UK (University of Warwick) University of Warwick wins £1 million grant to help UK get ready for electric vehicles

The funding will be used to launch a new programme called the Warwick Electrification Deployment (WELD).

WELD will be contributed to by WMG’s Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) Group and the School of Engineering’s Power Electronics group.

These two world class research groups will use Warwick’s unique facilities, as well as the university’s manufacturing and testing capability to help in the new education programme.

WELD is one of the winners of the ‘Driving the Electric Revolution: Building Talent for the Future 2’ competition, run by Innovate UK.

The new initiative will include industry workshops, outreach activity in school and increased teaching provision within PEMD.

New content in power electronics, eMachines and drives will also be created at the University to use current expertise to both up-skill the existing workforce and support the pipeline of talent for future generations.

Finally, WELD will also focus on the design of IP-free eMachines, with parts manufacture, assembly and testing on campus to allow for hands-on learning.

As both transport and industrial equipment pivots from combustion technology to electrical power, skills for the design, manufacture and maintenance of electric drivetrains are increasingly in demand.

WELD will benefit from the two ‘Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation’ (DER-IC) facilities at the university: the Winding Centre of Excellence and the power electronics reliability and failure analysis space, both launching in Autumn 2022. The trained workforce will help UK businesses to develop and scale new PEMD technologies and manufacturing processes.

Dr Juliette Soulard, Associate Professor Electric Machines at WMG says:

“Through our close collaboration with UK industry, we witness the huge difficulties faced when trying to recruit people with the right skills for PEMD research and development projects.

“The expertise exists in the UK, but the knowledge and skills transfer needs dedicated and urgent actions which normal higher education courses cannot deliver. WELD’s industry workshops with unique, hands-on learning about manufacturing and device testing aims to address this issue.”

Prof. Peter Gammon, Professor of Power Electronic Devices, Head of Research and Deputy Head of the School of Engineering says:

“We are extremely proud to be leading the WELD project, which will help meet a national and international PEMD skills shortage.

“Our activities will also help increase the flow of engineering graduates into the industry via new PEMD and Automotive Electrification MScs, while an extensive outreach programme will help educate and inspire the next generation of engineers.”