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WMG News

Award-winning WMG research makes Ford cars lighter and more efficient

Professor Ken Kendall and Members of the Composite Lightweight Automotive Suspension System (CLASS) project at the JEC Innovation Awards in March 2018. Credit WMG, University of Warwick Ford cars could be more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, thanks to a new lightweight rear suspension component, designed by the award-winning Innovate UK project Composite Lightweight Automotive Suspension System (CLASS), involving WMG at the University of Warwick.

Led by Ford Motor Company, in partnership with WMG, Gestamp Chassis and GRM, the CLASS project consortium developed a new tieblade-knuckle for a Ford Class C vehicle, a key element for the car’s rear suspension.

An optimised design and manufacturing process developed by WMG enabled the researchers to replace the car’s current multiple-piece fabricated steel component with a single moulding - making a weight saving in excess of 4.5kg per vehicle, a 35% saving on the current part.

This will result in CO2 savings over the lifetime of the vehicle, and the technology is appropriate for much wider vehicle chassis and body applications.

In March 2018, the CLASS project won a JEC Innovation Award, in the Automotive Innovation category.

WMG in £2 million programme to help SAVVY drivers avoid collisions and accidents

WMG, at the University of Warwick, are the academic research leads in a new £2 million Innovate UK funded research programme that will help create new forms of technological assistance to help drivers to avoid collisions and accidents.

Professor Tony McNally selected as overseas expert

Professor Tony McNallyWe are proud to announce that Professor Tony McNally has been selected by China’s Ministry of Education and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs under Plan 111 as a Foreign Expert to advise in the manufacture and characterisation of functional composite materials.

China’s Plan 111 is jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, P.R. China. It aims to gather groups of first-class minds from around the world to work with leading Chinese researchers on the creation of 100 dedicated innovation centres.

Over the next 5 years Professor McNally will be working in collaboration with the International Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing proposed by the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT).

Wed 28 February 2018, 16:03 | Tags: Tony McNally Nanocomposites Partnerships Homepage Article 4

New sensor tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times faster

Precise test of Lithium-ion batteriesResearchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have developed a new direct, precise test of Lithium-ion batteries’ internal temperatures and their electrodes potentials and found that the batteries can be safely charged up to five times faster than the current recommended charging limits. The new technology works in-situ during a battery’s normal operation without impeding its performance and it has been tested on standard commercially available batteries. Such new technology will enable advances in battery materials science, flexible battery charging rates, thermal and electrical engineering of new battery materials/technology and it has the potential to help the design of energy storage systems for high performance applications such as motor racing and grid balancing.

If a battery becomes over heated it risks severe damage particularly to its electrolyte and can even lead to dangerous situations where the electrolyte breaks down to form gases than are both flammable and cause significant pressure build up. Overcharging of the anode can lead to so much Lithium electroplating that it forms metallic dendrites and eventually pierce the separator causing an internal short circuit with the cathode and subsequent catastrophic failure.

WMG part of £30 million funding to help transform health through data science

Theo ArvanitisWMG, at the University of Warwick, is a key partner in the Midlands site helping to deliver a £30 million project by Health Data Research UK, to address challenging UK healthcare issues using data science, which is looking at making game-changing improvements in people’s health by harnessing data science at scale across the UK.

WMG will be part of the “Midlands HDR UK Substantive Site”, which will tackle the challenge of how to make NHS data more useable and accessible for research; and will develop, evaluate and apply appropriate analytical tools to NHS data in real time in order to inform decision making and improve health for both the patient and population. The Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH), WMG will lead the Warwick part of the programme, together with colleagues from Warwick Medical School and Warwick’s Mathematics Institute.

New battery testing laboratory unveiled at WMG

Battery testing labBattery experts at WMG were pleased to welcome a special shipment from Austria in the shape of a new MW-scale battery research testing laboratory.

The new high-tech laboratory, measuring 15m by 16m, was lowered into position by WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) at the University of Warwick.

This new facility is funded through the Government’s Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) programme. There are three test modules. The first two provide battery pack testing up to a total power of 1MW, 1200V, 2400A. The third test module provides mechanical testing facilities to enable researchers to fully characterise a lithium-ion cell’s mechanical behaviour over its entire temperature and state-of-charge operating range.

Mon 05 February 2018, 14:08 | Tags: Partnerships Research

WMG graduates who worked while studying already promoted

Gordon HarrisGordon Harris from Solihull has worked in engineering for almost thirty years, and has just gained long-wished-for academic qualifications – boosting his career – after graduating with the first cohort from the Applied Engineering Programme (AEP) at WMG, University of Warwick.

Harris has been an employee at Jaguar for twenty-eight years, most recently for the Advanced Manufacturing Engineering team at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). Born and raised in Solihull, he always dreamed of getting a university education, but wasn’t able to fit in studying whilst working a full-time job.

JLR sponsored Gordon to enrol on the AEP, a four year part-time specialised WMG degree course, in 2013. Since beginning the course, he has been promoted to Lead Engineer for a JLR project.

“The learning gained during the last four years has helped me to achieve my promotion and additional responsibilities with my current role,” said Gordon. “The course has encouraged my development and has given me greater insight across more aspects of the business, which has helped me with my day to day role.”

The part-time AEP course enables people who already work in industry, of all ages and backgrounds, to gain a formal engineering qualification, offering a flexible and non-traditional path into university education.

Adding graphene girders to silicon electrodes could double the life of lithium batteries

New research led by WMG, at the University of Warwick has found an effective approach to replacing graphite in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries using silicon, by reinforcing the anode’s structure with graphene girders. This could more than double the life of rechargeable lithium-ion based batteries by greatly extending the operating lifetime of the electrode, and also increase the capacity delivered by those batteries.

Tue 23 January 2018, 16:43 | Tags: Electrochemical Engineering Partnerships Research

WMG joins two new Faraday battery research projects: part of a £42 million UK initiative

Faraday battery researchToday, Tuesday January 23rd 2018, the Faraday Institution announced up to £42 million in new government funding to four UK consortia to conduct research aimed at overcoming battery challenges to accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, and WMG at the University of Warwick will be partners in two of those four new consortia.

The Faraday Institution, which WMG at the University of Warwick helped to form, is the UK’s independent national battery research institute, and it was established as part of the government’s £246 million investment in battery technology through the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Its formation was announced in October 2017 by the Business Secretary Greg Clark. The research it supports at organisations such as WMG at the University of Warwick aims to put the UK on the map as being at the forefront of battery technology worldwide and radically increase the speed with which we are able to make the move to electric vehicles.

Tue 23 January 2018, 11:12 | Tags: Advanced Propulsion Systems David Greenwood Partnerships

Students wanted to help develop new Master’s module

Mairi MacintyreWe’re on the lookout for three local students to help develop our new Play: Pedagogy Theory and Practice module, ready for launch in September 2018.

Mairi Macintyre, the Principal Teaching Fellow leading the programme explains: “With our colleagues at Warwick Business School and the Learning and Development Centre, we successfully applied for funding from the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) at Warwick to develop the new module in a partnership with Design Museum London and Royal Holloway University of London plus international colleague at Leiden University in the Netherlands and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.”

“We’ve now set up a special steering group with all the partners, and are looking to recruit three creative students to join us to help bring the module to life. Students will be paid for their time and will need to commit half a day a week for a 10 week period. Depending on our progress it may also lead to a summer internship.

“Play is, all too often, best viewed as ‘just for kids,’ but it has a big part to play in higher education too. Its theoretical home lies somewhere between philosophical and pedagogical and its application spans all disciplines. If we can successfully develop it for higher education it can be transferred into industry driving creativity and innovation.”

Fri 19 January 2018, 10:49 | Tags: Education Partnerships Full-time Masters

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