How much does it cost for college students to study zero emissions vehicles? At Loughborough University in the UK, a new Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) is being built at a cost of a billion pounds ($1.7 billion US). The school has just announce that it will fund a number of grad student positions and is creating a new Chair in Advanced Propulsion Systems, which sounds like a fun job to us. We're weird like that.

There will be a total of four professor-type positions in the new Center, including the chair, all focused on teaching students about low-carbon vehicle technologies, specifically electric and hybrid ones. The school is investing 1.5 million pounds ($2.5 million) for the new positions. There is a bigger picture as well, a 26-million pound ($44 million) Advanced Combustion Turbocharged Integrated Variable-valvetrain Engine (ACTIVE) project, which uses funds not only from the school but also from Ford and others. The point of ACTIVE is to study Ford's 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine and "improve further its efficiency and ensure it exceeds 2020 emission regulations." This is already a popular engine for the automaker, and it will need to stay at the bleeding edge of efficiency to remain as important in 2020 as it is today.

Loughborough University has been working with automakers on advanced energy technologies for years, for example with Rolls-Royce and fuel cells in 2007 and the Lotus Hotfire engine in 2008.
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University invests £1.5M in advanced propulsion research to advance zero emissions vehicles challenge

Loughborough University is investing £1.5M over five years in strategic research appointments, inspired by the global challenge to develop the new advanced propulsion technologies required for the move to zero emission vehicles.

These appointments reinforce the University's world-class research in low-carbon vehicle technologies, adding new dimensions concerned with electric and hybrid drives.

Four appointments will be made, including a Chair in Advanced Propulsion Systems, supported by a number of PhD studentships.

The £1.5M investment is part of the University's commitment to the recently announced Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to support the development of new supply chains for low carbon vehicles. APC is an initiative established by the Automotive Council that will see £1 billion of investment from government and industry over the next 10 years.

The University is a partner in MIRA Technology Park's bid to host the APC Executive Hub, and is leading a proposal to create a satellite of the APC hub at its new Olympic Park campus in London.

The University is also part of the Advanced Combustion Turbocharged Integrated Variable-valvetrain Engine (ACTIVE) project, a £26M APC collaboration led by Ford, to advance next-generation low carbon technologies. The project focusses on further development of Ford's award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine to improve further its efficiency and ensure it exceeds 2020 emission regulations. Loughborough is providing expertise in engine thermodynamic design and optical measurement techniques to work with Ford, Continental and Unipart on improving combustion processes.

Loughborough University Vice Chancellor, Professor Robert Allison, said: "Loughborough University has been training automotive engineers since 1919 and our research in powertrain engineering and propulsion, and in powertrain manufacture is recognised as world-class. We are excited by the opportunity to collaborate with industry and academic partners right across the UK and delighted both to be partnering with MIRA in the Midlands and to be leading the complementary satellite bid from our new Olympic Park campus, which Mayor Boris Johnson has declared as his preferred London location."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 3 Comments
      Ryan
      • 2 Days Ago
      So, 1.7 billion would be enough to convert 85,000 vehicles to electric @ $20,000 each. If the university came up with a simple straightforward process to do this, and subsidized 65,000 EVs for college age students to work on, along with some renewable energy to power these. I bet that would do a lot more.
      CoolWaters
      • 2 Days Ago
      Where's the electric motor and a battery. There's only one way to Store Energy, and then Re-use it, and that's a Hybrid.
      jebibudala
      • 2 Days Ago
      Very cool. I have several methods to further improve by at least 1/3rd MPG on the 1.0L today with just a simple tune, however the tune may not be so EPA friendly. Possibly with some specially designed lean-burn cats then it will exceed the EPA 2020 guidelines. Since it's fully electronic throttle, they should be able to decrease pumping loses by retarding timing and opening throttle plates to target 0 in/Hg during cruise. I noticed that's something Ford didn't implement. Maybe the algorithm is too complex, or the test cycle would have taken too long. You never know with the "average clueless driver". But yeah, there's still room for minimal improvements. It's a fantastic engine.