UK engineering skills enhanced by Cranfield and BAE Systems
Cranfield University and BAE Systems have announced at the Farnborough International Airshow today the extension of an educational partnership that will further enhance the UK’s engineering skills.
The partnership will deliver a postgraduate engineering apprenticeship programme for the next three years which provides learners with a valuable master's-level qualification in addition to valuable hands-on work experience.
On successful completion, the BAE Systems apprentices will obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering Competence - a milestone in their route to reaching Chartered Engineering (CEng) accreditation.
Teaching of the modules will be delivered entirely online utillising Cranfield’s specialist live, online learning platforms. Through a combination of interactive video sessions with Cranfield’s academics and remote online learning platforms, graduate engineers will have the flexibility to study and acquire a masters-level qualification without taking time out from work.
Professor Rajkumar Roy, Director of Manufacturing at Cranfield University, said: “The UK is rightly determined to boost its engineering skills. This programme, in partnership with BAE Systems, does just that.
“Through Cranfield’s specialist learning platforms, we can deliver modules such as design-driven innovation, operations management and cost engineering, without the engineers having to be out of the workplace.”
Richard Hamer, BAE Systems Director of Education and Skills said: “We’re delighted that our graduate engineers are able to continue to partner with such a prestigious institution as Cranfield. As part of our ongoing commitment to nurture talent and high-end skills, the postgraduate diploma in engineering competence allows our graduate engineers to apply their learning in a work-based context, with the assessment focused on competency rather than academic ability.”
Cranfield and Siemens attempt autonomous Goodwood hillclimb with classic sports car
A classic sports car modified by engineers from Cranfield University will attempt the hillclimb at Goodwood Festival of Speed without human direction for the first time.
Researchers from Cranfield’s Advanced Vehicle Engineering Centre have worked with technology and engineering firm Siemens to integrate a suite of state-of-the-art sensors and control algorithms into a 1965 Ford Mustang to complete the famous 1.86 km track.
The Siemens Autonomous Hillclimb will be attempted on Thursday 12 July and will be repeated twice every day until the end of the Festival on Sunday 15 July.
Dr James Brighton, Senior Lecturer at Cranfield, said: “Goodwood offers us a chance to reflect on why we have an emotional connection with cars and acts as a reminder that humans like to be engaged and part of the action. The Siemens Autonomous Hillclimb challenge project connects the classic spirit of automotive adventure with advanced technology.”
Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens UK & Ireland, said: “To help celebrate Goodwood’s 25th year anniversary, we’ve partnered with Cranfield University to bridge the gap between the legacy of the automotive industry while pointing to the future of autonomy in terms of both motoring and wider industrial applications.
“Customising a 1965 Ford Mustang with autonomous technologies, we’re going to attempt the famous hillclimb autonomously for the first time in Goodwood’s history.
“With digitalisation already everywhere, our aspiration will allow guests to take an awe-inspiring look into the future and experience the technology of tomorrow, today as a means of ensuring UK plc is at the forefront of a technology-led revolution like no other before it.“
The choice of classic car has presented a particular challenge as the model can be notoriously unpredictable even under manual control. Advanced location-scanning technology from Bentley Systems has allowed the engineering team to give the car an accurate 3D scan of the track, connected to an awareness of the car’s own position.
The car will also be wrapped in a special silver design to mark the 25th anniversary and feature cameras mounted inside and out to livestream the demo.
“A project born of ‘because we can’, and a sense of fun, the result is a car containing advanced technology, but involving the driver – a perfect celebration for Goodwood’s 25th anniversary,” added Dr Brighton, who will be in the driving seat of the car due to safety regulations, but will only take over if there’s a safety or mechanical issue during the run.
When the car is not on the hillclimb it will be parked in the main paddock and available for selfies and a meeting point for more information on autonomous vehicle technology and careers in science, engineering and technology.
Goodwood Festival of Speed is renowned for attracting the rarest and most exciting road and race cars and bikes ever created and has been staged every summer since 1993.
Another double for women engineers at Cranfield
Cranfield University has achieved an outstanding double for the second year in a row with two engineers being named in the Telegraph’s Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50), announced today.
Professor Emma Sparks, Head of the Centre for Systems Engineering, and Dr Fiona Charnley, Senior Lecturer in Circular Innovation, are both named in this year’s top 50 list.
Backed by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), the Top 50 Women in Engineering initiative aims to encourage female uptake into engineering roles and careers by celebrating the notable achievements made by women in the sector.
Professor Emma Sparks began her career as a government research scientist looking at lower limb injuries within the military. Since joining Cranfield, Professor Sparks has led the way in working with government, industry and academia to establish the UK’s first defence and security related master’s-level apprenticeship – the Systems Engineering Masters Apprenticeship (SEMAP). As a result, Cranfield University was the first in England to offer an apprenticeship at master’s level.
Dr Fiona Charnley’s current research includes a portfolio of projects focusing on circular innovation including ‘Manufacturing Immortality’; a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in collaboration with seven other universities and project partners such as Dstl and the National Nuclear Laboratory. The research is looking at self-healing hybrid man-made/biological materials with the inherent ability to sense and repair damage, thus eliminating the need for replacement.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, said: “We are delighted for Emma and Fiona on their significant achievement. They are outstanding role models for women engineers and make a significant contribution to engineering at Cranfield and beyond."
The WE50 is announced in support of the annual International Women in Engineering Day, which encourages girls into engineering careers to increase diversity and inclusion, and thereby enables females to fill the substantial future job opportunities that have been predicted in this sector.
Last Tuesday, in support of International Women in Engineering Day, Cranfield University teamed up with Boeing UK to host ‘Raise the Bar’, an all-day engineering careers showcase for female students. Held at Cranfield University on 19th June, the event saw leading figures in industry and academia come together to give local school girls aged 11 to 16 a taste of careers in engineering, and the opportunity to interact with leading figures from within the industry.
Cranfield lecturer wins The Welding Institute award at annual ceremony
Dr Filomeno Martina, lecturer in additive manufacture at Cranfield University, has been recognised by The Welding Institute (TWI) for his early career successes and ongoing enthusiasm for research in the welding and joining industry.
The Richard Dolby – Rolls Royce biennial award is presented by TWI’s Younger Members Committee to a young person under 35 years of age who can demonstrate success in, and enthusiasm for, welding, joining and/or materials engineering at the early stage of their career.
Filomeno said: “I am very happy to receive this award and be recognised for the work I have done earlier on in my career.” He obtained both an MSc and PhD from Cranfield and now combines his research with teaching as a lecturer within the University’s Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Centre.
The annual award event recognises major contributions made by materials scientists and engineers in welding, joining and engineering-related technologies. The winner of the Richard Dolby – Rolls Royce award receives £1,000 and may have the opportunity to present their work at TWI events.
Dr Martina’s submission for the award was a paper about the development of in-process cold-work methods for Cranfield’s Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) process. He said: “With the addition of such cold-work during the additive manufacture of metallic structures, we can now produce material properties that are even better than the equivalent forged alloys.
“If the other benefits of WAAM are taken into account, such as much shorter lead times and much less material waste, it means that now we can produce aerospace parts much faster, much cheaper, and without paying any mass penalty.”
Professor of cyber appointed at Cranfield
SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is sponsoring the appointment of Professor Paul Theron as the Atkins-Cranfield Professor of Cyber-Secure Engineering Systems and Processes.
The newly created role will strengthen the relationship in research and development between Atkins and Cranfield University, to support advances in through-life cyber security.
Working with external funders and across disciplines, Professor Theron will be developing innovative solutions to industrial challenges. This could include protecting manufacturing systems from cyber-attacks, engineering the systems for security by default, improving incident response and disaster recovery in complex engineering systems, and assessing the cost of cyber-security solutions for manufacturing systems.
Professor Rajkumar Roy, Director of Manufacturing, said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul to the University. His extensive background in cyber systems, risks and governance will help to develop our thinking in this key area of manufacturing and engineering in general. Identifying the engineering opportunities, and the threats from cyberspace now and in in the future, is of particular relevance in many industries.”
Martin Chalmers, Managing Director for the aerospace, defence, security and technology division of SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, said: “Thanks to the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, the digital and physical worlds are converging, and cyber is becoming an increasingly critical issue both for our clients and for wider society. Innovation in cyber resilience and the development of the next generation of cyber professionals are both critical. Against that backdrop, it is vital that industry, academia and government work ever closer, taking shared responsibility for the national imperative of cyber resilience. That is why we are forming this close partnership with Cranfield University; a research establishment that is respected across both industry and government. I am delighted to congratulate Paul on his appointment.”
Nick Roberts, President of SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, said: “SNC-Lavalin’s approach to sponsorships is to support initiatives with the potential to stimulate progress and build for the future. By sponsoring this new appointment, we are supporting the next generation of talent.”
Before joining Cranfield, Professor Theron was the co-director of the Cyb’Air ‘Aerospace Cyber Resilience’ research chair (French Air Force, Dassault Aviation, Thales) and a member of NATO’s IST 152 research group since its inception in 2016. His research focused on the autonomous cyber defence of autonomous and complex military systems and infrastructures. His other posts include being part of the Thales cyber-security unit for over ten years, and working regularly for the European Commission as an expert and researcher. Paul has also held teaching positions at Ecole des Mines de Paris, University of Poitiers, University of Aix-Marseille, University of Geneva and the ESSEC School of Commerce.
Cranfield University is focused on the advancement of manufacturing innovation. Working with industry partners, its expertise in design, technology and management along with research into materials sciences, all with a focus on manufacturing, enables the University to provide postgraduate education, training and research.
Professor of Landing Systems appointed by Airbus and Cranfield
Cranfield University is pleased to announce that Martin Skote has been appointed as Airbus Professor of Landing Systems Engineering.
He joins the University from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Professor Skote will create a Centre for Landing Systems Engineering and the team will focus not just on the mechanical, electrical and hydraulic aspects of aircraft landing gear but also consider landing systems as a part of a much larger ecosystem. This could include airport infrastructure and air traffic management, together with all future innovative and disruptive technologies such as autonomous taxiing and intelligent landing.
Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Martin to the University. His appointment is a great example of Cranfield’s relationships with world-renowned businesses. Martin is the second Airbus role at the University dedicated to research on future aircraft design, which will deliver additional benefits both to Airbus and across the aerospace industry.”
Ian Bowcock, Head of Landing Gear Product and Business Strategy at Airbus, said: “With the ever demanding and challenging requirements for new technologies in aerospace, it is essential to maximise the combined strengths of both industry and academia. Airbus has a well-established relationship with Cranfield University and the appointment of dedicated Research Chair in Landing Systems Engineering will enable the development of a high-calibre research team to work alongside Airbus engineers in this key area, delivering world-class research and ultimately ensuring Airbus continues to offer an industry-leading product portfolio.”
Modern aircraft design has led to lighter fuselage and wings, as well as quieter engines. The development of landing gear, however, is lagging behind. As airports reach maximum capacity, and the option of occupying more space is not viable due to city growth, landing systems will need to be developed which allow aircraft to operate in much closer proximity to each other, both in time and space. This may mean changes to not just aircraft design, but also changes in operational ground technology and methods.
The new Centre will support Airbus’ landing systems research portfolio, developing research in overall landing systems design and integration, to include topics such as noise, drag, vibration, braking, shock-absorbers, advanced materials, and sensors together with network communications.
Prior to his current position, Professor Skote was an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, with a research focus on turbulence, flow control and computational fluid dynamics. He was also Cluster Director at the University’s Energy Research Institute for a research team comprising 15 research staff. During his 10 years at the University, he attracted around two million pounds in research grants from industry and government funding bodies.
Before taking up his academic position in Nanyang Technological University, Professor Skote worked for the Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore, developing a numerical simulation code for air pollution dispersion simulations in collaboration with the National Environment Agency. His PhD in turbulence was awarded (2001) from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in his native country of Sweden.