Dr Miquel Gimeno-Fabra is a researcher at The University of Nottingham. Starting his career as a chemist, Miquel naturally drifted to engineering as it was an area he had always been passionate about. He comments, “As a child I was always drawn to Lego and putting things together…moving to engineering seemed like the right decision, especially as some of the most successful research is interdisciplinary”. Once a PhD student studying the continuous synthesis of nano-materials, Miquel is now a researcher within the Faculty of Engineering, a Research Fellow in the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices (MeDe) and is also involved in several other projects.
One of his most recent challenges has been working with the Power Electronics, Machines and Control Research Group (PEMC) on their electric superbike.
After a successful 2014 season racing an electric motorbike donated by Agni Motors, PEMC decided to buy a more powerful motor for 2015. With concerns over what modifications the old frame would need to accommodate the new motor, they reached out to colleagues within the faculty for somebody to help.
Upon joining the team, Miquel's role expanded to start from scratch the mechanical design of the new bike. His main responsibilities involved making sure the bike was mechanically finished on time. He sourced the correct gear for such a high spec bike, made contact with racing suppliers and companies who could deliver, and his efforts paid off as the team made it to the start line.
Miquel also takes care of all the mechanics of the bike and as modifications continue, he will be making sure the frame and additional components are all to the best specification.
When asked about the highlight of the electric motorbike project, Miquel recalls a nail biting rush to get the bike finished before their first qualification at the Isle of Man TT.
“Thirty minutes before our first qualification we realised that all the batteries (which is mainly 70% of the bike) had to come to bits to be wrapped in a different material. We ended up taking the whole bike to pieces amazingly quick, doing what had to be done and “firing up” the bike for the first time 20 minutes into the qualification session. The spectacle of seeing us working at such pace was so high that a crowd formed around us, filming and cheering. After the session, some locals brought us food and drinks; at that point we kind of became the people’s team.”
The electric motorbike continues to perform well in races. You can keep up to date with the team by liking their Facebook page or reading their blog.
Posted on Tuesday 1st September 2015