On Thursday, (13th February), four leading transportation start-ups visited WMG to learn more about Cyber Security for Automotive, Cooperative Vehicles and Intelligent Vehicles. The companies recently won a start-up competition at the New Mobility Challenge at CoMotion, Los Angeles.
The visit was initiated by the UK’s Science and Innovation Network (SIN) in the USA, who identified Warwick and the West Midlands as a priority for their visit to the UK.
Accompanying the delegation was Matthew Melling, Vice-Consul, Trade & Investment Officer from the UK’s Department for Trade and Investment (DIT), in Los Angeles and Brendan Vickers, North America lead for Innovate UK.
Professor Carsten Maple, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (North America) said; “It was a pleasure to host such innovative start-up companies and share our expertise. The group were particularly interested in the tour of our battery facility at the Energy Innovation Centre and to see the Cooperative Vehicle in action. As we refine our strategy for North America, this was a fantastic opportunity to showcase Warwick at its very best with key stakeholders from the region.”
The companies were:
WMG was pleased to welcome visitors from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently. The visit came on the back of WMG’s Research Office’s engagement with NIST earlier this year.
The NIST is a physical sciences laboratory and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. Its mission is to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness.
The visitors were welcomed by Professor Carsten Maple, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Warwick charged with leading the strategy in North America, and given a tour of WMG’s research facilities.
Finally the visitors were shown WMG’s Forensic Centre for Digital Scanning and 3D printing, where Professor Mark Williams explained more about WMG’s work with West Midlands Police, and the use of digital prototyping tools and techniques to generate forensic evidence to support criminal investigations.
WMG’s research team is looking forward to exploring opportunities for collaborative research with the NIST in the future.
Professor David Mullins, Interim Head of Department (at WMG), was pleased to welcome His Excellency Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany, the Malaysian High Commissioner to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, yesterday (Tuesday 30 July).
Accompanied by University of Warwick Provost Christine Ennew, and WMG’s Director of Client and Business Development, Dr Kogila Balakrishnan, and Business Development Director, Sue Parr, His Excellency was given a tour of WMG’s world-class facilities.
He was especially keen to hear more about WMG’s technology research and collaborative industrial activities including the newly-opened National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC).
Professor David Mullins explained: “We were delighted to welcome the new Malaysian High Commissioner His Excellency Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany on his first visit to WMG and the University of Warwick.
“We have had an excellent long and sustained relationship with Malaysia and its key companies and universities. It was very good to be able to show the High Commissioner and his team our research innovations from smart and connected vehicles and digital forensics to energy and electrification. We also had wide-ranging discussions on the importance of industry-engaged education, including Degree Apprenticeships.”
ZGC Group is regarded as China's Silicon Valley centred in Beijing with a network that extends throughout China and internationally, working with over 20,000 high-tech enterprises.
Mr Xuan was an alumnus from the Chiang foundation programme run at WMG in conjunction with the Chinese government in 1994.
The visitors were given an in-depth tour of the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) and the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Building by Mark Amor-Segan and Richard Seago, accompanied by Head of China Programmes Steve Raynor.
Mr Xuan commented, “It has been 25 years since I was last here, and much has changed. It is very impressive what WMG have achieved over the last quarter of a century. I am very proud to be a WMG alumnus and the programmes I attended here are still inspiring me in my daily job.” Mr Xuan also expressed his wishes to send a group of senior ZGC group management to WMG in 2020, to attend a tailor-made management course focusing on Risk and Investment Management.
Professor David Mullins responded, “We are very proud to hear that you have found the learning from our programme so beneficial. We have watched the tremendous development at ZGC under the leadership of Mr Xuan. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with ZGC group in the future.”
Today, Acting Head of Department, Professor David Mullins welcomed Sir Vince Cable to WMG.
Professor Mullins explained: "We were delighted to welcome Sir Vince Cable back to WMG at the University of Warwick to see how WMG’s Industry partners are benefitting from WMG's applied research and education programmes.
"As Business Secretary, Sir Vince worked closely with our founder, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, to develop the UK's Industry and Research base. We were delighted to show Sir Vince how those efforts are making a real difference today, from electric cars to apprenticeships and to do so in the remarkable Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Building.”
Sir Vince also took part in a roundtable discussion, hosted by Professor Mullins, with key executives from WMG and representatives from local SMEs including Charg:gy and Alucast.
Professor Mullins said: "I'm particularly glad that our partners were able to share with Sir Vince the issues and opportunities facing our region's Small and Medium sized businesses as they seek to innovate for future growth."
Sir Vince Cable commented “I was delighted to visit WMG again to see the great work they do with industry and to meet some of the local SMEs. The Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building is an absolutely magnificent building and is a proper tribute to Kumar’s contribution to the car industry, to Warwick, and to British Engineering. It is very appropriate that Kumar is recognised publicly in this way."
Professor David Mullins, Acting Head of WMG, was delighted to welcome Mr Li Dong, Executive Vice President of China Energy to WMG.
Mr Li Dong was accompanied by a senior delegation from China Energy and subsidiary companies China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd - the largest coal company in the world, and Pujing Chemical Industry.
WMG’s Nanocomposites research team is currently working with colleagues at China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd and Pujing Chemical Industry on the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly fully biodegradable plastics.
Dr Chaoying Wan and Professor Tony McNally updated the guests on the project, and the delegation toured other key WMG research facilities in Composites, Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM), Metrology and Battery Technology.
Professor Tony McNally said: “At a time when the sustainability of single use plastics has become a global issue, the WMG partnership with China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd and Pujing Chemical Industry is internationally leading. Our goal is to develop fully biodegradable plastics that decompose to benign components, such as water and, that can replace many of the single use plastics used in packaging.”
WMG, at the University of Warwick, has worked with partners, to create a new design of incredibly lightweight Very Light Rail (VLR) vehicle frame which is weaved, or braided, from carbon fibre composites into a series of tubes to create a first prototype demonstrator frame. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Business and Industry Andrew Stephenson became one of the very first people to see the new design, outside of the research partnership, on a visit to WMG on 16th May.
Working with the lightweight structural composite components company Far, and Transport Design International Ltd in Stratford upon Avon the demonstrator can be easily assembled by adhesive and simple welding.
Dr Darren Hughes Associate Professor in Materials and Manufacturing at WMG at the University of Warwick said:
“Our BRAINSTORM VLR research partnership has achieved significant weight-saving, allowing VLR services to accommodate more passengers while reducing the energy required to propel the vehicle and the weight stress it will place on its rails and road surface.”
“The technology also ensures that the vehicle is tough for a long life in service, easily repairable when accidents happen and strong enough to protect the passengers on board.”
The innovative highly efficient very light weight approach consists of an underlying tubular spaceframe chassis which provides the body shell. In the first demonstrator frame the partners have produced they were able to keep the beams the same outside diameter but their wall thickness is tailored to give the optimum performance depending on where it will be used. This keeps the tooling costs low and allows for all the joining to be standardised through a combination of welding and adhesive bonding.
If any significant damage is caused to any individual beam through an accidental impact each damaged beam can simply be entirely replaced with a new one. Best of all the thermoplastic material is inherently recyclable.
The whole moulding cycle has been shown to be capable of being reduced to less than five minutes, demonstrating the potential of this affordable process for high-volume applications. The braiding process is highly automated and with rates of over a mile a day of braided tubing.
This braiding method also allows for a wide range of materials to be used. Almost any fibres (carbon, glass and aramid) can be combined with a huge range of thermoplastics, from low cost Polypropylene to high end Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) to create a material that suits the given application
Lyndon Sanders Director and General Manager of Nottingham based lightweight structural composite components company Far said:
“The BRAINSTORM Project feels like a real step forward to the team at Far Composites. Being able to tap into the industry experience of TDI to hone the principle of a new type of body structure for mass transit applications was great. Add to that the collaborative working with Composites Braiding and WMG to turn that thinking into a physical demonstrator to show what it would be like in practice was really powerful. Now it’s more than a good idea, now it’s an eye opener for industry players who can see it, touch it and even pick it up.”
20 MAY 2019
Note for Editors:
High-res images available, please credit The University of Warwick:
The design of the frame with some other sections attached
Dr Darren Hughes (right) showing Lyndon Sanders Director and General Manager of Far (left of picture) the braiding pattern on the frame
Dr Darren Hughes Associate Professor in Materials and Manufacturing at WMG at the University of Warwick (left) showing Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Business and Industry Andrew Stephenson (right of picture) all the design stages of the VLR vehicle
The frame with less attached
A further view
The Full list of partners on the project are: WMG at the University of Warwick, the UK's Governments innovation agency Innovate UK, Far composites, Composite Braiding ,and Transport Design International Ltd in Stratford upon Avon
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Transport Minister visits WMG to launch Call for Evidence on the Future of Mobility and announce 6 research projects on autonomous vehicles
Jesse Norman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, visited WMG today (Monday 30th July 2018) to launch the Government’s “Call for Evidence on the Future of Mobility”. He announced six Innovate UK funded autonomous vehicle research projects, saying:
“We are beginning to experience profound change in how we move people, goods and services around the UK’s cities, towns and countryside. The Future of Mobility Grand Challenge – part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy - aims to capitalise on the opportunities presented by these changes to help reduce emissions, improve safety and wellbeing and place the UK at the forefront of global transport innovation. The Call for Evidence will help inform this programme, and seeks views from a range of audiences right across the country.”
Two of the six research projects he announced involve WMG, at the University of Warwick, with a total of £4.1m in research funding from Innovate UK
The delegation led by Mr Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons were given a tour of the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC). The Centre, which is a long-term commitment between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, WMG and the University of Warwick, is a unique resource and the first of its kind in Europe, providing an environment to foster collaboration, cohesion and sharing knowledge, combining automotive expertise nationally and internationally.
The visitors were also shown our state-of-the-art 3xD Simulator for Intelligent Vehicles where experts explained more about Midlands Future Mobility, a £25m project led by WMG which will see roads in Coventry and Birmingham become the UK testbed for developing the next generation connected and autonomous vehicles.
Finally, Mr Chandrasekaran and his colleagues were given a tour of our Energy Innovation Centre, which is going through significant expansion, and will see WMG to continue to provide a unique facility for industry and academia to develop innovative energy storage technology.
Mr Chandrasekaran and his colleagues was very interested to see for themselves some of the WMG projects and commented on the quality of research and innovative approach to R&D.
The delegation was led by Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Birmingham and Dr Achyuta Samanta, Honourable Member of Parliament, Founder of Kalinga IIT and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences; and Mr Vikramaditya.
Afterwards the delegation was joined by members of the Indian community in the West Midlands for a drinks reception.