UK capability in Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) enhanced with two new APC Spokes

The APC launches ICE Thermal Efficiency and ICE Systems Efficiency Spokes bringing together academia and business to take ideas into production and boost the UK supply chain.

  • University of Brighton – APC Internal Combustion Engine Thermal Efficiency Spoke.
  • University of Bath – APC Internal Combustion Engine Systems Efficiency Spoke.
  • APC Spokes provide a focus for the technical community to accelerate low carbon vehicle opportunities.

Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the Advanced Propulsion Centre today announced the creation of two new APC Spokes for Internal Combustion Engine technology, pulling together highly focussed communities combining business and academia to support the development of the UK’s low carbon propulsion capability and help to strengthen the automotive supply chain in key technology areas.

The two APC Spokes, focussing on Thermal Efficiency and Systems Efficiency will each be the centre of an open and inclusive network created to provide a focal point for specific technologies and act as a conduit to the UK’s expertise and resources. The APC Spokes will bring together interested academic and industrial parties as a voice for the community to take the specific technology forward and to support the development of consortia to exploit funding opportunities.

The two new APC Spokes join the three existing Spokes covering Digital Engineering and Test coordinated by Loughborough University in London, Electrical Energy Storage coordinated by Warwick University and Power Electronics coordinated by the University of Nottingham.

Chief Executive of the APC Ian Constance said:

The UK is investing in the development of strong supply chains in low carbon propulsion technologies and the APC Spokes provide the mechanism for business and academia to work together in areas of common interest and leverage the significant resources available. I am delighted to announce that the universities of Brighton and Bath have been selected through an independent process to coordinate communities in ICE Thermal Efficiency and ICE Systems Efficiency, and they join the network of Spokes which include Digital Engineering and Test, Electrical Energy Storage and Power Electronics. The APC has already invested in programmes worth more than £174 million which will secure or create at least 4,500 UK jobs across business and academia from the first three rounds of competition funding. The APC Spoke network connects the communities of expertise with the opportunities available over the next decade for the development and production of low carbon propulsion technology.

The successful APC Spokes were selected following an assessment process undertaken by independent industry experts. The APC Spokes aim to provide open access to expertise in specialist technologies, signposting and promoting UK capabilities whilst providing networking opportunities to build consortia. Each APC Spoke working with the APC team will develop a collaborative environment for the benefit of all interested parties including the running of seminars and events around the core technologies. The APC Spokes will also help to develop the relevant technology roadmaps by providing input, through the APC, to the Automotive Council. These roadmaps represent a consensus view of academia and industry on future priorities for the Spoke technologies, and hence form the basis of the industrial strategy for the UK automotive industry.

Commenting on their appointment as the APC ICE Thermal Efficiency SpokeProfessor Morgan Heikal at the University of Brighton’s School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics said:

We are delighted to have been selected and we very much look forward to forging even closer ties with industry and researchers. The APC ICE Thermal Efficiency Spoke is all about collaboration and co-operation and we at the University of Brighton have always enjoyed working in partnership and collaborating with many universities and industrial organisations. The spoke gives us a great opportunity to develop and co-ordinate more teams to meet the need of the UK automotive industry and to enhance its standing. We are very lucky in the UK to have so many excellent automotive research and development teams. The collaboration of these teams through the spoke will bring together these talents and give the UK automotive industry a distinct advantage and help to realise the potential of its expertise.

The APC ICE Thermal Efficiency Spoke will work with a number of academic and industrial partners active in ICE Thermal Efficiency research and development.

Commenting on their appointment as the APC ICE Systems Efficiency Spoke, Professor Gary Hawley Director of the PVRC and Dean of the University’s Faculty of Engineering & Design, said:

We are delighted to have been recognised by the automotive industry in the UK as worthy of holding this very specialised technical Spoke position. Our work is focused on reducing CO2 from passenger car internal combustion engines, with developing expertise in electric machines and future fuels. The research we conduct is experimentally intensive, analytically demanding and highly collaborative.

The APC ICE Systems Efficiency Spoke will also work with a number of academic and industrial partners with a common interest in ICE Systems Efficiency.

Business Minister, Anna Soubry said:

This is great news for the universities of Bath and Brighton and another step forward for the Advanced Propulsion Centre. The automotive sector and its supply chain are a vital part of the UK economy and these new spokes will bring together the communities to ensure we have the skills we need for the future. By harnessing new technologies and getting ahead of the game in research and development, the UK will be in the driving seat to develop the vehicles of tomorrow.

Both the ICE Thermal Efficiency and ICE Systems Efficiency Spokes will announce their partners in due course. Announcements about further APC Spoke locations will be made in the coming months.

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