Nottingham awarded £9.4m for new research centre for power electronics and machines

 Engineering 1
11 Jul 2017 09:27:00.650

The University of Nottingham has been awarded £9.4 million by the Higher Education Funding Council for England through the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), which provides funding for capital projects that can attract significant investment from private partners.

The funding will go towards to the development of the University’s new Research and Innovation Centre for Power Electronics and Machines, which is set to be a global Centre of Excellence in Power Electronics, Machines and Control. The initiative will bolster the University’s Beacon of Excellence in Propulsion Futures to achieve its aim of becoming a world leader in the electrification of transport. This will see the further development of strategic research priority areas covering Energy, Aerospace and Transport Technologies, while creating a wider engineering cluster on Jubilee Campus. 

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Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Knowledge Exchange said, ‘I am delighted that HEFCE has awarded the University this funding grant, which bears testament to the pioneering, outstanding research being carried out by the internationally renowned Power Electronics, Machines and Control Research Group. The new Centre will enhance a critical mass of power electronics and electrical research while addressing key industry, scientific and societal challenges. It will also reinforce the UK’s standing as a world leader in power electronics and deliver transformative and exploitable new technologies that will strengthen our global competitiveness.’

Prof Patrick Wheeler, Professor of Power Electronic Systems added, ‘We are extremely happy to have been awarded this funding from HEFCE. The grant highlights the importance of our research and expertise in power electronic enabled systems, transport technologies, electrical machines and power electronic integration. The new Centre will also play a crucial role in developing the next generation of high power density and low-loss electrical machines that are able to drive the propulsion systems of the future. In addition, we will address the growing demand for power electronics and electrical machines, smart electricity networks and increase the efficiency of industrial processes.’

More importantly, the new Centre will address the shortage of skills in a key technology domain in a number of ways. These include the development of two new higher level skills programmes to support the research base and industry at large, along with the growth of three new major research centres in collaboration with key industrial partners.

This is one of nine projects announced as part of the current round of UKRPIF funding. David Sweeney, HEFCE’s Director of Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange and Chief Executive Designate of Research England, said: “I am delighted that we are able to support these nine projects that will deliver high class facilities and world leading research, enabling UK universities to continue to tackle major national and global challenges, and make a significant contribution to economic growth.”

Beacons of Excellence

Today’s developments come at an exciting time following the University’s recent announcement on an unprecedented planned investment of £200 million into key research areas which aim to develop solutions for today's most significant global challenges. As part of this initiative, the University has launched six Beacons of Excellence which include:

•    Rights Lab – finding solutions to end modern-day slavery by 2030

•    Future Food – addressing the challenges of feeding a growing population

•    Precision Imaging – Nottingham is the birthplace of Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the University is developing personalised therapies to transform lives

•    Propulsion Futures – developing materials for greener and more electric transport

•    Green Chemicals – reducing our reliance on fossil fuels

•    Smart Industrial Systems – developing products and systems for a sustainable future.

This investment will also further the University’s commitment to attracting the brightest and best minds to Nottingham through the recruitment of 100 Research Fellows, while creating and strengthening high-performing teams of researchers from across the University. The investment is aligned with the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy. 

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Professor Patrick Wheeler, Professor of Power Electronic Systems on +44 (0)115 951 5591, or Shirlene Campbell Ritchie, Media Relations Manager at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 846 7156,

Shirlene Campbell Ritchie

Shirlene Campbell Ritchie MCIPR - Media Relations Manager (Faculty of Engineering)

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

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