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Birmingham Science City Launches £10+ Million Energy Efficiency Programme

Birmingham Science City will give a clear demonstration of the Midlands region’s leading role in UK energy efficiency research with the launch today of a £10.5 million research programme in energy efficiency.

The programme funded by AWM and the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the  Birmingham Science City initiative, brings two of the region’s leading research universities – The University of Warwick and The University of Birmingham, to undertake a programme of state of the art energy efficiency research in partnership with local companies

The launch event takes place on Friday  11th December 2009, in Maple House, in Birmingham’s Corporation St, Birmingham, and it will showcase expertise in the domain of energy efficiency and demand reduction across the West Midlands region. It will outline the collaboration already in place between the Universities and industry under this Birmingham Science City initiative and the opportunities for further collaboration

The event will be opened by Science City Research Director Professor Pam Thomas and will include contributions from a range of key figures  including:  John Loughhead, Executive Director of the UK Energy Research Centre; Nafees Meah, Head of Science, Department for Energy and Climate Change; Olwen Dutton, Chief Executive, West Midlands Regional Assembly; Professor Andrew Sentance, Warwick Business School and Member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee; Norman Price, Science City Chair; Jeff Douglas, E.ON; John Hill from Converteam; Michael Thompson, Executive Director, West Midlands Centre for Constructing Excellence; and Martyn Mangan, AWM Automotive Cluster Manager,

Some of the new technology projects that will be showcased at the event will include:

  • Sustainable Heating and Cooling Technology  - Heating and cooling systems testing,  solar energy evaluation and testing and materials property measurements – including a new Environmental Chamber for the evaluation of the thermal performance of heat pump, refrigeration and air conditioning systems as well as building fabric components.
  • The development of Silicon Carbide semiconductor devices for power generation and power conversion applications, utilising a unique semiconductor cleanroom laboratory. Development of smart power grid technology using a new smart grid and real time simulator facility.
  • Renewable power generation and energy storage technologies.
  • Sustainable engine fuels research using a state-of- the-art highly dynamic engine combustion test chamber. The research on fuel has applications in transport and in heat and power generation and includes investigation of the combustion of alternative fuels.
  • Optimisation of fuel combustion with optical diagnostic laboratory equipment. The scope of applications includes: household burners, large scale heating, power station boilers, steel furnaces, internal combustion engines and gas turbines.
  • Hybrid electric powertrain technology for vehicles utilising a new Vehicle Energy Facility for automotive and sustainable power applications.
  • A new Energy Systems Integration Laboratory for research into hybrid traction systems for rail, heavy vehicle and sustainable power applications.
  • Advanced mobile sensing equipment for assessment of University buildings to compare actual performance with original design.

For further Information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
University of Warwick +44(0)2476 523708 
or  mobile/cell +44(0)7767 655860
twitter: @peterjdunn


Rachel Burrows - Head of Communications
University of Birmingham
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6681 / mob: 07789 921165

PR132      PJD  10th December 2009