This has inspired 25 students from a range of Departments including: WMG, School of Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Law and Maths to work together to make Aurora, an electric superbike with thanks to support from WMG and the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult team at WMG.
The superbike, Aurora, will be raced when appropriate after the Coronavirus pandemic, however the students have been working hard at home, and have finalised their designs for the bike.
WMG battery experts will facilitate a mix of live lectures and pre-recorded practical hands-on-sessions, virtually, over the five days.
The lectures will cover manufacturing Lithium batteries, module and pack design, electrical testing and ageing, battery management systems, safety and abuse testing, forensic characterisation and battery end of life.
Meanwhile the practical, pre-recorded in the Energy Innovation Centre, lab sessions, will focus on microscopy; electrode mixing and coating; pouch and cylindrical cell fabrication; cell and module testing; and forensics.
WMG supports the new West Midlands India Partnership
WMG, at the University of Warwick, are delighted to be supporting a new West Midlands India Partnership (WMIP), which aims to enhance UK-India relations and boost tourism, trade and investment between the West Midlands and India.
The Partnership, which launched on 26th June 2020, will support the region’s long-term economic growth plans by developing stronger links and opportunities for collaboration as part of a five-year programme of activity with the Indian market.
Led by the West Midlands Growth Company, this new initiative has been developed in partnership with Invest India, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Consulate General of Birmingham office.
Margot James, Executive Chair, WMG took part in the launch and comments:
“WMG and the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya were instrumental in many large-scale inward investments, nurturing UK and India partnerships, such as the acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover by Tata, from which the West Midlands has benefited hugely. Our region has a strong heritage, close cultural links, and great business collaboration with India, but it is important to look to the future.
I welcome the new West Midlands India Partnership. The key word is partnership. We must recognise that both parties have something valuable to bring to the collaboration. Both the West Midlands and India have strengths to offer the other, and we need to build connections to create awareness of those strengths.
The West Midlands has incredible research strength, and a powerful capability through clusters of excellence in engineering, manufacturing and digital technology. India has a superb research and technical capability, for example the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Management. These assets work alongside innovative, forward thinking businesses including Tata, TVS, Wipro, Infosys and Mahindra.
I am delighted that WMG will continue to help build a strong West Midlands-India relationship, alongside the Mayor's office, the Indian Consulate and the West Midlands growth Company. When we work together, we all benefit.”
The WMIP will be governed by two separate boards comprised of senior stakeholders, leaders and representatives. The Advisory Board, of which WMG is a member, will be responsible for the strategic direction of the Partnership, providing advice and guidance to the Executive Board, which will shape the planning and delivery of the programme’s activity.
Dr. Jason Wouhra OBE, Chair of the West Midlands India Partnership, said:
”The West Midlands India Partnership is a confident step forward at a time when building resilient, productive economies is key. Through the Partnership’s long-term strategy, we aim to identify opportunities for both Indian and local businesses to trade, innovate and grow."
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company – which aims to attract investment, jobs and visitors to the region, added:
“The region already has a strong track record of organic success derived from the Indian market. Launching the West Midlands’ first formal India Partnership will unlock even greater opportunities for growth across trade, education and the visitor economy. It presents a major opportunity for both the UK and India to advance our national missions.”
Lakshmi Kaul, Head & Representative – UK at Confederation of Indian Industry, added:
“The West Midlands is a melting pot of cultures, diversity and business excellence - the region is important for Indian industry as a hub of innovation and research. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is pleased to support the West Midlands by working alongside the Partnership to amplify business-to-business, as well as the people-to-people connection, while also addressing the economic growth and recovery roadmap.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, added:
“The West Midlands’ innovation-led Industrial Strategy alongside the scale and ambition of India’s manufacturing, life sciences and technology sectors presents a major opportunity for world-class industry collaboration, helping to attract significant investment and create new, local jobs.
“The West Midlands India Partnership will bring together some of the best talent and capabilities to not only stimulate cross-market trade, but to help address shared social and economic challenges faced by the UK and India. I am delighted we have been able to secure this Partnership, which represents a further strengthening of the already excellent ties between our region and India.”
To find out more about the West Midlands India Partnership or to sign up as a partner, please visit https://wmgrowth.com/wmip
View the launch here
Researchers, from WMG’s Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH), believe that remote consulting practices should be adopted widely during the COVID-19 pandemic to help low and middle income countries to help combat the virus, and to provide quality healthcare to patients in the long-term.
By implementing remote consulting practices - such as by mobile phone or mobile app - to maintain services during the COVID-19 pandemic, health services in countries in Africa and South Asia could provide communities permanent access to healthcare that they previously struggled to access.
Researchers, at the University of Warwick and King’s College London, have developed and implemented a training course with St Francis University College in Tanzania designed to equip nurses, doctors and medical officers in leadership roles with the knowledge and skills to integrate remote consulting into practice in their local service. It is based on research recently published in the journal Digital Health that provides a framework for healthcare leaders to consider how to implement it in their own services. The training takes the form of a short course using blended learning through an app on a smartphone and facilitated through social media. These healthcare leaders cascade the learning to other health workers in their service.
Professor Theodoros N. Arvanitis, Director of the Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG at the University of Warwick and one of the co-authors, commented: “Digitally-enabled approaches to remote consultation provide the way forward in the new reality we are living. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we will receive health care in the future, manage our health and wellbeing and go about our daily lives. Remote consultation and digital health solutions provide multiple benefits to individuals and society. Through such approaches, now and in the future, people’s health journeys are better understood and appropriate lifestyle choices can be better tailored and promoted to the individual.”
Using mobile technology to see patients is part of the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 response strategy, but detail there is limited. The researchers have put together a policy brief written in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to raise awareness of remote consulting and encouraging healthcare leaders in low to middle income countries to undertake the training and disseminate the knowledge within their local health service.
Professor Frances Griffiths from Warwick Medical School, and lead author of the paper, said: “Moving healthcare workers in low to middle income countries to remote consulting is something that we think is really important to consider.
“In the context of COVID-19, the benefits of remote consulting are suddenly much greater. It protects the health worker and minimises physical contact with patients. It minimises the risk to patients. As a result, it also reduces the need for PPE.
“For communities with little healthcare, this is a better way of providing good quality healthcare for them. For people who live anywhere who have a long term condition, it is so much more convenient for them if we can do as much as possible remotely.
“I think it will embraced more widely and I think it should be. What COVID-19 has done is made people realise that they can do it differently. The experience of COVID-19 in the UK is ahead of Africa and South Asia, but if we can get remote consulting off the ground there because of the pandemic then the benefits will be seen afterwards. Particularly for long-term conditions and marginalised communities, although there can be benefits for acute illnesses as well.”
Read ‘Mobile consulting (mConsulting) and its potential for providing access to quality healthcare for populations living in low-resource settings of low- and middle-income countries’ published in Digital Health, here: 10.1177/2055207620919594
Work has begun on the 300km Midlands Future Mobility test environment - spanning from Coventry to Birmingham, which will see autonomous vehicles trialled on urban, rural, suburban and highway roads. The project is run by a consortium of companies including WMG, MIRA, Transport for West Midlands, Costain, Amey, Wireless Infrastructure Group, Vodafone, Coventry University and Highways England.
The autonomous vehicle industry is estimated to be worth up to £62bn to the UK economy by 2030, and hoping to lead the way to autonomous vehicles is the West Midlands, as WMG, University of Warwick begins work on autonomous vehicle testing routes.
Autonomous vehicles will be trialled along the Midlands Future Mobility route, the route has been developed by TfWM in collaboration with Coventry City Council, Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council and provides over 300km of inner city, suburban and rural roads from Coventry to Birmingham, on which to fully assess vehicle performance in a wide range of real world locations and situations.
The first types of vehicle to be trialled along the route will be “connected” vehicles. Connected vehicles can ‘talk’ to each other and warn of traffic, crashes and other hazards that other connected vehicles may have seen or be heading towards.
The vehicles on the Midlands Future Mobility route will not be driving themselves during the early stages of research, initially they will have a driver and occasionally a second person monitoring how the vehicles are working. All testing will be as safe if not safer than current vehicles on the road.
The route includes infrastructure such as smart CCTV, weather stations, communications units, and highly accurate GPS.
In the future autonomous vehicles will be trialled on the route, however these will also be closely monitored by safety operators ready to take over immediately in the event of a problem. These autonomous vehicles will appear gradually as more and more advanced “Driver Assistance” systems are tested paving the way, such as lane centring and auto-speed limiting technology.
The route itself causes no disruption to drivers or the homes along it, as it uses existing road infrastructure 95% of the time. Phase one of the route includes the University of Warwick, Coventry ring road, roads in Meriden, Solihull and central Birmingham around the Jewellery Quarter.
Later this year the route will be extended to include rural and highway roads and span up to 350km.
Project consortium member Costain and contractor Siemens Mobility have begun work on the route, which will officially open for trials later this year. Both firms, are of course, practicing social distancing in the construction of important technical features such as CCTV networks along the route.
John Fox, Project Director, Midlands Future Mobility comments:
“It is great to see that work has begun in making roads a more connected place, where drivers can make their journeys more safely and where goods can be delivered more efficiently.
“The West Midlands has a rich history of the automotive industry, and to see it is now progressing into Autonomous vehicles feels somewhat momentous.”
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who leads TfWM, said: “Connected and autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to radically change our lives, and I am pleased the West Midland is leading the way in this sector with research facilities and production plants already in place.
“I am determined our region will become a global leader in electric and autonomous vehicle technology, as I know we have the skills, facilities, and drive to compete with any other city or region in the world.
“Seeing our roads being used as a test bed for this new technology is both exciting and a step forward, and this vital research will help pave the way to bring key investment and jobs to the region as we look to bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis.”
John Batterbee, Technology Solutions Director, Costain Group comments:
“At Costain we’re excited about how our ambitious work together with our market leading partners in the Midlands is enabling safer, cleaner and faster journeys. Today is a key milestone in starting to deploy the advanced infrastructure technologies we’ve developed over the last couple of years that are putting the UK at the forefront of the global mobility revolution. The cameras and video analytics we’re deploying will, for example, save lives by enabling drivers to be alerted to hazards beyond the line of sight.”
Wilke Reints, Managing Director of Intelligent Traffic Systems for Siemens Mobility in the UK, comments:
“We are proud to have been contracted to undertake work on this project. With CAVs offering huge potential to improve safety, reduce congestion and help optimise traffic flow, this project is a further demonstration of the UK’s capabilities in this exciting and fast-moving sector. It allows us collectively to demonstrate how smart technology enables vehicles to be connected via high-speed, high-capacity wireless infrastructure across a whole road network.”
The BRAINSTORM project, which saw partners from Far-UK, Composite Braiding, TDI and WMG at the University of Warwick create a woven braided carbon fibre composite frame for a Very-Light Rail (VLR), has won gold at the JEC World 2020 Innovation awards in the Category “Railway Vehicles and Infrastructure.”
The JEC World 2020 Innovation awards is the world’s leading international composites show, the awards ceremony took place virtually, and saw researchers working on the BRAINSTORM project take home gold in the category “Railway Vehicles and Infrastructure.”
The Innovate UK funded project started in 2018, and engineers from Far-UK, TDI, Composite Braiding and WMG, at the University of Warwick set out to make a lightweight VLR vehicle frame, which is braided from carbon fibre composites into a series of tubes. They created their first prototype demonstrator frame in May 2019, which drew attention from the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Business and Industry, Andrew Stephenson.
The frame is unique as it can be easily assembled by adhesive and simple welding, and can be repaired if damaged, and recycled or reused in other structures at its end of life.
Dr Darren Hughes Associate Professor in Materials and Manufacturing at WMG at the University of Warwick explains:
“It is an honour to have won at the JEC World 2020 Innovation awards, we have worked incredibly hard to create an innovative frame offering significant weight-saving that can allow VLR light rail services to operate in a more sustainable way. Reduced mass leads to a lower requirement for power for propulsion and also lowers the stress placed on the track system. This can also open up significant cost savings in light rail systems.”
“The technology also ensures that the vehicle is tough for a long life in service, easily repairable and strong enough to protect the passengers on board.”
“To have our achievements acknowledged and awarded is validation of our ongoing research into lightweight structures. The design process that we used allowed the development of the ultralight yet safe structure. We are now ready to take structures such as these into higher volume in our new manufacturing facility.”
Steve Barbour of Derby based specialists in thermoplastic braiding company Composite Braiding Ltd said:
“It is great that the technology we have been developing has helped lead to such a fantastic outcome. Braiding at rates of over a mile a day, we have a highly automated process that is capable of producing high volume, lower cost structural components that are inherently recyclable. It’s fantastic that the potential has been recognised.”
“The braiding method can be used with a wide range of materials including carbon, glass, basalt and aramid. We hope this can revolutionise the design of future transport, and are actively involved particularly in the rail sector to produce more economical and environmentally beneficial vehicles.”
Connected autonomous vehicle technology prototypes have existed for some time, however questions around the safety of this technology from the public and industry who want to commercialise these technologies has blocked it from developing.
The future with CAV has to be more reliable, more efficient and less risky. So safety testing is essential to informing people’s opinion about this new technology.
In order to prove that CAVs are safer than human drivers, it’s been suggested they need to be driven for more than 11 billion miles. However, instead of the number of miles, it more important to focus on the experiences of the CAV in those miles to identify any smart miles which expose failures in CAV.
Dr Khastgir’s fellowship will therefore develop pioneering testing methodologies and international standards to enable robust and safe use of CAV, particularly focusing on creating both fundamental knowledge and applied research methods and tools.
WMG, University of Warwick, has created a concept of the “evaluation continuum” for CAV, which involves using various environment like digital world, simulated environment, test track testing and real-world for testing.
There are two aspects which are common to each of the evaluation continuum environments and also the focus areas of the fellowship research
1) Test Scenarios: exposing failures of the CAV
2) Safety Evidence: establishing how safe is safe enough?
As a part of this fellowship, three approaches will be explored to identify the smart miles which expose any CAV failures including:
· Using Machine Learning (ML) based methods including Bayesian Optimisation to create test cases for test scenarios
· Safety Of The Intended Functionality (SOTIF) (Innovative safety analysis of CAV) based test scenarios using Systems Theoretic Process Process Analysis (STPA)
· Translating real-world data into executable test scenarios for a simulation tool.
All these approaches will together contribute to the creation of a UK’s National CAV Test Scenario Database. Dr Khastgir has previously written about enabling British CAV deployment and the role of standards for the BSI (British Standards Institute), and hopes to build on the Fellowship research outcomes to build standards for national and international purposes.
Dr Siddartha Khastgir, from WMG, University of Warwick comments:
“The global Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) industry is estimated to be worth over £50bn by 2035, with the UK CAV industry comprising over £3billion of this, however questions around safety are always raised, by the automotive industry and the public.
“This hinders the process of commercialising CAVs, however my UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to research the safety of CAVs can help Department for Transport, the automotive industry and the public to be reassured that they are safer than human drivers.
“I am incredibly grateful for the UKRI Future Leader Fellowship, as it puts the UK and the University at the forefront for research and development into the safety of CAVs.”
Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, University of Warwick adds:
“WMG is very proud that Dr Siddartha Khastgir has been awarded a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship (FLF). Through Siddartha’s research we can enable the UK to become a world leader in safe CAV deployment.”
Kirsty Grainger, Director, Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme adds:
“Dr Siddartha Khastgir is taking forward a really exciting project that supports the government’s Future of Mobility grand challenge. Through the Future Leaders Fellowships we’re not only delivering cutting edge research like this, but also investing in the individuals who have the potential be leading researchers and innovators in years to come. I am delighted that Dr Khastgir is part of the programme.”
The Cyber Security for Connected and Autonomous Mobility (CAM) has been investigated in a series of projects funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and supported by Zenzic and InnovateUK (part of UKRI).
Out of seven projects, WMG, at the University of Warwick was involved in three:
1. Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Cyber Resilience: a Lab2Live Observer Based Approach
Each project was tasked with exploring innovative methods for measuring and monitoring cyber security, defining a set of requirements for a future Cyber Security facility/capability and understanding the commercial landscape for such a facility.
These 3 objectives were addressed across a number of different themes with Cyber for CAM: Monitoring, Threats to connected vehicle, networks, Threats to automated vehicles or Countermeasure and risk mitigation.
Dr Elijah Adegoke, from WMG, University of Warwick was involved in the PNT Cyber Resilience project. In collaboration with Spirent, key recommendations made to Government include that spoofing and jamming attacks on GNSS signals are capable of leading to severe loss of functionality and safety in CAVs; thus there is an urgent need to invest in independent facilities capable of seamlessly testing attacks on CAM PNT systems in both controlled laboratory and live environments.
Zenzic, the University of Warwick and Spirent now aim to work with standardisation bodies to guide the development of GNSS attack detection and GNSS resiliency assessment standards, and the responsible disclosure of information on threat actors and attack events.
Dr Adegoke commented: “To investigate jamming and spoofing in CAM PNT systems, a test facility needs to be able to quantify the resilience of a CAV against both radio frequency based and software attacks for diverse receiver operating systems and hardware architectures. Access to a drive-in anechoic chamber, such as WMG’s Communications and Sensors Lab in the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Building, to allow the legal testing of over-the-air attacks is highly beneficial.”
Professor Carsten Maple, of WMG, University of Warwick, was involved in ResiCAV and BeARCAT.
ResiCAV was led by Horiba Mira, and highlighted how connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and their associated infrastructure can develop real-time responsiveness to cybersecurity threats, and highlighted the ‘urgent need’ for a national road transport cybersecurity programme in order for the UK to safely support CAV adoption across the transport network. Professor Carsten Maple comments:
“The ResiCAV project has proven that the UK could become a world-leader in automotive cybersecurity and vehicle resilience, however this can only be done if there is a collaboration between industry and the shared use of testbeds. The project has shown that cyber resilience can only be effectively achieved by developing a new engineering methodology. We have, with partners, started the journey to formalising the methodology, and provide the tools and techniques for achieving resilience through manufacture and operation.
“I hope this next step after this project is to see funding for the development of the ‘UK Centre of Excellence for Road Transport Cybersecurity Resilience’ to thrust the UK to the forefront of automotive cybersecurity.”
Professor Maple was also involved in BeARCAT, led by Cisco the BeARCAT project highlights that with the high infrastructure set-up costs and extensive overheads in the management of a test facility for automotive cyber security, the most cost-effective course of action is for a UK CTF (Cyber Test Facility) to be collocate with the existing testbeds. He comments:
“We are pleased to have developed a Security Framework for cyber security testing in the CAV ecosystem, including coverage of security threat modelling and risk assessment. Working with our partners we have defined mechanisms for communications resilience and provide a blueprint, based on the security framework, for testing certification. We hope these contributions will be helpful to the Government as it seeks to establish a world-leading capability in developing and assessing cyber security for automotive systems.”
All three projects prove the UK could be pioneering Cyber Security in Connected and Autonomous Mobility if companies within the industry work together to share resources and testbeds, which could bring autonomous vehicles one step closer to our roads.
The Coventry Very Light Rail project is about to embark on a new adventure, investigating how to create a low cost trackform for the light rail carriages already in development, thanks to £1.5m funding from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), secured by CCC. This project aims to revolutionise affordable public transport in towns and cities.
So far in the Coventry Very Light Rail project, Engineers from WMG, University of Warwick have worked with TDI to design a battery-powered light rail vehicle for Coventry City Council. The long term objective is that it will become an autonomous vehicle that can hold 50 passengers and work like the London Underground system, where there is no timetable and people can hop on and off.
The vehicle will be lightweight in design using a multi-material approach. Due to being battery-powered there will be no overhead power supply, which is both costly and unsightly.
However researchers are now about to embark on their next venture of the VLR project, as they have received £1.5m via CCC to develop a low cost trackform for light rail. Engineers at WMG will work with Coventry City Council and a major French civil engineering company - Ingerop Conseil et Ingénierie.
The ultimate goal of the track project is to design an affordable trackform that can be easily removed and will reduce impact on utilities, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds digging up roads and moving gas, electric, telecommunication and sewage systems, which is currently the process for building traditional tram systems.
Dr Darren Hughes, Associate Professor at WMG, University of Warwick comments:
“The Coventry light-rail project brings together advanced technologies from a number of sectors to deliver a low-cost environmentally-sustainable public transport solution.
“Now that the vehicles have been designed it is time to look at the track they will run on, and with the help of Ingérop Conseil et Ingénierie, we will make it as affordable and environmentally friendly as possible.”
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration said:
“Our plan for Very Light Rail has the potential to transform the way people travel. It will be delivered at a much lower cost than traditional trams, a hop on, hop off service part of the green revolution and of course its innovation born in Coventry.
“While the development of the vehicle is progressing well, we also need to innovate in the development of the track and that’s exactly what Ingérop will be able to help with. Experts in this field we will be setting them the challenge of designing track that that can be laid much more quickly and therefore much more cheaply than traditional track.
“Very Light Rail is a really exciting project. Another innovative first for Coventry and this is another important step in its delivery.”
Philippe-André Hanna, Director for International Transport in Ingérop said:
“We are delighted to join the team for the Coventry Very Light Rail. This project is an absolute need for small and medium cities who want to have a modern, carbon-free, rail-based system and cannot afford it today. After the R&D phase, our real goal as on all our projects around the World is to put in place the most sustainable urban transport system for Coventry and many more cities in Europe."
Tim Hackett, Infrastructure Director at Rendel Ltd said:
“We are really excited to be part of this project with our colleagues from Ingérop having already worked together successfully on some high-profile and complex rail projects. We look forward to collaborating on this innovative and technologically game-changing project, providing support from our new West Midlands office.”
Around 1000 face masks, donated by Beijing City University in China to the University of Warwick, will be given to NHS key workers across Warwickshire on the front line against COVID-19.
The University of Warwick community is now working to distribute these masks to social care services in North and South Warwickshire, via the NHS Incident Management Teams.
The face masks will be utilised in care homes, hospices, and district care services, where the current supply of personal protective equipment is very low.
Some of the masks will also be used to keep students and frontline workers who remain on the Warwick campus safe.
This weekend, the British Medical Association declared that all key workers should be given a face mask to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
This donation was made by Professor Liu Lin, President of Beijing City University — an institution with which WMG has a long-standing education partnership.
WMG has collaborated with Beijing City University since 2012 to deliver its Programme and Project Management Masters courses in China.
Professor Stuart Croft, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, said: “The Warwick community of students, staff, and partners stretches to every continent on the planet, and its heart is here in Coventry and Warwickshire. On behalf of this community, I thank Professor Liu Lin for the supply of face masks, which will enable us to help keep our neighbours who are most in need safe during this pandemic.
“Together, we are striving to beat the virus – and we will achieve this through co-operation across international borders, driving forward vital research, and supporting our local healthcare workers.”
Margot James is the newly appointed Executive Chair of WMG at the University of Warwick. She commented: “The struggle against this pandemic is global, and it is local. We will only succeed in the fight against COVID-19 by collaborating with our partners around the world, and by protecting key workers in our communities who are on the front line.
“We at WMG and the wider University of Warwick are very grateful for the generosity of Professor Liu Lin and our friends at Beijing City University — and we are proud to draw upon our established international links to support the health and welfare of our region, at a time when the need is greater than ever.”
This is one of numerous ways in which the University of Warwick has worked with its Chinese partners to support the fight against COVID-19 in the UK.
Last week, it was announced that Professors from Warwick’s Department of Engineering have been working with the Association of British Chinese Professors in raising funds to purchase personal protective equipment for ten UK hospitals.
They secured 2400 face masks for hospitals in London, as well as 3500 safety goggles and 7000 full face visors, which were donated to seven hospitals in London, Cambridge, Birmingham and Coventry.