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Synthetic diamond and AI research at Warwick to shine in new industry partnerships

§ University of Warwick is involved in two Prosperity Partnerships that will bring together expertise and insight from academia, business and industry

§ Researchers in the Departments of Physics, Chemistry and Engineering will work with Element Six on establishing a synthetic diamond supply chain to help develop new diamond-enabled technologies

§ Researchers from the Department of Computer Science and WMG at the University of Warwick involved in developing a Framework for responsible adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the financial services industry

Projects that will combine the expertise and insight of University of Warwick researchers with that of business and industry to further developments inSynthetic diamond and AI research at Warwick to shine in new industry partnerships image diamond-enabled technologies and to develop a Framework for responsible adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the financial services industry have received national funding.

They are announced today (22 July) among eight business-led Prosperity Partnerships in support of the government’s ambitious new Innovation Strategy.

They are supported with an investment of almost £60 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), businesses and universities.

Prosperity Partnerships build on existing UK strengths in industry and academia to develop new technologies, processes, and skills that will deliver economic growth and create jobs across the UK.

At the University of Warwick, researchers will establish a supply chain of synthetic diamonds to help develop new technologies, as well as developing a Framework for responsible adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the financial services industry, in projects that will see them collaborate closely with business and industry.

Diamond is one of the most versatile materials on earth, with applications in thermal, optical, sensing, electrochemistry and quantum.

The world we live in today presents a variety of technical challenges, each associated to different industrial applications, such as thermal management bottlenecks in internet and telecommunication infrastructures, as well as industrial wastewater management and disposal. Over the last few years’ diamond has been recognised as a reliable solution in many of these fields, while also unlocking novel applications in quantum technology as well as material machining and welding using high power lasers.

The £5.2 million project, a partnership between the Departments of Physics, Chemistry and Engineering at the University of Warwick and Element Six, aims to establish a supply chain for these vital technologies, which will help researchers and businesses to capitalise on the potential of high quality, engineered synthetic diamonds to deliver new, disruptive solutions across a range of industries, including semiconductors, water technology and quantum.

Professor Mark Newton, of the University of Warwick Department of Physics, said: “The project outcomes will include new materials with improved and tailored properties, new science enabled by enhanced properties and the ability to manufacture innovative diamond devices.”

Dr Daniel Twitchen, Chief Technologist at Element Six said: “Leveraging nearly 20 years of successful collaboration, ranging from fundamental science to commercialised applications, our partnership with the University of Warwick aims to build on the UK’s world-leading role in this field, alongside Element Six’s renowned expertise and capabilities in advanced material solutions, to develop the next generation of diamond-enabled technologies.”

Researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick and the Department of Computer Science are also involved in a project that will see The Alan Turing Institute, HSBC, and other organisations in the financial sector, developing a Framework for responsible adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the financial services industry (FAIR).

This Prosperity Partnership project aims to develop the trustworthy, data-driven AI decision-making approaches that are needed for the wider adoption of these technologies in the financial and professional services sector, which employs 2.2 million people and has an estimated total value of £190 billion. The University will lead the work on security and privacy issues in AI deployment in financial services. Professor Carsten Maple leads the EPSRC-NCSC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and is a member of the Royal Society working group on Privacy Enhancing Technologies and Professor Graham Cormode is Fellow of the ACM and an award winning researcher for his work in privacy and data analytics.

Professor Maple said: “With the increasing deployment of AI it is vital that the systems and their inferences are secure and respect the privacy needs of citizens and businesses. We are proud to work with such an outstanding group of researchers and organisations to deliver a project that provides the fundamental research that can transform the sector and place the UK at the global forefront.”

EPSRC Executive Chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden said: “Artificial intelligence, digital chemistry and digital twins are some of the new and transformative technologies that will help to drive the Net Zero revolution, address major societal challenges, and deliver prosperity to the UK.

“By bringing together UK businesses and universities, these new Prosperity Partnerships will generate the knowledge and innovations that will enable these cutting-edge technologies to realise their transformative potential across a diverse range of sectors.”

§ Read the EPSRC’s press release at: https://www.ukri.org/news/intelligent-road-repairs-among-eight-new-prosperity-partnerships/

Ends

Notes to editors:

Image for the Element Six/University of Warwick diamond project available at: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/prosperity-partnership.jpg

Caption: Laser light shining through Element Six’s NV diamond – Copyright of Element Six

Project summaries:

Element Six and University of Warwick

Diamond is the epitome of a multi-functional material with applications in thermal management, optical transmission, electrochemistry, and quantum technologies. Engineered synthetic diamonds offer an extraordinary combination of extreme properties and are capable of meeting the needs of the most demanding of applications in these diverse fields. The partnership aims to build on the UK’s world-leading role in diamond growth and exploitation to develop diamond solutions in areas where conventional materials are increasingly unable to meet the performance levels required by new technologies. We will establish a UK diamond technology supply chain which will help researchers and businesses to capitalise on the potential of high quality, tailor-made synthetic diamonds to develop next-generation solutions to real-world challenges.

HSBC and The Alan Turing Institute

AI technologies have the potential to unlock significant growth for the UK financial services sector through:

§ novel personalised products and services

§ improved cost-efficiency

§ increased consumer confidence

§ more effective management of financial, systemic, and security risks.

The partnership aims to develop the trustworthy, data-driven AI decision-making approaches that are needed for the wider adoption of these technologies.

It aims to address challenges such as how to increase the accuracy of predictive models without threatening fair treatment of all customers or improving transparency without leaving systems open to external threats.

It aims to outline how the finance sector can make the transformational shift to the greater use of AI technologies and ensure that these technologies have fairness, security and accountability at their heart. Whilst also, being robust and aware of privacy.

22 July 2021

 

Fri 23 Jul 2021, 10:53 | Tags: Partnerships Research AI Technologies

WMG Visualisation Engineers use VR to help recreate experience of Medieval Coventry Weaver’s House during Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture

Coventry is not only famed for its Cathedral, two tone music and the automotive industry, it is also famous for its weaving, in fact the medieval Weaver’sImage of Medieval Coventry Weaver’s House House still stands as an attraction today in Coventry’s Spon Street. In 1540 John Croke and his family would have been making cloth on a wooden loom in the Weaver’s House, and whilst you can go to the house, the opportunity to experience the home exactly how it would have been for John and his family is now possible, thanks to visualisation engineering researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick.

Using Virtual Reality WMG's Professor Alan Chalmers (Professor of Visualisation at the International Digital Laboratory, WMG, University of Warwick) and his students have recreated a walkthrough of the medieval Weaver's House in Spon Street, the movement and skill of operating the loom was captured using Microsoft Kinect V2 cameras against a green screen, before being extracted and put onto a screen with a realistic background created. The addition of candles adds to the complexity of the process but makes the scene a more accurate portrayal of the living and working conditions.

It is part of a free exhibition called ‘Metropolis’ just opened at the newly refurbished and renamed Metropolis restaurant in Coventry (formerly Drapers' Bar), an exhibition that explores the story of Coventry through its building. The exhibition is running during Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.

The exhibition’s curators, Sabine Coady Schäbitz and Mark Webb weave medieval and modern stories together in five themes: movement, enterprise, culture, resilience and the future. It celebrates Coventry’s distinct contribution to the history of the built environment in Britain, from industrial premises including workshops and factories, to major religious buildings containing some of the finest decorative art in the country.

Professor Alan Chalmers, from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

“My team and I are really pleased to be a part of this exhibition and especially to demonstrate our new technology that recreates on screen an authentic portrayal of the skills of medieval weaving, an industry that was so vital to the city’s makers reputation and prosperity in the 16th century.

“We were delighted to be working with charity Medieval Coventry and be funded by the Institute of Engagement's Community Partnership Fund with support and guidance in making the results of our research accessible to the public.”

There are plans to take the exhibit on a tour of local schools in 2022 and produce an extended multisensory display in the Herbert Museum's Medieval Gallery that will include other local skills such as dyeing and tanning.

This isn’t the only contribution the University is making for the exhibition, as after many months exploring the film archives to discover the story of the city's architecture, Film Television Studies PhD student Kat Pearson looks at Coventrians’ relationship with the built environment in her film.

Kat collaborated with The Media Archive for Central England (MACE) on creating a series of short archive films drawing on gems from the MACE collection. Along with Archivist Philip Leach they have brought together items which highlight the relationship between Coventry's communities and its buildings in the latter half of the 20th Century.

PhD researcher Kat Pearson from the Department of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick comments:

“This is a topic that I have a personal interest in and researching these films has been an amazing opportunity for me to look at the architecture of Coventry in a new light. The Metropolis exhibition allows us to showcase some wonderful archival films in a public space, and this builds on a project in 2020 to bring archival films to the Foleshill community.”

Further information on Kat's work in Foleshill can be found here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/film/tvhistories/blog/foleshillscreenings

Exhibition details:

Metropolis: Coventry’s medieval and modernist ambitions
Free (10am-6pm daily)
1st Floor of Metropolis, Earl Street, Coventry CV1 5QP

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations:
Mobile: 07767 655860 Email p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

PJD 20th July 2021

 

Wed 21 Jul 2021, 09:17 | Tags: Partnerships Visualisation Research

WMG Associate Professor partners with leading health-tech company

Image of Dr Mark ElliottWMG’s Associate Professor Mark Elliott will be working alongside health tech experts at EQL, in a two year part-time secondment, focusing on the impact of digital health technology.

Dr Elliott was awarded funding through the UKRI Innovation Scholars Secondment: Biomedical Science scheme which aims to intensify knowledge exchange between industry and academia.

Dr Elliott explained: “I’m looking forward to working closely with the team at EQL. My previous research has always been on the academic side so this will give me a real insight into a fast-growing health-tech company and how they operate.

“The aim of the secondment is to support EQL in evaluating and validating their platforms using rigorous research methods, whilst also gaining knowledge of the state-of-the-art technologies that EQL use to support people with their musculoskeletal health; it’s a really exciting opportunity.”

Dr Elliott is based at the Institute of Digital Healthcare at WMG, University of Warwick with his core research focusing on human movement analytics, using signal processing and data science approaches to monitor, measure and model movement in a range of different contexts. He is particularly interested in the self-management of physiotherapy, highlighting it as one of the big challenges in healthcare at the moment.

His role on the secondment is to undertake research into how digital applications of technology can support people to self-manage their musculoskeletal health. The focus will be on implementing remote management and digital health platforms that could incorporate a number of technologies such as chat bots. He will initially work in the R&D team to investigate methods to collect clinical information through smartphone applications as well as exploring other novel uses of consumer grade technology.

He added: “On the research side it’s really useful to understand how people can use digital platforms — how they engage with them and for how long, whether they find it useful and whether it improves the long-term outcomes of patients.”

Find out more about at the Institute of Digital Healthcare here.

Tue 13 Jul 2021, 09:22 | Tags: Partnerships Research Our People IDH

First International safety standard for fully automated driving systems has been published

§ One of the first applications of Level 4 autonomous vehicles is expected to be low speed automated driving (LSAD) systems, such as pods

§ However, lack of safety standards has hampered their commercial deployment on public roads

§ An international group of experts led by WMG, University of Warwick working together as a part of an ISO technical committee, has published the first international (ISO) safety standard for level 4 automated driving systems, taking them a step further towards being more widely available

· This new ISO standard could enable an environmentally-friendly transport option, as well as a solution for people with mobility issues.

The use of low speed automated driving systems can contribute to reduction of congestion and carbon emissions all over the world, however the enrolment of such systems has been hampered by the lack of safety standards, until now; as an international group of experts led by WMG, University of Warwick working as part of an ISO technical committee have published the first international safety standard for level 4 automated driving systems.

Low speed automated driving (LSAD) systems, such as the autonomous pods are classed as a level 4 automated driving systems. They provide anAurrigo Autonomous pods outside the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya building, University of Warwick Credit: WMG, University of Warwick opportunity for cities to reduce congestion and carbon emissions, thus contributing to net-zero targets.

They currently tend to operate on predefined routes in low-speed environments, often being used in commercial, business or university campuses. Yet growth in this area has been hampered by a lack of international standards that define minimum performance and safety requirements to be met.

However, the first international safety standard for a level 4 automated driving systems has just been published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) to help accelerate its progress in a safe and sustainable way.

The standard, ISO 22737, ‘Intelligent transport systems — Low-speed automated driving (LSAD) systems for predefined routes — Performance requirements, system requirements and performance test procedures’ was developed by an international group of experts led by Dr Siddartha Khastgir from WMG, University of Warwick, UK.

In the ISO 22737 standard, the group have set out the specific minimum safety and performance requirements for LSAD systems, providing a common language to help facilitate the development and safe deployment of this technology worldwide. The group included experts from Japan, USA, Canada, Australia, South Korea, China, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Hungary and the UK.

This standardization activity is underpinned by strong research outcomes from the CCAV and Innovate UK funded INTACT research project by WMG and Aurrigo; and also by the research conducted as part of Dr Khastgir’s UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.

Dr Siddartha Khastgir, from WMG, University of Warwick who served as the Project Leader of the group of experts that developed the ISO standard, statedImage of Aurrigo Autonomous pod on a pedestrian street that:

“An increased use in LSAD systems can lead to a shift in the way people, goods and services are transported. This new standard will enable the safe deployment of an environmentally-friendly transport option, as well as a solution for people with mobility issues."

Some of the key points from the new standard include:

· Providing minimum operating capabilities for LSAD systems including guidance on Operational Design Domain (ODD) definition· Guidance on how LSAD systems may fit into the wider transport ecosystem

· Performance requirements for different aspects of the LSAD system such Dynamic Driving Task; Emergency maneuvers (e.g. emergency stop and minimal risk maneuvers); hazardous situation identification; static and dynamic obstacle detection and avoidance

· Test procedures for various system functionalities

Simon Brewerton, Chief Technology Officer at Aurrigo Driverless Technology, a Coventry based LSAD system manufacturer comments:
“Aurrigo is one of only a couple of UK based vehicle OEMs who produce low speed autonomous vehicles. These vehicles are engineered in the UK but are deployed globally. It had been increasing difficult to communicate the level of safety engineering that our vehicles encompass, and also difficult to compare various attributes and functionality against the perceived state of the art for this class of vehicle.

“Aurrigo decided to invest our resources and domain knowledge following an invitation from WMG to bring an OEM viewpoint to the BSI working group for the ISO22737 LSAD standard. Working closely with Siddartha, Aurrigo had the opportunity to share the experiences gained from many deployments globally, and provide insight into the practicalities of building a suitable test regime.

Image of some members of the drafting team of ISO 22737. Experts from Japan, USA, South Korea, Canada, Australia and the UK“The new LSAD standard puts a line in the sand for all OEMs to exceed and so enables a global market where all players rise to the same exacting standards as each other, keeping the public safe and the industry competitive.”

Nick Fleming, Head of Sector, Transport and Mobility, British Standards Institution mentioned:“BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body, would like to recognise the work of our technical committee (EPL/278) and UK experts that have fed into the development of this important standard, the first international (ISO) standard for Low-Speed Autonomous Driving (LSAD) systems. BS ISO 22737 is an important development in the evolving landscape for automated vehicle standards, much like BSI’s PAS 1883 an ODD (Operational Design Domain) taxonomy for Automated Driving Systems authored by Siddartha and published in 2020, in helping support safe trialing and operation of automated vehicles.”

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Director Stephen Meader said:
“The publication of the first International safety standard for fully autonomous vehicles represents a major step towards the widespread adoption of a more environmentally friendly mode of transport that can cut both congestion and carbon emissions. In the year of COP26, this kind of innovation has never been more important.

“The work of Dr Khastgir and his team demonstrates the value of Future Leaders Fellowships funding to support talented researchers and innovators to deliver change that can be felt across society and the economy.”

ISO 22737 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 204 Intelligent transport systems, whose secretariat is held by ANSI, the ISO member for the USA.

It can be purchased from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

ENDS

8 JULY 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

Dr Siddartha Khastgir is the recipient £1.2 million UKRI Future Leader Fellow which focusses on evaluating the safety of Autonomous Vehicles by scenario generation and use of simulation-based testing. See more: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/research/cav/vandv/ukriflf/

High-res images available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/img_0022_-2.jpeg
Caption: Some members of the drafting team of ISO 22737. Experts from Japan, USA, South Korea, Canada, Australia and the UK
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/january2020/xt2a0019.jpg
Caption: Aurrigo Autonomous pods outside the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya building, University of Warwick
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/1.jpg
Caption: Aurrigo Autonomous pod on a pedestrian street
Credit: Aurrigo Driverless Technology

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/2.jpg
Caption: Aurrigo Autonomous pod on a pedestrian street
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/7.jpg
Caption: Aurrigo Autonomous pod on a pedestrian street
Credit: Aurrigo Driverless Technology

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/3.jpg
Caption: Aurrigo Autonomous pod
Credit: Aurrigo Driverless Technology

ISO 22737: https://www.iso.org/standard/73767.html

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

 

Thu 08 Jul 2021, 16:31 | Tags: Intelligent Vehicles Partnerships Research

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


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