The University of Sheffield in the UK is leading a £28m ($36m) new initiative to “revolutionise how key industries operate in the future” with regard to their use of electricity.

With financial backing from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSREC) and other industry players including Rolls Royce, Airbus, and Siemens Gamesa, the new knowledge hub will combine expertise in electrical machines and manufacturing for the first time.

UK Industry Minister Richard Harrington said today that the hub “brings together world-class researchers and leading manufacturing firms to help revolutionise how key industries like steel operate in the future.

“These developments will help us build a smarter, greener and more efficient manufacturing sector in the UK. We are determined to ensure the UK sets the global best standard for making our energy intensive industries competitive in the new clean economy.”

The EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub will tackle the significant manufacturing challenges, particularly around new materials and the application of digital approaches, involved with a host of sectors, including electric vehicles and renewable energy.

The Hub will work with industry on addressing these key manufacturing challenges and designing new electrical machines with improved performance for the energy, automotive, aerospace and premium consumer sectors.

Its director, Professor Geraint Jewell, said: “’The rapid move towards the electrification of transport and the surge in renewable energy generation is making this an exciting time for the manufacture of electrical machines in the UK. This is the first activity to combine electrical machines expertise with a broad range of manufacturing research expertise in a long-term programme of research at scale.”

Professor Keith Ridgway, Executive Dean of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, said the hub “will play a crucial role in addressing key challenges around the manufacture of electrical machines and we’re delighted to be part of a strong, collaborative team whose combined talents and capabilities are at the very cutting edge of advanced technologies and digital manufacturing research.

“Electric machine design, performance and manufacture is an exciting area to work in and one which requires the strength of each of the partners if UK industry is to overcome these challenges and deliver on increasing electrification in UK manufacturing.”

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Resolving the power challenges of commercial and industrial energy users is a key pillar of European Utility Week in Paris later this year. Click here for details.