This is Engineering Day 2021

This is Engineering Day celebrates the work of engineers in the world around us.

This year, This is Engineering Day falls on 3 November, at the outset of COP26, emphasising the vital role that engineers have to play in supporting the transition to a net zero world.

Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres (DER-IC) is a UK-wide partner network with world class capability in Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) research. The DER-ICs encourage industries to collaborate with our network of excellence in academia and Research Technology Organisations (RTOs), growing this capability, and promoting this both in the UK and overseas to transform the UK into a PEMD exporter.

For This is Engineering Day, we are showcasing PEMD researchers from across our network, and the vital work they are doing to combat climate change.

DER-IC - North East

Dr Nicola Chiodetto

Research Assistant and Motor Control Engineer

Newcastle University

"The progressive substitution of hydraulic systems with electrically driven components combined with the use of new manufacturing techniques and materials will provide major benefits to the entire aerospace sector. Specifically, this is true for the UK aerospace sector, which is one of the cornerstones of the industrial manufacturing and research realities present in the country."

Nicola completed his PhD degree at Newcastle University in 2021 and is currently conducting research in electric drives and machines. His research deals with electromagnetic, mechanical design and control of permanent magnet electrical machines and drives. His expertise spans from finite element analysis for electromagnetics, to state space control, to firmware programming for electric drives control.

Nicola is currently involved in NGHLS (New Generation High Lift Systems). The project is led by Collins Aerospace, a company providing aerospace actuation systems. It is funded by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK. The project aims to develop a new technology for advanced aircraft wing systems. NGHLS is intrinsically connected with power electronics, machines, and drives innovation as the aerospace industry is progressively demanding a more electric actuation equipment; a system that needs to be more power dense, more efficient, capable to predict and manage faults in real time. The benefits can be seen in terms of efficient integration of the drive systems into the wing through reduced parts, hence shortening aircraft build time.

DER-IC - Scotland

Dr Jill Miscandlon

Senior Manufacturing Engineer

National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

"The combination of sustainable manufacturing and electrical engineering expertise will enable development of future electrical machines which can help with ambitious electrification targets. Collaboration will be critical for a net-zero future to be realised, and bringing together complimentary skill sets from the range of STEM subjects will be key to this."

Dr Jill Miscandlon is a Senior Manufacturing Engineer at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. Jill graduated with a PhD and BSC (Hons) in Mathematics before joining the AFRC as a Research Assistant in 2013. She worked for 6 years leading large-scale CR&D projects on novel forming processes, such as flow forming and spinning, including the SAMULET (Strategic Affordable Manufacturing in the UK through Leading Environmental Technologies) and Manufacturing Portfolio projects.

Jill is currently the lead researcher for Strathclyde on the EPSRC-funded Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing (FEMM) hub, and is leading two grand challenges within FEMM: one on lightweighting of non-active components, and the other on sustainable manufacture of electrical machines. She was a leading figure in the development of the work package around sustainable manufacture and circular economy of electrical machines. Jill’s knowledge and expertise also informs and directs the electrification strategy within NMIS and the wider University of Strathclyde community.

DER-IC - Midlands

Dr Peter Connor

Senior Research Fellow

University of Nottingham

"The electrification of transportation and aircraft propulsion demands increases in the efficiency, power density and lifetime of electrical machines and drives. This requires a multi-disciplinary engineering approach, including mechanical disciplines, to improving cooling, minimise material usage and optimise manufacturing processes for electrical machines and systems."

Peter received an M.Eng. and Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering Department, University of Nottingham, UK, in 2009 and 2014, respectively. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Power Electronics, Machines and Control (PEMC) Research Group in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. His research interests are thermal management and mechanical design of electrical machines for industrial power generation and high-speed, high power-density traction and aerospace applications. His expertise includes conjugate heat transfer computational fluid dynamics (CFD), mechanical design and experimental testing of electrical machines and drives.

The DER-IC centre has been enabling Peter’s research into increasing the power-density and efficiency of electrical machines, including integrated machines and drives, as well as developing new winding manufacturing and vacuum pressure impregnation (VPI) research and manufacturing facilities.

DER-IC - Midlands

Dr Mohsen Koupaie

E-Mobility Manufacturing Manager

University of Nottingham

"Understanding the mechanical and electromagnetic constrains on manufacturing will provide major benefits to the entire electrification fields, especially e-mobility and aerospace. This is particularly applicable to advance winding design and can save tremendous amount of time in the process."

Mohsen has gained a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham. He has been leading the next-generation hairpin design and manufacturing for electrical drivetrains in the “Accelerating the UK E-Machine Preformed Winding Supply Chain”. His current research is primarily focused on agile manufacturing by considering the mechanical and electromagnetic constraints for advance winding such as hairpin, continuous hairpin and edgewise.

Mohsen is currently leading in Accelerating the UK E-Machine Preformed Winding Supply Chain. The project partners are Cummins ltd, GKN hybrid power limited, and Motor Design limited. The aim of this industrial research is to develop flexible, scalable and automated manufacturing processes for next-generation hairpin windings to accelerate the related UK supply chain in used in high-performance electric machines, well beyond the international competition. The benefits of the project are improved e-machine efficiency hence improved range or smaller xEV batteries (with reduced embedded CO2, improved vehicle packaging, smaller/lighter brakes, reduced brake and tyre particulates) and developing a manufacturing process where the embedded CO2 is considered from the outset.

DER-IC - South West & Wales

Dr Omar Ellabban

Principal Power Electronics Engineer (Team Lead)

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

“I’m delighted with my affiliation to the South West & Wales industrialization centre and my involvement in various DER funded projects which will contribute to achieving the zero-emission UK target”.

Omar Ellabban is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), a Chartered Engineer, a creative manager, a senior scientist and an academic with more than 21 years of combined experience between automotive industry, power utility company, research institutes and academia in various fields (compound semiconductors technologies, power electronics, electric vehicles, electric drives, renewable energies integration, microgrid design and control, building energy management and consumption optimization and smart grid technologies).

Omar has been at the Catapult since November 2020, where he is currently the technical lead of the SiC-MAP DER project, which is about taking a 1200V planar SiC MOSFET process and developing it further to include 1700V and 3300V capability. He organises all technical activities to extract the relevant electrical parameters from fabricated SiC MOSFET’s. Omar is also the CSA Catapult technical lead of the GaNSiC DER project, where an inkjet/direct dispense manufacturing process that deposits a silver sinter paste onto pre-populated circuit boards is being developed. Here Omar leads technical activities around electrical and thermal characterisation for GaN and SiC circuit boards. These projects mainly focus on improving the electrical and thermal characteristics of SiC and GaN switches to reduce power converter costs, power losses, volume and weight for automotive and energy sector applications.

To find out more about This is Engineering Day and their goals for 2021, please visit their website.

To find out more about DER-IC or to collaborate with one of our academics, please get in touch.