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Innovating the Future: British Science Week at WMG

Between 5-14 March, WMG will be supporting British Science Week 2021 - a ten-day celebration of science, technology, maths and engineering. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Innovating the Future.’

WMG has a programme of activities that will showcase the work of its scientists and engineers. You can see more here: WMG - The University of Warwick

MozFest

On 8th March, Professor Margaret Low, WMG’s Director of Outreach and Widening Participation, will be taking part, virtually, in MozFest. The Mozilla Festival, affectionately known as MozFest, is hosted by the Mozilla Foundation, with themed ‘spaces’ akin to mini-festivals.

Professor Low will join other experts to present “Exploring Coding, Stitching Culture,” through a series of tutorials and workshops in the Global Culture and Picture: TurtlestitchHeritage Space. Participants will have the opportunity to create designs with Turtlestitch coding. The designs will them be exhibited in the Mozfest gallery.

Turtlestitch is freely available software that enables the generation and stitching of patterns using a digital embroidery machine. WMG has a series of free tutorials and lesson plans for Turtlestitch available online.

You can register for MozFest here: Mozilla Festival - Tickets

WMG Talks Science

On Friday 12th March, WMG’s Outreach Project Officer, Dr Phil Jemmett will be hosting a live ‘WMG Talks’ event aimed at Year 9 and 10 pupils.

The youngsters will have the chance to hear from four WMG scientists – Amar Gohil, Ben Hunt, Katerina Gonos and Kevin Couling, who will share their expertise on driverless vehicles, transport electrification, battery chemistry and 3D printing, respectively.

Picture: WMG ExpertimentsDr Phil Jemmett explains: “British Science Week takes cutting-edge, awe-inspiring work, usually hidden in university buildings, and shares it with the people who will end up using that technology.

“Futuristic concepts belong in the classroom because those students will be the people who end up designing, making, and improving the technology we are talking about today. Our Outreach activity links the school curriculum to our leading research.

“Amar is teaching cars to drive themselves to make transport accessible and safe; Katerina and Ben are making it possible to generate and store energy in a 'green' way, and Kevin is 3D printing body parts for surgeons to train on. These topics will have huge impacts on all of us and they need future STEM experts to turn these concepts into real products. The next leader in STEM is probably in school somewhere right now - could it be you?”

To find out more or to register a place for your child visit: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/about/outreach/opportunities/wmgtalks

Thu 04 Mar 2021, 17:37 | Tags: STEM Education Public engagement

Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021

Today, 11th February, WMG is joining the world in celebrating International Women and Girls in Science Day 2021.

Science is everywhere in today’s world. Part of our daily lives and never far from news headlines.

The Day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the inspiring female scientists at WMG, including PhD student Evé Wheeler-Jones, a Chemist, working in our Eve Wheeler-Jones, WMG PhD StudentBattery Technology team.

Evé explains: “Across my engagement work, I often meet girls and young women who do not think that science is an option to them, this saddens me and spurs me on. I work in an environment with some amazing female researchers, technicians, teachers and academics, and I wish I could share a glimpse of this to all the young people out there.

“Science is great place of learning and creativity, and also a place for all types of people. Diversity enhances science as it brings so many different ideas to the table, this is why it’s so important for young women to embrace science and, in turn, to be welcomed with open arms.”

The WMG Outreach Team has also created a virtual lesson for Year 9 pupils featuring female scientists and researchers including Evé. This was distributed to local schools via the University’s Central Outreach Widening Participation Team.

You can view the lesson here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/about/outreach/resources/battery-lesson/

The University of Warwick will also be hosting a Women at Warwick Q&A Panel this evening. Find more details here.

Thu 11 Feb 2021, 08:15 | Tags: Athena Swan STEM

Warwick Racing Engineering Team unveils its production during COVID

While the Summer months are used for relaxing and revision for most students, a group of students who form Warwick Racing stayed behind to continue their work on the single-seater electric race car, ready for the Formula Student events later in the academic year.

The Warwick Racing team consists of students from the School of Engineering, Warwick Business School and the Department of Computer Science, with support and facilities courtesy of WMG. The team comprises members of different gender, race, nationality and degree, with an expansion to the business team in term one adding 12 additional new members to the fold, overseeing the website, marketing and social media.

Due to the pandemic the students worked remotely to design the second race car, WRe2. But as labs reopened over the summer it was time to start putting Picture: Warwick Racing Renderthe real-world production of components into action.

Following social distancing guidelines, wearing protective equipment and ensuring that workstations are properly sanitized, Warwick Racing has been able to successfully ensure that component production was able to continue safely.

They were able to focus on two critical components of the car, the front upright and the wiring harness.

Watch videos documenting the creation of these two components at https://youtu.be/IF2RFvn5pYE and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSQqVBKCD5Y

Angel Marco Ansenjo, Chief Chassis Engineer at Warwick Racing comments:

“The front uprights are the real workhorses of the vehicle: holding the front wheels in place and resisting the various dynamic loads that affect the car whilst cornering, braking and moving over bumps. As such the uprights must be one of the sturdiest and most resilient parts of the whole car.

“The process of creating an upright begins in the telemetry of last year’s car. By understanding what loads are going through the car at various points in the drive, we can better design the updated component in line with the needs of the new car. From there, the entire suspension system is digitally recreated on Autodesk Fusion 360 and simulated against a variety of stresses and load combinations to test how the suspension holds up against them. These include a hard braking scenario where the steering is put on full lock and the car hits a bump at the most loaded corner of the vehicle. This is to ensure that even in the most extreme of circumstances the part remains intact and the driver is safe.”

From here, the engineers decide on many of the intricate specifics of the upright, such as deciding on the component volume, the wheel bearings and the seals. Then, the exact material for the upright is chosen in order to allow the component to perform its job in the optimal manner. In this case, the team chose to use an aluminium-silicon alloy.

Once the volume and material are chosen, the design is run through a second phase of CAD tests to optimize the efficiency of the component and to ensure that any additional weight is shed. The engineers will then re-subject the part to digital testing and produce the toolpath which is sent to the computer-controlled manufacturing machines (CNC).

Once the part has been machined, it will be cut and measured to exact specifications and the additional bracketry will be manufactured. The wheel bearings are pressed in, followed by all the mounting hardware and the wheel hub, before the component is eventually mounted onto the chassis.

The wiring harness of a race car connects and controls various electronic components of the vehicle and ensures that wires are connected in the shortest, safest and most efficient ways possible.

Rens Bossers, Chief Powertrain Engineer at Warwick Racing comments:
“The first stage of designing a wiring harness is identifying what sensors, control units and actuators need to be connected to the circuit. On the WRe2 this contains over 50 components including, but not limited to: Battery Monitoring Systems (BMS), Inverter Data, Coolant monitors, speed sensors, steering wheel position sensors, brake pressure sensors and GPS.

“Once the components are decided on, we used smart wiring software to add all the connectors in and all the shielding and seals to protect the wiring from water and dust. The system must also be designed to ensure that it can survive the vibrations and stresses of racing without braking or compromising the safety of the car. Once the design is decided upon it is refined to ensure maximum efficiency (both in terms of cost and performance) by reducing the length of wires where possible and saving weight. “

Once the digital section of the design stage is complete, the team map out the building process using a Nailboard Wiring Diagram and begin cutting and crimping the wires to motorsport grade standards. In total there are over 5 meters of wires cut for the harness and over 200 separate connections which must be individually tested and validated. Once the tests are certified, the loom is sealed to make it both waterproof and fireproof, ensuring the elements can’t get into the circuit even in the event of a crash. Once the loom is completed, it is carefully installed and secured within the chassis.

ENDS

20 JANUARY 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available 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

Video available to view at:

https://youtu.be/IF2RFvn5pYE and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSQqVBKCD5Y

Credit: Warwick Racing

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 20 Jan 2021, 15:26 | Tags: STEM Undergraduate Partnerships Manufacturing

Professional accreditation for WMG Engineering Technician

Bethany HaynesCongratulations to WMG Engineering Technician, Bethany Haynes who has received her Professional Engineering Technician (EngTech) accreditation and membership from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

At WMG, Bethany provides technical support in robotics, machining, technical drawings, quotation, manufacture and fabrication.

To achieve her IMechE accreditation, Bethany had to provide details of successful projects, any technical problems she had to overcome, and evidence of new skills and knowledge developed during her career.

Bethany explained: “This is a really great personal achievement, and something I’ve been determined to accomplish for a long time. I’ve worked so hard for this, and as a young female technician it has given me a real confidence boost. I am so thankful for the support of my fellow technicians and colleagues who encouraged me to push myself.”

WMG Workshop Manager, Luke Millage, said: “It is great to see that Beth has pursued this professional registration with the IMechE. Beth has worked tirelessly to develop her skills over the last couple of years, and it is wonderful to see this formally recognised.”

EngTech is a globally recognised level of professional registration for Engineering Technicians. It is a formal recognition of engineering skills and competence and an important stepping stone towards becoming an Incorporated Engineer or a Chartered Engineer

Read more about Bethany’s career here

Thu 17 Dec 2020, 09:29 | Tags: STEM Careers Technician Commitment

WMG delivers special STEM parcels to local schools

WMG delivers STEM parcel to Arley Primary SchoolThe WMG Outreach team has been making special Christmas deliveries to children across the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

Young engineers from a total of 15 local schools have been sent parcels with card templates of stars, stags, sleighs and baubles; a mini laser-cut Christmas tree and 3D printed cubes, octopuses and dinosaurs.

The year five and six children were also set some special STEM challenges including creating their own 3D Christmas decorations but without the use of glue.

WMG Outreach Project Officer, Phil Jemmett explained: “These boxes use the expertise of engineers at WMG to create exciting activities to engage children with ‘engineering’ - without a car in sight. We want to provide children with a chance to see creativity and engineering as two parts of the same approach to solving a problem.

“Inside the boxes are templates to build Christmas decorations out of paper – and once they have made a few they will notice the advantages of flat-packing the items we see in shops because they won’t all fit back in the box they came from!

“Last year, this resource box was the most fun activity we worked on. It has been a bit different this year and without the help of our fantastic technicians Beth Haynes; Joe Benjamin and Ehman Altaf, it would not have been possible to laser cut or 3D print any items to go in these boxes.”

WMG Director of Outreach and Widening Participation , Professor Margaret Low added: “I’m delighted that WMG is again able to share the engineering activity boxes with local primary schools. It’s important that we work in partnership with teaching colleagues at all stages of education, to raise awareness of engineering and how it contributes to our society.”

Find out more about WMG’s Outreach programme here.

*In total 25 boxes were sent out. Local schools involved were:

· St Giles Junior School, Bedworth

· Charter Primary School, Coventry

· St Joseph, Kings Norton, Birmingham

· St Columba, Rednal, Birmingham

· St James, Rednal, Birmingham

· St Thomas More, Sheldon, Birmingham

· St Brigid, Northfield, Birmingham

· St Paul, Birmingham

· Arley Primary School, Nuneaton

· Burton Green Primary School, Coventry

· Balsall Common Primary School, Balsall Common

· Burbage Junior School

· Dorridge Primary School, Solihull

· Shottery St Andrews Primary School

· Clifford Bridge Academy, Coventry

 

Wed 16 Dec 2020, 09:35 | Tags: HVM Catapult STEM Public engagement Outreach

The next generation of WMG engineers

Congratulations to the 2018 cohort of Graduate Trainee Engineers who have all now successfully completed the Scheme, and secured new positions as Project Engineers at WMG.

WMG Grad SchemeOver the last two years the eight graduates; Harry Chan, Edward Griffin, Katerina Gonos, Jet Feng, Ben Ayre, Adam Szypula, Vidya Narayanan and Puja Unadkat; have been developing their engineering skills by working with academics and industry partners on either autonomous vehicles or energy innovation research.

Several of the graduates have also had their work published in leading academic journals and shared their expertise at key industry events.

In addition all eight have also supported WMG’s Outreach programme by taking part in workshops, demonstrations and talks with local school children including at the University’s Family Day events.

WMG’s Graduate Scheme Manager, Louise Oddy explains: “The recent success of our graduates is a true testament to their consistent hard work, determination and professionalism. They have made a lasting impact across several areas of WMG and will continue to do this within their roles as Project Engineers. Growing our own talent is integral to the future success of WMG and I could not be prouder of all of the Graduate Engineers. Thank you to those across the department that continue to support the scheme and make our programme so unique.”

Ed GriffinProject Engineer, Ed Griffin adds: “WMG is an exceptional organisation where the graduate scheme promotes excellent tailored development in each graduate’s individual technical field. Our exposure to a range of cutting-edge automotive research, combined with various project management opportunities, is now invaluable in our Project Engineer roles.”

Find out more about the WMG Graduate Scheme here.

Wed 11 Nov 2020, 09:32 | Tags: Intelligent Vehicles Energy Systems STEM Careers

Warwick Racing team develop second electric race car during lockdown

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 team usually spend their summer in the workshop building a race car. The Covid-19 lockdown hasn’t stopped them from designing and virtually validating their second electric competition car, WRe2.

Warwick Racing renderThe 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:

Warwick Racing Car"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.

ENDS

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

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/september_2020/warwick_racing_car.jpg

Caption: Wre1 on track
Credit: Warwick Racing, University of Warwick

Thu 10 Sep 2020, 12:55 | Tags: STEM Undergraduate Partnerships

Warwick Moto’s electric superbike build racing ahead despite lockdown

Warwick Moto Team (picture taken before the pandemic)Warwick Moto team, consisting of 25 Warwick students aren’t letting the pandemic get in the way of designing, building and developing the electric superbike, as they’re doing it virtually from home.

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 Warwick Moto Team meeting virtually

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-termAurora 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:

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

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

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

ENDS

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:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920531221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

Wed 05 Aug 2020, 11:04 | Tags: STEM Undergraduate Partnerships

It’s electrifying!

Electric VehiclesWMG Centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult, with support from Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Electrical Energy Storage Spoke, has created a series of short educational videos to help explain the process of transport electrification.

There are a total of three episodes featuring WMG’s Electric Vehicle experts Professor David Greenwood, Research Fellow Faduma Maddar, and Dr Mel Loveridge.

In each episode, the experts explain more about the research carried out at WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre and address the key issues surrounding an electric future.

The videos will now be shared with policy makers, and schools across Coventry and Warwickshire to help support STEM learning.

The three episodes can be found in WMG’s Electric Vehicle playlist here.

Wed 15 Jul 2020, 11:41 | Tags: HVM Catapult STEM Education Transport Electrification

Inspiring the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers

WMG’s Outreach team has completed another successful series of Royal Institution Masterclasses for school children across Coventry.

The classes aim to open the eyes of young people to the excitement of engineering, and in turn, inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

Local schools were invited to nominate two year nine students to take part, with a total of 24 students participating in the sessions overall.

The Masterclasses were held on Saturday mornings in the form of interactive workshop sessions focusing on a different aspect of engineering. The Series was delivered by staff and students from WMG, with several of this year’s classes led by researchers working on key WMG HVM Catapult projects.

Software and controlProfessor Margaret Low, Director of Outreach and Widening Participation at WMG explained: “Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the final masterclass focusing on software and control could not be held as an interactive session on campus.

“Instead myself and Helen Luckhurst, Project Officer at WMG HVM Catapult, held the final session virtually across two evenings.”

Professor Low added: “The virtual classes were a complete first for the Outreach team, a strange but still successful end to theVirtual designs Masterclasses. We presented a series of video tutorials and the students then used their programming and pattern skills to create an embroidered pattern design for a coaster. There were some really great designs.”

Find out more about the 2020 RI Masterclasses here.

Thu 30 Apr 2020, 14:52 | Tags: HVM Catapult STEM Outreach

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