Sheffield Uni research hub positioning UK at front of electrical revolution

Sheffield Uni research hub positioning UK at front of electrical revolution
Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, speaking at the launch of the new research hub (courtesy of the University of Sheffield)

The University of Sheffield has launched a new research lab which aims to position UK manufacturing at the forefront of a new electrical revolution.

The £28 million Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub is the first of its kind to bring together leading research expertise in electrical machines and manufacturing.

The £28 million investment is underpinned by a £10m award from the EPSRC and funding from industrial partners including Rolls Royce, Airbus, Siemens Gamesa, GKN Aerospace, McLaren and Dyson and the University partners.

The team, led by the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering and AMRC, will work with academics at Newcastle University and the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

Researchers will work closely with industry to address key manufacturing challenges in the production of high integrity and high value electrical machines.

Held at Factory 2050, part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the official launch event was attended by 120 people from academia and industry.

This included Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor, at the University of Sheffield together with leading academics and industry figures from Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Siemens-Gamesa, GKN Aerospace and funding partners.

Attendees heard presentations from the Future Machines Manufacturing Hub industrial and academic partners on the opportunities and challenges in electrical machine manufacturing and the research activities proposed to address and overcome these challenges.

They also participated in networking sessions and attended demonstrations of new industrial digital technologies within the advanced manufacturing facilities of the AMRC’s Factory 2050.

The initial research plans within the hub cover a number of topics, including: the use of the latest manufacturing processes to enable the lightweighting of electrical machines, understanding and demonstrating how digital tools can support skill intensive manual manufacturing tasks and exploring how robotic systems can be applied to tasks such as the winding of coils in electrical machines.

Professor Geraint Jewell, Director of the EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub, said: “The University of Sheffield has recently been named the number one university in the UK for income and investment in engineering research which positions us as a global leader.

“This new hub exemplifies this in action – we are bringing together world-leading researchers with industry to deliver real impact in the manufacture of electrical machines.

“The hub will not only address the key manufacturing challenges mentioned but also assist UK manufacturing to capture significant value in the supply chain, improve productivity and deliver the cleaner growth at the heart of the UK’s industrial strategy.”