EPSRC's £6 million to drive new Low Carbon Vehicle Technologies research

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Two new research projects, that will drive forward low carbon vehicles technologies, are to receive £6 million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), as part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme.

The announcement was made today by Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark to coincide with the annual Low Carbon Vehicle Event - LCV Cenex 2014 opened at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford.

The projects will involve academics from eight UK universities. ELEVATE (ELEctrochemical Vehicle Advanced Technology) led by Professor Rob Thring at Loughborough University, will develop better materials for energy storage devices such as fuel cells and batteries and improve integration between devices, vehicles and power grids. It will draw on expertise in departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials and Manufacturing and be informed by an Industrial Advisory Committee that includes companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson Matthey and Intelligent Energy.

While Ultra Efficient Engines and Fuels, led by Dr Robert Morgan at the University of Brighton, will investigate how to improve the operation of internal combustion engines by as much as one third efficiency and how new fuels' performance can be used in future engines to bring emissions close to zero. It will involve academics from departments of Computing, Engineering & Maths, Engineering & Design, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering. Industrial partners include Delphi Diesel Systems Ltd, Jaguar Land Rover, BP British Petroleum, Ricardo UK.

Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark said: Forging strong business and academic relationships is vital to reinforcing the UK's reputation as a global leader in research and innovation. Funding these new projects involving eight universities is a clear example of this in practice, while taking us a step closer to producing low carbon vehicles on a mass scale.

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC's Chief Executive, said: The UK's research base and its universities are a fantastic source of new ideas and refinements from which industry can draw to grow and innovate. Low carbon vehicles are, without doubt, an inevitable and very necessary next step for the automotive industries. The leading research that EPSRC supports will help to make the mass use and production of these vehicles a reality more quickly.

Project Universities Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators
ELEVATE (ELEctrochemical Vehicle Advanced Technology) Loughborough University Professor Rob Thring
Professor Stephen Fletcher
University of Warwick Professor Paul Anthony Jennings
Dr James Marco
Dr Chee Tong John Low
Dr Rohit Bhagat
University of Southampton Professor Andrew Cruden
Dr Carlos Ponce de León Albarrán
University College London Professor Jawwad Darr
Dr Daniel Brett
University of Oxford Professor P Bruce
Professor Patrick Grant
Ultra Efficient Engines and Fuels University of Brighton Dr Robert Morgan
Professor Morgan Heikal
Dr Cyril Crua
Brunel University Professor Hua Zhao
Dr Alasdair Cairns
Dr Jun Xia
Dr Apostolos Pesiridis
University of Oxford Dr Martin Davy
Professor C Stone
Professor Paul Ewart
University College London Dr Pavlos Aleiferis
Professor Nicos Ladommatos
Dr Paul Hellier

Notes for Editors

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800m a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme led by EPSRC aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. The Energy programme is investing more than £625 million in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £839 million over the past eight years.

The Energy Programme brings together the work of EPSRC and that of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Reference: PN 67-14