Sunday, September 19, 2021

University gets £9.4m to develop power electronics facility

The University of Nottingham has been awarded £9.4 million to develop its new Research and Innovation Centre for Power Electronics and Machines.

The University intends to use the funds, from the Higher Education Funding Council for England through the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, to make the facility a global Centre of Excellence in power electronics, machines and control.

The development of the new centre will bolster the University’s Beacon of Excellence in Propulsion Futures to achieve its aim of becoming a world leader in the electrification of transport, including the development of strategic research priority areas covering energy, aerospace and transport technologies, while creating a wider engineering cluster on its Jubilee Campus.

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Knowledge Exchange said: “The new Centre will enhance a critical mass of power electronics and electrical research while addressing key industry, scientific and societal challenges. It will also reinforce the UK’s standing as a world leader in power electronics and deliver transformative and exploitable new technologies that will strengthen our global competitiveness.’

Prof Patrick Wheeler, Professor of Power Electronic Systems added: “We are extremely happy to have been awarded this funding from HEFCE. The grant highlights the importance of our research and expertise in power electronic enabled systems, transport technologies, electrical machines and power electronic integration. The new Centre will also play a crucial role in developing the next generation of high power density and low-loss electrical machines that are able to drive the propulsion systems of the future. In addition, we will address the growing demand for power electronics and electrical machines, smart electricity networks and increase the efficiency of industrial processes.”

The new Centre will address the shortage of skills in a key technology domain in a number of ways. These include the development of two new higher-level skills programmes to support the research base and industry at large, along with the growth of three new major research centres in collaboration with key industrial partners.

This is one of nine projects announced as part of the current round of UKRPIF funding. David Sweeney, HEFCE’s Director of Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange and Chief Executive Designate of Research England, said: “Support for these nine projects will deliver high class facilities and world leading research, enabling UK universities to continue to tackle major national and global challenges, and make a significant contribution to economic growth.”

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