ICE Thermal Efficiency Spoke talks opportunities at workshop

The ICE Thermal Efficiency Spoke hosted a workshop yesterday to identify key challenges and opportunities for the Spoke and its community. The event sparked collaboration between around 40 leading figures from industry and academia, who came together investigate the potential research and development opportunities for future Internal Combustion Engine technologies. Organisations represented included Delphi, Ricardo, Caterpillar, Ford, McLaren and Shell as well as world leading researchers from Oxford, Imperial, Loughborough and Bath Universities.

In the morning presentations from Prof. Morgan Heikal, Prof. Neville Jackson and Garry Wilson reviewed the research capabilities of the UK, the roadmap of future ICE developments and the funding landscape to support them, while Dr. Rob Morgan and Mike Woodcock gave an overview of the APC Spoke Network and the ICE Thermal Efficiency Spoke in particular.

In the afternoon groups representing the fuels and lubricants, passenger car and medium to heavy duty engine communities engaged in a workshop. This aimed to define the likely future development direction for the Internal Combustion Engine, key research challenges that need to be address to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of ICE R&D, and the support infrastructure required to address them.

Lively debate included consideration of how future liquid fuel production methods may help deliver a ‘net negative’ CO2 transportation solution, the challenges of delivering prime mover and range extender solutions from a single engine platform and the likely time frames for electrification in the medium to heavy duty and off-highway transport sectors.

The final part of the day was targeted at developing collaborations and reviewing opportunities for development programmes at all stages of technology readiness. With key opportunities being identified around virtual simulation, test and validation at a powertrain system level, advanced thermal barrier materials and combustion solutions for future fuel technologies. This sessions flowed with ideas, that can now being taken away to be developed into proposals for different funding streams.

The team are now planning to build on the momentum planning workshops to support the roll out of the APC Capability Study and inviting colleagues from the EPSRC to speak at the next UnICEG event as well as having a strong presence at the Low Carbon Vehicle Event held at Millbrook in September. Further workshops will be planned for later in the year to follow up on the outputs of yesterday.