Cummins Innovation Centre opens at The University of Nottingham

Cummins Innovation Centre
22 Mar 2012 12:30:00.000

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A new research centre at The University of Nottingham will develop the next generation of electrical machines for transportation, energy and industry.

The Cummins Innovation Centre in Electrical Machines is a new centre of excellence to develop world-leading research that will help with renewable energy generation, electric vehicles and a wide range of other technologies.

The University’s Faculty of Engineering has a long history of working with Cummins Generator Technologies, the largest electrical machines manufacturer in the UK, on projects including electromagnetic and thermal modelling of generators, high speed machines for turbochargers and other high-performance applications.

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As a result of this successful collaboration, Cummins have decided to establish an Innovation Centre at the University with projected funding of around £2m over the next five years. The Centre is also being supported through a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering senior research fellowship.

Official opening

The Cummins Innovation Centre has its official opening at the University on Monday, March 26th.

Dr Neil Brown, Chief Engineer, Research and Technology, Cummins Generator Technologies, said: “Product innovation will be a central part of meeting the changing needs of our customers and our success as a business, and building effective collaborative relationships is a key element in the innovation process.

“Cummins has been involved with The University of Nottingham since 1997, during which time we have seen the Machines and Drives Research Group grow to become one of the largest in the world. In particular the energy conversion and aerospace activities are of significant merit and world-leading in the field.

“The academic staff at Nottingham are long serving and of high standing and the quality of students outstanding. These factors, combined with excellent facilities, a broad spectrum of disciplines, strong relationships and close proximity to our factory made The University of Nottingham the logical choice for our innovation centre.”

Rapid growth in research

Research into electrical machines has seen a rapid development in recent years, driven by interest in more-electric transportation, renewable energy generation and high efficiency targets aimed at reducing carbon emissions in domestic and industrial applications.

At the University of Nottingham research in this area has expanded significantly, with the securing of major research grants and investment in world-class lab facilities on campus including traction test rigs, high speed facilities, motor manufacturing facilities and environmental chambers.

Dr Chris Gerada, Research Director of the Cummins Innovation Centre, said: “This partnership with Cummins will strengthen the electrical machines research base at Nottingham and will form a true multidisciplinary team, which can effectively and holistically look at electrical machine systems and their integration within high-performance applications.”

The Cummins Innovation Centre pulls together academic staff and researchers from disciplines across the Faculty of Engineering, including leading experts in electrical machine and drive technology specialising in electromagnetics, energy systems, power electronics, health monitoring, heat transfer and mechanical dynamics.

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has been supporting Cummins since early 2011, helping expose it to a broader market for export as well as putting it in touch with the energy industry, collaborative funding and Government departments, such as BIS and DECC, to help it develop its capability, create jobs and boost the economy.

Cummins employs over 6000 people in the UK across its business divisions including Engines, Power Generation, Components and Distribution. The full spectrum of our business activities are represented in the UK: sales and marketing; headquarter functions; research and development; distribution; and a strong emphasis on manufacturing and engineering. Sixty per cent of Cummins’ UK production of engines, electrical machines and components is exported globally.

Cummins Generator Technologies has its global headquarters in Stamford, Lincolnshire and is the largest electrical machines manufacturer in the UK. It has nearly 100 years experience in building electrical machines for the power generation industry, maintaining market-leading positions in industrial alternators, combined heat and power, fixed speed wind generation and power conditioning systems for variable speed applications, serving over 30,000 OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and utility customers worldwide.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news


UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. It also helps overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. It provides companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. More information on UKTI at; email; tel +44 (0)20 7333 5442 or in the UK: 0845 539 0419.

Story credits

More information is available from:

Dr Chris Gerada
RAEng, Research Director, Cummins Innovation Centre, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 846 6117,  

Professor John Clare, Head of Power Electronics, Machines and Control, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 951 5546,  

William Wells, Business Development Manager Emerging Business, Cummins Generator Technologies, +44 (0)1780 686180,  
Gareth Clark, Events Manager, Cummins Generator Technologies, on +44 (0)1780 686104,  

or Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092,

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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