The Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building at the University of Warwick wins British Council for Office Midlands and Central Innovation Award
The National Automotive Innovation Centre, in the Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building, at the University of Warwick, has been recognised as one of the best workplaces in the Midlands and Central England at the annual British Council for Offices (BCO) regional awards. The BCO’s Festival Awards Week, recognises the highest quality developments in the UK and sets the standard for excellence in the regional and national office sector.
The Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building, University of Warwick received the region’s Innovation Award.
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: “This 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 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.”
Rob van Zyl, building services partner at Cundall and chair of the Midlands & Central England judging panel commented: “This year’s entrants demonstrate that agile working has come of age, the Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building is no exception. What was initially a move towards cramming more people into less space through hot-desking has now evolved into something that is clearly more focused on the health and wellness of occupiers. It is also encouraging to see accelerating trends towards sustainability, efficiencies in energy consumption and the use of natural shapes, materials and plants. All across Britain, the office sector now possesses more knowledge on how to create a healthy and productive office than ever before and is making informed design decisions to an outstanding effect.”
Danny Parmar, chairman of the BCO Midlands & East Anglia committee added: “Many congratulations to the University of Warwick. This was one of several outstanding entries in this year’s BCO regional awards programme and reflects both the strength of our sector and the increasing demands placed upon it to deliver market-leading work environments.”
October the 19th marked the 12th year of the BCO Regional Awards dedicated to the Midlands and Central region. Held online, the ceremony was a virtual first for the BCO, but still involved all the usual excitement that makes up the in-person ceremony. Guests were able to network, celebrate with friends and watch a live ceremony, presented by the BBC’s former Chief Political Correspondent, John Sergeant to recreate the magic of the traditional awards ceremony.
Winners from the Midlands and Central England will compete with those from other regions at the BCO Virtual National Awards on Tuesday 26 January 2021.
About the BCO
The British Council for Offices (BCO) is the UK’s leading member organisation representing the interests of all those who occupy, design, build, own or manage offices in the UK. This year marks 30 years of the BCO providing thought leadership and best practice in all issues related to the creation and use of office space – through its research, awards, conference and events programmes. You can learn more about the BCO at www.bco.org.uk
Forthcoming dates of note:
22 October: South of England &South Wales Awards
23 October: Scottish Awards
About the Regional Awards
The lead sponsor for this year’s BCO Awards is ISG. Category sponsors are AECOM, Glamox Luxonic, Waterman Group and Troup Bywaters + Anders. This year’s regional sponsors are Core Five and Overbury. The BCO awards are in association with EG.
About the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC)
The NAIC the largest research centre of its kind in Europe and is a partnership between WMG at the University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre, with £150m investment and £30m funding from the UK governments co-funded UK Research Partnership Investment Fund through Research England, which includes the development of an Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
UK plastic recycling company receives £4.42m Government funding from Innovate UK for ground-breaking advanced recycling plant in the North East England
Advanced recycling company ReNew ELP, based in Teesside, has been awarded a £4.42 million grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to build the world’s first commercial-scale plastic recycling plant using Cat-HTR™ technology. Focussing on the UK Government’s priority to drive economic growth through new technology, the award comes through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging programme. It recognises the commercial-scale feasibility of the technology and potential of the advanced recycling sector to help meet ambitious plastic recycling targets. The grant will aid ReNew ELP in the construction of the initial plant, which commences build in Q1 2021 and will see c. 80,000 tonnes of waste plastic recycled annually upon completion.
The technology, Cat-HTR™ (Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor), uses supercritical water, heat and pressure to convert waste plastic considered ‘unrecyclable’ through traditional mechanical means back into the valuable chemicals and oils from which it was made, for use in the petrochemical industry in the production of new plastic and other materials. This helps to create a circular economy for waste plastic.
Rebecca Pow MP, Under-Secretary of State for Defra says: “The Government is committed to both clamping down on the unacceptable plastic waste that harms our environment and ensuring more materials can be reused instead of being thrown away. By investing in these truly ground-breaking technologies we will help to drive these efforts even further, and I look forward to seeing them develop and deliver real results.”
A key benefit of the Cat-HTR™ technology is its ability to recycle multi-layer, flexible plastic materials such as films, and pots, tubs and trays (PTT), considered unrecyclable through traditional mechanical recycling, and are instead sent to landfill or incineration. Vitally, new materials made from ReNew ELP’s advanced recycling feedstock are suitable for use in food-contact packaging material, a problem area for mechanical recycling systems whose products do not meet European Food Standard Agency requirements.
In line with the Government’s policy of ‘Producer Pays’, Cat-HTR™ offers a solution to producers, retailers and brand owners levied with the expected Plastic Packaging Tax, which enforces a 30% recycled content requirement for all plastic packaging in both the UK and pre-filled from overseas from 2022, alongside
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which challenges those in the plastic value chain to pay the full net cost of waste material collection and recycling. Advanced recycling company ReNew ELP offers a beneficial technology to help increase the recycled content of packaging and provide a recycling solution for plastic packaging materials such as flexible films, pots, tubs and trays.
Alongside diverting plastic away from polluting the environment, the Cat-HTR™ technology represents significant overall environmental benefit. Initial independent studies have already shown that advanced recycling can reduce CO2 emissions by 1.5 tonnes for every tonne of plastic waste processed when compared to incineration. This means that the completed ReNew ELP site at Wilton will save approximately 120,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, when compared to incineration. Environmental benefits include:
· Reducing plastic pollution of the natural environment
· 1.5 tonnes CO2 emissions saving per tonne of plastic processed via advanced recycling when compared to incineration
· An increased scope of recyclable plastics, including those classed as ‘unrecyclable’
· As Cat-HTR™ is not a combustion process, it does not produce toxic by-products such as dioxins
· A reduction on fossil sourced feedstock for the manufacture of new plastics
· High yields - up to 85% of the mass of plastic is converted to hydrocarbon products
· Minimal waste is produced- impurities (colourants, additives, fillers etc.) in the plastic feedstock fall out into the heavier hydrocarbon feedstocks, which can be used in construction
WMG at the University of Warwick partner on the project, conducting detailed Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to quantify the benefits of advanced recycling across multiple environmental indicators.
Dr Stuart Coles, Associate Professor of Sustainable Materials who is leading the project in WMG at the University of Warwick says, “WMG will also be investigating what materials can be manufactured from the
Cat-HTR™ output streams. We will be able to link previously difficult to dispose of plastic materials to added-value products and demonstrate their potential through our characterisation and testing facilities.”
The technology demonstrates a complementary solution to sit alongside traditional mechanical recycling to create a circular economy. It also offers those in the plastic supply chain an alternative means for disposing of their flexible and multi-layer plastic packaging, which no longer needs to be incinerated or sent to landfill but can instead be recycled. This new process goes hand in hand with efforts to reduce single-use plastic and helps to create a plastic-neutral society.
ReNew ELP Managing Director Richard Daley says: “This Grant demonstrates we are in line with Government Policy and its drive towards achieving increased recycling targets in the UK. It will increase investor confidence, help innovative technologies such as ours break through and establish the Advanced Recycling Industry in the UK, helping ReNew ELP to emerge as a global leader in plastic recycling.”
Solar thermal cells continue to attract much interest as they have massive potential to heat water in a cost-effective and sustainable process. To date, the efficiency of these cells has been limited as the polymers used in their manufacture are poor thermal conductors.
However, thanks to funding from BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) a team of researchers led by Professor Tony McNally, from WMG, at the University of Warwick in partnership with Senergy Innovations Ltd have developed the first nanomaterial enabled all polymer solar thermal cell.
The thermal properties of the polymers employed are modified such that heat from sunlight can be transferred with high efficiency to heat water in a cheap and sustainable manner. The modular design of the cells allows for the rapid construction of a solar thermal cell array on both domestic and industry roofing.
The team are now working with a consortium of industry partners focused on manufacturing the solar thermal cells in high volumes.
Dr Greg Gibbons, at WMG, and his team have also produced the first prototype (1:1 scale) of the solar thermal cell fully manufactured by 3D printing. This activity has been transformative in guiding the design and critical aspects of the manufacture of the solar thermal cells.
Professor Tony McNally, Director of the International Institute for Nanocomposite Manufacturing (IINM), at WMG, University of Warwick comments:
“It is really pleasing to see several years of research activity and the understanding gained being translated in to a real world application. Our fundamental work on the thermal conductivity of 1D and 2D materials, including graphene, and composites of these materials with polymers could revolutionise the supply of affordable, clean and sustainable energy.”
Christine Boyle, CEO, Senergy Innovations Ltd. adds:
“Switching to advanced polymer materials meant a more efficient manufacturing process and more flexible product design. This resulted in the breakthrough of the low cost, low carbon, lightweight smart Senergy panels. Our job now is to ensure that Senergy solar panels become a key part of the smarter built environment and make renewable heating and cooling systems affordable and accessible for everyone.”
15 OCTOBER 2020
NOTES TO EDITORS
High-res images available at:
Caption: The solar cell as it went in for testing
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick
Caption: Christine Boyle, CEO of Senergy Ltd with the Solar Panel
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick
For further information please contact:
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
WMG is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor David Greenwood, as the new CEO of the WMG centre High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.
Professor Greenwood will replace Archie MacPherson, who has successfully led the WMG Catapult team since 2016.
WMG Executive Chair, Margot James, said: “We thank Archie for all that he has achieved in this period and wish him all the very best as he returns to a role in industry.”
The CEO role is part of Professor Greenwood’s remit as Director for Industrial Engagement at WMG,
HE currently leads WMG’s Energy Research, and also holds advisory and board positions for the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Innovate UK (Faraday Challenge and IDP and the Faraday Institution, and is Head of the Advanced Propulsion Centre's Electrical Energy Storage Spoke. Professor Greenwood also provides academic leadership for the development of R&D activities within the National Automotive Innovation Centre at the University of Warwick.
Margot added: “Dave’s passion and unrivalled experience make him the ideal candidate to lead the HVM Catapult drive to de-risk innovation in UK manufacturing, enabling its productivity, growth and sustainability.”
Professor Greenwood added : “The focus of my career has been around bringing science and technology into industry, and I am delighted that these new roles will bring together the academic strengths of WMG with the transformative capability of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to benefit Industry and the UK. I look forward to strengthening our existing partnerships and welcoming new ones.”
Professor Greenwood will officially start as CEO from 26th October 2020.
WMG an academic department at the University of Warwick was on this day, the 1st of October, 1980 started by the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya sadly passed away on the 1st March 2019. His long and highly accomplished career in engineering and manufacturing began with his studies in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, before he moved to the UK to further his studies. After working at the University of Birmingham he was persuaded by the then Vice Chancellor at Warwick, Lord Butterworth, to move to the University of Warwick where he started WMG.
Over the years he went on to become a Government adviser to Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Industry Ministers and Prime Ministers.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, Professor Stuart Croft comments:
“I’m sure I speak for the whole Warwick community when I say how fantastic it is to see how Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s vision for WMG has flourished to become not only an exceptional part of our University but also our whole region, by connecting engineering and manufacturing industries with academia. I look forward to seeing what is in store for WMG in the years ahead, as it continues to go from strength to strength.”
The new Executive Chair for WMG is Margot James, who was appointed in April 2020, comments on the achievements so far and plans for the future of WMG.
“We operate on a huge scale today but our mission and vision is the same it was on that first autumn morning. The challenges we are addressing now are different to those of 40 years ago; the need for a zero carbon industry is at the forefront of so much of our work. Our experience and expertise have never been more relevant and vital.
“Whether educating the next generation of engineers or developing the technologies that will change our world, the challenges we embrace today will shape the next chapter of the WMG story. We have the creativity, the insight, and most of all, the people to make the next 40 years of WMG even more exciting and impactful as we build a smarter, greener, cleaner and healthier world.”
Hot on the heels of being shortlisted for the RIBA West Midlands regional awards, The National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), has now been shortlisted for a further three prestigious design awards.
Based at the University of Warwick, NAIC was officially open in February 2020 by HRH The Prince of Wales. The Centre is a partnership between WMG, University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Motors, and is the largest of its kind in Europe and is well timed, arriving when a global mobility revolution is underway, with a new age for transport mobility.
A beacon for automotive research it brings together the brightest minds from industry and academia, to develop future vehicles and mobility solutions. It is home to up to 1,000 staff working across design, engineering and research, as well as future engineers on degree programmes.
Designed by Cullinan Studios the brief for the Centre was for simplicity and strength of purpose, turning a complex assembly of spaces into an immediately legible building.
Prior's Court, a specialist residential school in Berkshire and training and development centre for young people aged between 5-25 who are severely affected by autism, is working with WMG at the University of Warwick to help recruit two specialist Digital Healthcare apprentice staff.
The new Digital Healthcare Apprentices will investigate and evaluate data collected on Prior’s Court pupils to support improvements in the wellbeing and experiences of young people with autism at Prior's Court –and will be part of the first wave of a new, innovative national digital healthcare science workforce, working in health and social care to improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Using ‘Big Data’ mining techniques the apprentices, working under joint supervision by academics and specialist autism practitioners, will be able to sift more than a million data points to identify circumstances which predict particular behaviour patterns. This will in turn enable earlier intervention steps to be taken.
This could make a major difference to their quality of life, minimising incidents and perhaps even enabling a young person at the school to later enter employment where this was may have not been previously possible.
The two new Digital Healthcare Apprentices will provide specialist support to the Foundation and its young people, while also studying towards a Bachelor of Science Undergraduate degree in Digital Healthcare Science with the University of Warwick drawing on the expertise of two departments – WMG and Warwick Medical School.
Prior’s Court Chief Executive Mike Robinson said: “Autism is a complex condition. The fundamental question ‘Why does someone with autism have a good day or a bad day?’ is a difficult one to answer. For the young people at Prior’s Court who are severely affected by autism, often with other complex coexisting conditions, it is almost impossible to answer. We believe that by applying the power of being able to collect and analyse large quantities of data to this problem, we will be able to start to answer the question.
“Our digital platform Prior Insight is capturing thousands of pieces of data on our young people every day but it is the practical application which is key. By working with the University of Warwick and recruiting Digital Healthcare Apprentices we can ensure that data is comprehensively analysed and applied to positively impact the lives of many more people with autism – both at Prior’s Court and in the wider world of autism.”
Professor Ed Peile, of Warwick Medical School, comments:
“On my first visit to Prior’s Court I was inspired by how the team there are constantly striving to help young people with severe autism lead happy and fulfilling lives. I was keen to see their cutting edge project using the digital platform ‘Prior Insight’ and to understand what role future members of the new specialism Digital Healthcare Science could play.
“It was immediately apparent to me that, both in their apprenticeship training and when they graduate, Digital Healthcare Scientists have so much to offer at Prior’s Court, and so much to gain there. Thanks to the investment in data collection at Prior’s Court, there is a huge amount of information about how each young person functions.
“Not only that, but working with other technologies including ‘wearable digital technology’ and using the skills of behavioural science and shared decision-making taught on our innovative ‘fusion science course’ will enable the apprentices to contribute as they learn in the workplace.”
How to apply
Applications for the two new roles close in just two weeks on 30th September 2020. Details on how to apply can be found here
Warwick Racing is a team of 30 dedicated members all working towards getting a single-seater electric race car designed, manufactured and tested in the space of a year. The team consists of students from multiple departments including the School of Engineering, Warwick Business School and the Department of Computer Science, with the help and facilities of WMG.
The design of WRe2 was started by the 4th year team in October last year who completed development of the powertrain, suspension and chassis. Over the last few months this work has ramped up, continually improving the designs.
As a team first, the bespoke powertrain has not one, but two rear electric motors. The idea of two motors is to allow better control when deploying power in race conditions.
The Control Systems team have been working on developing a traction control system, employing the E400 Automotive Motor Controller under guidance kindly provided by Embed. The framework was developed in Simulink with future expansion kept in mind. Specifics of the vehicle powertrain, suspension configurations and tyre models were considered to achieve the fastest acceleration possible whilst effectively managing rear tyre slip.
Meanwhile, the workshop has very recently opened so students have started preparing the car that they’ll eventually see doing 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds. This has a power to weight ratio of around 300hp/tonne comes very close to the ratios seen in Formula E racing!
Rens Bossers, the chief powertrain engineer for the coming year says:
“WRe2 is a level up for Warwick Racing. By learning from issues found during the build of WRe1, our first electric car, the design is very resilient. As reliability is historically a very significant factor, WRe2 puts us in great stead for a very competitive finish at our annual competition, FSUK. The dual motor setup is also a massive step towards the 4-wheel drive powertrain that we aim to achieve in the near future.
“It is great that we have had the support of several major sponsors such as Catapult, Ford and RS Components – their support has got us to where we are and enables us to continually come up with new, innovative designs.”
However the design and validation of the new vehicle isn’t all the team have been up to, they’ve also been able to virtually race their current vehicle, WRe1, in the FSUK 2020 Virtual Challenge.
Sixty-six teams participated in the event, with the Warwick Racing team managing to get into the final for cost, finishing in 5th place. In their business presentation the team finished in 7th place.
As a first for this year, the dynamic events included wheel to wheel sim racing. Despite having little preparation time, the team finished in 10th place overall, with their best performance being 3rd place in an individual race out of 34 competing teams.
Iqra Hamid, Chief Powertrain Engineer for the 2019/20 season who oversaw the development of both vehicles, comments:
"I've always had a passion for engineering and all things motorsport so being involved with Warwick Racing over the past 4 years has been an amazing experience! The team have come a long way in such a short space of time with the development of WRe1 and now WRe2.
“Whilst we weren't able to showcase our performance live on the track this year, I'm proud of how well the team came together to make the most of the situation during lockdown, achieving some of our best results to date in the virtual Formula Student competition.
“As the team now enters the new season, I'm looking forward to watching the team continue to build upon this success and achieve even better results at FSUK 2021!"
The entire car is built using funds from sponsors – without their generous support the project would not be possible. With thanks to WMG, Catapult HVM, Ford, Embed, Zuken, Vector, Emrax, Demon Tweeks, Loctite, RS, Colt, Igus, Lohmann Technologies, Aquajet, IMI, GRM, ST Motorsport, B-G Racing, Race Parts, AIM, OBP, Powerflex and the many other supporters of the project.
10 SEPTEMBER 2020
NOTES TO EDITORS
High-res images available to view at: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/september_2020/warwick_racing_render.jpg
Caption: A render of WRe2 spaceframe.
Credit: Warwick Racing, University of Warwick
Caption: Wre1 on track
Credit: Warwick Racing, University of Warwick
It was hoped that the Warwick Moto team would see their electric superbike Aurora race this summer with racer Tom Weeden racing it for them. Although plans are on hold due to the current pandemic, students have tried to make the most of their time during lockdown by carrying out virtual meetings to progress on the project as a whole.
Meeting online, the 25 students from a range of Departments including: WMG, School of Engineering, Computer Science, Physics and Maths have redesigned a vital part of the superbike chassis, the subframe.
The subframe is an integral part of the motorcycle geometry, therefore, has an impact on handling characteristics of the superbike by defining the seating position of the rider. The subframe for Aurora will also package a critical powertrain component, the inverter for the 3-phase 150 kW (200 bhp) electric motor along with some low voltage components.
The team utilised previously gathered data from the strip, measure and weigh activities performed in November 2019 before lockdown, with the help of the metrology team at WMG. This exercise enabled them to define the necessary constraints for the position of the subframe. They have managed to make it 1.5kg lighter than a stock Honda Fireblade subframe and roughly 300g than a racing one. It’s made using carbon fibre and aluminium parts as opposed to just aluminium, reducing weight and increasing the overall stiffness.
Nesta Ferguson and Aneesh Jois, two first year School of Engineering students, have led the design and engineering cycle behind the subframe while discussing ideas, constraints and risks with the rest of the team through online meetings.
Aman Surana, a School of Engineering student and the Chief Engineer for the Warwick Moto team comments:
“We wanted to make the most out of lockdown and try to use this setback as an opportunity to enhance the bike instead. The team’s design intent was to create something simple, easy to assemble and the ability to be built off-site.
“The current global situation demands for concepts that can be built while maintaining social distancing, this new design helps us achieve that as it can be put together by a single person. As a result, we can utilise workshop time for other critical activities.
“We believe this concept could be used by other racing enthusiasts, as it’s made using stock carbon fibre tubes cut to size and bonded to aluminium joining nodes, where the contact surfaces have been sanded to increase bond strength and area. Moreover, it has the potential to be used on other parts of the superbike at a much lower cost than traditional composite only components.”
Having spent the last 3 months to continuously come up with various load-cases to simulate and optimise the subframe structure, the team have used techniques such as shape optimisation to minimise the amount of material used.
The team are still hoping to be able to test the bike in winter, as a competition between University teams is still hoping to take place early next year, however their long-term objective is to compete with a podium qualifying time at the Isle of Man TT 2022.
Rock West Composites are donating the raw material required for this concept along with advice to improve things like bond strength from their years of experience with composites. Xometry Europe have supported the team by providing on-demand manufacturing services that have enabled the manufacture of the joining nodes. The team will be able to assemble this concept off-site with the support of Rock West Composites and Xometry Europe.
Significant support from industrial partners such as High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult team at WMG, MUPO Race Suspension, Michelin Tyre PLC, DYMAG Performance Wheels, MIVOLT, Demon Tweeks, SITRAmoto and Rajputana Custom Motorcycles have immensely helped the team, for which they would like to thank them all for.
To support the team making their first electric bike, you can sponsor them or donate to them here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/warwickmoto
Follow their journey:
5 AUGUST 2020
NOTES TO EDITORS
Video of the team during lockdown available to view at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLyj7fzbIw0&feature=youtu.be
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920531221
(Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, UK – 23 July 2020) – Today, Lotus announces a dedicated and specialist advanced technology centre, which will also be home to a new headquarters for the company’s engineering consultancy.
Located on the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne Campus, the new facility is established in partnership with WMG at the University of Warwick. WMG is an international leader in successful collaboration between academic research, teaching, training, and industry. The substantial facility consists of offices, workshops and laboratory space with ample space for expansion.
Initially, 130 engineers will move in, complementing the 500-strong engineering team at the home of Lotus Cars in Hethel, Norfolk.
Matt Windle, Executive Director, Engineering, Lotus Cars, said:
“This is a big step forward for Lotus and our engineering consultancy. The new space, facilities and job opportunities at Wellesbourne will be in great demand as we rapidly build our portfolio of external projects. Our team and specialist skills have grown significantly in the last two years as renewed impetus has been put in to the business with new shareholders and management. The all-electric Evija hypercar is the first new Lotus Cars product for us to deliver, with significant focus on this at Wellesbourne as we complete the project and continue to advance its technologies for our future programmes.”
Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars, added:
“Wellesbourne offers an excellent facility, with plenty of expansion potential, and will be the perfect home for our new advanced technology centre. Our engineering and R&D strategy around advanced propulsion systems is lock-in-step with the Government’s vision and broader global ambitions for a low-carbon automotive future. We look forward to working in collaboration with Government and with our new campus neighbours on this future. Having research partners at the University and WMG will bring significant benefits, as will the Midlands location, which is both very accessible and home to a rich pool of automotive talent.”
Nadhim Zahawi MP, the UK Government’s Business and Industry Minister, said:
“The West Midlands has long been the beating heart of the UK’s automotive and engineering industries, and this announcement is further evidence that this proud history will continue. Lotus’ new advanced technology centre will secure over 100 highly-skilled jobs in Warwickshire, support a strong economic recovery across the region and drive forward the low carbon, electric technologies of the future.”
Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, said:
“We are delighted to welcome this key part of such a significant and legendary technology based company to the University and our Wellesbourne campus. This is just the beginning of a partnership. I know that it will grow, thrive, and bring prosperity and new opportunities to both Warwickshire and the West Midlands, and will call on and benefit from the significant automotive and technology skills and talents of many people in our region.”
Margot James, Executive Chair, WMG, comments:
“This is wonderful news not only for WMG, the University of Warwick and the region, but also for the UK automotive sector. The UK needs to retain R&D capability in our manufacturing sector, and at WMG we are working with partners on many R&D programmes which are focused on innovation and future growth towards net zero. We look forward to collaborating with Lotus on projects which seek to create a greener, more connected future”.
Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, says:
“This is really good news for the Wellesbourne campus, Stratford-on-Avon District and the region as a whole. We are totally committed to supporting the development of the Wellesbourne campus. We see it as a major asset for both Stratford-on-Avon District and the region and we welcome the addition of 130 skilled roles to the District. We look forward to the future development of the campus.”
Lotus Engineering, which celebrates 40 years since its incorporation in 1980, works with customers all over the world. The confidentiality of its work is paramount with strict firewalls in place between project teams. Some of the more widely acknowledged Lotus Engineering programmes from the past include the Lotus Carlton, Tesla Roadster, multiple Formula 1 campaigns, and a host of products outside of the auto industry from Olympics track bikes (2020 and 1992) to boats and light aircraft. Today, Lotus Engineering’s specialisms include vehicle dynamics and advanced propulsion systems, encompassing lightweight structures, ride, handling and performance.