“I am very pleased that the effort and hard work of producing this scenario database has been so successful and is now gaining the recognition it deserves. Scenario testing, both in simulation and physical tests, is widely recognised as the practical route to verifying the safety of ADS, and a comprehensive scenario database is crucial for that, and we are proud to have supported this work.”

Safety PoolTM initiative is welcoming government and industry stakeholders from all over the world to join the initiative and take the front row in bringing safety standards and certifications to their country. Members of the autonomous vehicle industry can also join the Safety PoolTM community and access safety scenarios to transparently test, validate and benchmark ADS. Visit http://www.safetypool.ai for more information.

ENDS

31 MARCH 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

Images - credit WMG, University of Warwick.

Image scenario 1: Agent vehicle (red on the left) is cutting into ego vehicle's (grey) lane, while another agent vehicle (red on the right) is at front right position, on a motorway in a sunset condition

Image scenario 2: Ego vehicle (in black) is overtaking agent vehicle (red) on a motorway in a sunset condition.

Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjO28ode6mU (credit WMG, University of Warwick)

Please visit https://www.safetypool.ai/ for more information.

About WMG, University of Warwick

WMG is an academic department at the University of Warwick and is the leading international role model for successful collaboration between academia and the public and private sectors, driving innovation in science, technology and engineering, to develop the brightest ideas and talent that will shape our future.

www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg 

About Deepen

Deepen AI is a Silicon Valley based startup and the only safety-first data lifecycle tools and services company focused on machine learning and AI for autonomous systems. With tools and services that are customizable to suit the needs of enterprises as well as start-ups they have happy customers of every size across the globe. Visit Deepen.ai for more information.

About the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

CCAV is a joint Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Transport (DfT) unit. Established in 2015, CCAV is an expert unit that is working with industry and academia to make everyday journeys greener, safer, more flexible and more reliable by shaping the safe and secure emergence of connected and self-driving vehicles in the UK.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. They connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn these ideas into commercially successful products and services, and business growth.

Wed 31 Mar 2021, 10:28 | Tags: Intelligent Vehicles Partnerships Research

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