University of Sheffield to launch electrical manufacturing hub

Jack Unwin 11 February 2019 (Last Updated February 11th, 2019 12:20)

The University of Sheffield has announced a $36.2m (£28m) investment in a hub to increase electrification in UK manufacturing.

University of Sheffield to launch electrical manufacturing hub
The University of Sheffield has announced investment in a hub to increase electrification in UK manufacturing.

The University of Sheffield has announced a $36.2m (£28m) investment in a hub to increase electrification in UK manufacturing.

Of this, £10 million was awarded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) plus investments from the universities of Newcastle and Strathclyde. Private companies such as Rolls Royce, Airbus and Siemens Gamesa have also invested in the project.

The hub will design electrical machines with improved performance, including offshore wind turbines and electric vehicles. It will also work with industry to design electrical machines with improved performance for the aerospace, energy and automotive sectors of new electrical machines.

The hub will also support 30 PhD projects throughout its seven-year programme as part of what it sees as “addressing the skills shortage in electrical machine design and their manufacture”.

Under-secretary of state for industry and energy Richard Harrington MP said: “This investment brings together world-class researchers and leading manufacturing firms to help revolutionise how key industries like steel operate in the future.

“These developments will help us build a smarter, greener and more efficient manufacturing sector in the UK which is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy to harness the opportunities of clean growth creating more high-skilled jobs.

“We are determined to ensure the UK sets the global best standard for making our energy-intensive industries competitive in the new clean economy.”

University of Sheffield professor Keith Ridgway added: “The Hub will play a crucial role in addressing key challenges around the manufacture of electrical machines and we’re delighted to be part of a strong, collaborative team whose combined talents and capabilities are at the very cutting edge of advanced technologies and digital manufacturing research.

“Electric machine design, performance and manufacture is an exciting area to work in and one which requires the strength of each of the partners if UK industry is to overcome these challenges and deliver on increasing electrification in UK manufacturing.”

This news follows the recent award of £11m for Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham universities to fund a national centre for doctoral training in renewable energy.