UK launches £28 million research hub to drive electric machine transition


The UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has launched a new £28 million research hub, intended to drive the progress of electric machine technology in the country, and help the UK reach the forefront of the sector globally.

The ‘Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub’ brings together researchers from the University of Sheffield’s Engineering Faculty, who will lead the project, with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and academics from Newcastle University, as well as the University of Strathcyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

The researchers will work closely with industry to address key manufacturing challenges in the production of electrical machines, including electric alternatives for the aerospace, high-value automotive, premium consumer and energy sectors.

The £28m in funding is in part due to a £10 million award from the EPSRC, as well a industrial partners such as Siemens Gamessa, GKN Aerospace, Rolls Royce, Airbus, McLaren, Dyson, and university partners.

Initial topics to be addressed include understanding and demonstration the use of digital tools to support skill-intensive manual manufacturing, weight reduction of electrical machines, and the use of robotic systems in tasks such as coil winding.

Professor Geraint Jewell, Director of the EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub, said: “The University of Sheffield has recently been named the number one university in the UK for income and investment in engineering research which positions us as a global leader. This new hub exemplifies this in action – we are bringing together world-leading researchers with industry to deliver real impact in the manufacture of electrical machines.

“The research hub will not only address the key manufacturing challenges mentioned but also assist UK manufacturing to capture significant value in the supply chain, improve productivity and deliver the cleaner growth at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.”