Come on people – we need money

Just noticed that Bloodhound Programme Ltd, the company behind Project Bloodhound, the initiative to break the land speed world record, has entered into administration with the appointment of Andrew Sheridan and Geoff Rowley, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP, as joint administrators.

Project Bloodhound was founded in 2007 and aims to hit speeds of 1,000 mph at a specially built, 18km long, 1500m wide race track at Hakskeen Pan in the deserts of the Northern Cape of South Africa.

In addition to seeking to break the land speed world record, the project is a major R&D catalyst and the focal point for a STEM education campaign which has reached over 2 million children since its launch, including 120,000 UK schoolchildren per year.

To date the project has operated on a partnership and sponsorship model, with support from a variety of partners including Rolls Royce and Rolex as well as the Ministry of Defence which has lent prototype jet engines for the car, and the Northern Cape Provincial Government in South Africa, which has supported the creation of the track. Individual donations from members of the public have also supported the development of the car and the global education programme.

The project has already successfully built a viable racing car which has been tested to 200mph, whilst developing or testing propulsion, aerodynamic and telecommunications technologies with the potential for far reaching applications outside of the project. The team is now seeking around £25m in investment to provide guaranteed funding and see the project to completion.

So, hands in pockets UK investors. Interested parties should contact the FRP Advisory LLP Bristol office on 0117 203 3700

Unilever and Williams launch Engineering Academy

 

Nine students have been selected to join the UWEA for 2018. The collaboration with Williams will see the Engineering Academy continue to mentor students from around the world as they aim to secure a career within engineering.

The Unilever Williams Engineering Academy (UWEA), designed to identify talented young engineers, launched this week at the F1 in Schools Finals in Singapore. F1 in Schools is a not-for-profit organisation encouraging the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills by allowing schools to take on the role of a Formula One team.

The high-profile programme will give students from around the world a head start in a competitive job market by providing advice, mentoring and guidance. Academies designed to identify and train future racing drivers have existed in Formula One for a number of years, but this particular scheme is dedicated to recognising and supporting a new generation of engineering stars.

The finalists underwent a series of practical and written challenges set by Williams engineers before a joint Williams and Unilever assessment panel selected students to join the UWEA.

The class of 2018 are:

  1. Elin Pierce, UK
  2. Jimin Oh, Korea
  3. Marisi Gutiérrez Ruiz, Mexico
  4. Samuel Chapman, UK
  5. Michael Jin, US
  6. Rosie Dolan, UK
  7. Omar Salem, Ireland
  8. Poojan Mehta, US
  9. Owain Roberts, UK

In Year One of the UWEA, students will complete a series of e-learning modules that have been developed by the Academy. Each student will be assigned to an experienced mentor, complemented by a number of practical experiences. Unilever will support the students with work experience opportunities in their respective home countries.

The students still attend school and university. The programme supports and goes a step beyond their traditional education. Students involved in F1 in Schools can apply to the UWEA to be in with a chance of taking part.

The next generation

Having written about the business and technology in and around the fast developing world of F1 for quite a while, I realise how important it is to make sure you’re on top of the talent you must have in your ranks just to stand still. This is why I’ve been a keen supporter of the ‘trades’ as well as the current and emerging generations of engineers working their way (perhaps unwittingly) into the sport – these days to F1 and Formula E.

This has been particularly noticeable not just from my time writing for a wide range of specialist and national publications, including the odd book, but also editing AV Magazine (mainly F1) and Electronics Weekly especially with Formula E, as its BrightSparks programme (with the support of RS Components) encourages interest in electronics/engineering from schools and universities.

The diversity of some of the brightest people I’ve had the pleasure to be associated with has filled me with huge optimism for the future occurring, as it does, alongside (but not dominated by) the doom and gloom surrounding all the chat about Brexit from a very Westminster-centric angle.

Don’t be fooled. The future for F1, from an engineering perspective at least, looks very promising indeed.

F1 tech for fast jets

 

Following on from Williams’ last technology transfer initiative, the Baby Pod, comes another interesting project which caught my attention a few days ago – a twin-seat, cockpit simulator.

Working in collaboration with BAE Systems, Williams Advanced Engineering says it will be used to develop the next generation of cockpit designs for future fast jets.

The state-of-the-art simulator  is revealed in a timelapse video of the build which took place at the Williams facility in Oxfordshire ahead of delivery to BAE Systems’ training and simulation facility at Warton, Lancashire. The simulator has modular features and interactive screens which can be reconfigured as required along with the sleek and ergonomic lines of a Formula 1 car.

Says Craig Wilson, Williams Advanced Engineering’s MD: “We are applying our capabilities across training and simulation, aerodynamics, electrification, manufacturing and lightweight and composite materials to ever more sectors, and defence is a natural fit for our team to apply their expertise.”

BAE’s also been working on Reaction Engines on a hypersonic rocket engine and developing a solar powered air vehicle with aerospace SME Prismatic Ltd.

The new environment can simulate a range of aircraft including the Hawk, Typhoon and other future aircraft concepts and forms part of a suite of simulation devices at BAE Systems’ Air site in Lancashire.

A timelapse video of the construction of the simulator by Williams Advanced Engineering is available to view and download at https://vimeo.com/288002352/9de9433790 

Slight aside, but it’s important

Williams Advanced Engineering has received the Consultancy of the Year award at the 2016 British Engineering Excellence Awards.

Sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Consultancy of the Year is awarded to an organisation demonstrating innovative and timely solutions to engineering problems posed to them by their customers.

WAE has delivered on a number of high profile projects over the past 12 months, including supplying the batteries to the Formula E racing series, creating the Jaguar C-X75 hypercar for the Bond film SPECTRE, and developing the fully electric Aston Martin RapidE and Nissan BladeGlider concept cars. What’s more, the company has seen its Formula One-inspired technologies and know-how introduced into a growing range of sectors such as automotive, motorsport, energy, defence, and healthcare.

It’s healthy, and only right we acknowledge engineering excellence. Many congratulations to the whole team.

F1 pitstop techniques to help in resuscitation of newborn babies

On your marks...

On your marks…

 

Now, here’s an interesting one…

Williams has been assisting the neonatal unit at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff by bringing Formula One pitstop know-how to help in the resuscitation of newborn babies.

Recognising the similarities between neonatal resuscitations and Formula One pitstops, the resuscitation team at UHW invited members of the Williams team to the hospital last year for an exploratory meeting to discuss how Formula One techniques and processes could be incorporated into their work. Wednesday 4 May saw members of the neonatal team from UHW visit the Williams factory in Oxfordshire to observe the team practice pitstops to see first-hand how they operate.

Both scenarios require a team of people to work seamlessly in a time critical and space-limited environment. In Formula One, a pit crew can change all four tyres on a car in around two seconds, with a team of nearly 20 people working in unison to successfully service a car. Williams has a dedicated human performance specialist who works with its pitcrew to fine tune the technique, processes, team work and health and fitness of team members.

Their experience previously treating new-borns in clinical practice has facilitated the transition of knowledge between the two industries and they have been the primary advisor to the hospital. Williams’s pitstops have been a real success story for the team in 2016, recording the fastest stops of any team at each of the first four races of the 2016 Formula One season.

Following these site visits, the neonatal team has identified and started implementing a number of changes to improve its resuscitation processes that are based on those used in Formula One racing. The resuscitation equipment trolley has now been audited and streamlined to ensure that equipment can be located as quickly as possible.

The neonatal team has mapped out a standardised floor space in delivery theatres to clearly show the area for the neonatal resuscitation team to work in; copying the customised floor map the Williams team takes to races to map out the specific pit box requirements at each track.

The pitstop resuscitation team at UHW are also in the early stages of implementing Formula One communications and analysis techniques, including the use of a “radio-check” prior to a resuscitation, greater use of hand signals rather than verbal communication, and video analysis to analyse performance following a resuscitation with debrief meetings as standard.

Speaking about the project Dr Rachel Hayward, specialist registrar in Neonates at the University Hospital of Wales said: “Resuscitation of a compromised neonate at delivery is time critical, requiring the provision of efficient and effective resuscitation to ensure an optimal outcome.”

Lovely the language medics use…

“Delays in providing effective resuscitative care can have marked consequences on survival or the development of long term complications. There is a growing amount of evidence to support a systematic approach to resuscitative care which is time-critical and dependent upon optimal team dynamics and clear communication.

“Analogous with the requirements of an effective pitstop we have worked with the Williams team to implement Formula One techniques and processes to augment neonatal resuscitative care”.

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal of Williams, added: “When we were approached by the Neonatal team at the University Hospital of Wales last year to offer some advice we were delighted to assist. Their work is vitally important and the pressure they work under is difficult to comprehend; it’s a matter of life and death every day of the week.

“If some of the advice we have passed on helps to save a young life then this would have been an extremely worthy endeavour. We are increasingly finding that Formula One know-how and technology can have benefit to other industries and this is a great example.”

I think this is great. We should have many more cross-industry knowledge transfers like this.

New F1 talent

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Sedna Lighting, a British based LED lighting manufacturer and global distributor is highlighting young engineering talent in partnership with Cardiff University.

It’s supporting the local Cardiff Formula Racing Team and creating new opportunities for the young engineers of the future. The partnership highlights the University’s school of engineering and Formula racing team.

In a collaborative test of racing light in the dark, Sedna Lighting raced the CR12 series car around the home test track at Llandow.
The car, fitted with 1,500 individual LEDs from Sedna’s flexible LED strip range, was the joint effort of designers from two universities (Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University), film makers and engineers who translated the brief idea into a realistic design and created an inspirational video featuring the project.

This time Formula 1 style driving was given an unexpected twist with driving taking place in the night and cars generating exterior lighting on their own.

You can see what they got up to here.

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