Williams uses F1 tech for the emergency transport of infants

Baby Pod

 

Technology which protects Formula One drivers in the event of a crash, has been used to create a safe environment for new-born babies needing emergency transportation.

The advanced engineering arm of the Williams Group has designed and manufactured the Babypod 20 in collaboration with Advanced Healthcare Technology (AHT).

The hi-tech carbon fibre transport devices – which can withstand a 20 G-force crash – have been launched in Intensive Care Ambulances used at Great Ormond Street Hospital and run by the Children Acute Transport Service which also advised on design requirements.

Transporting new-born infants requires a safe, secure and temperature regulated environment, which has previously required the use of heavy and cumbersome incubators. These devices not only require an electricity supply, which is not always readily available, but also dedicated vehicles costing health services more.

The Babyhood 20…

… has been designed to provide the environment that a baby needs at a significantly reduced price of a standard transport incubator. Lightweight and easy to handle, Babypod 20 can attach to any transport stretcher whether on a trolley or in an ambulance, car or even helicopter.

The parallels between a Formula One car and transport device for babies may not be immediately apparent, but both demand a lightweight and strong structure that keeps the occupant safe in the event of an accident, and can monitor vital signs whilst remaining easily transportable and accessible.

Williams has taken the existing Babypod product and worked with AHT to create a device that is not only more compact and user-friendly but, crucially, can be scaled up in its production. Furthermore, accessibility has been improved with a slide and tilt mechanism to give greater ease of access for hospital staff. New, sleek styling has also been employed by the 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

pasted image 0 pasted image 0-1

 

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.

Award for Williams

Formula-E-Battery,-WAE

 

Williams Advanced Engineering has been awarded the 2015 Simms Medal by the Royal Automobile Club in recognition of home-grown British automotive engineering talent.

The Simms Medal is only awarded in years when the RAC’s Technical Committee deems there have been contenders of sufficient merit. Williams Advanced Engineering has been awarded the prize for its work in creating the batteries that are currently powering the cars racing in the Formula E electric racing series.

The Formula E battery had to be designed from scratch within 12 months and to a strictly pre-determined safety cell, cool sufficiently, be 100% consistent from one team to the next (40 race cars plus spares), and last an entire season with no loss of power or performance. The batteries showed remarkable reliability in the inaugural Formula E season, with only one failure in 440 race starts.

Williams Advanced Engineering is only the eighth recipient of the Simms Medal, with previous winners including Richard Parry-Jones CBE in 2007 for his contribution to the automotive industry; Ben Bowlby in 2012 for his ground-breaking DeltaWing racing car and Lord Paul Drayson in 2013 for world record breaking achievements with the Drayson B12/69 LMP-type EV racing car.

On a more positive note

Colossus-F1-break-the-F1-in-Schools-world-record-with-a-time-of-1.003-seconds

 

Colossus F1, an F1 in Schools team representing England at the 2014 F1 in Schools World Finals this week in Abu Dhabi has claimed a new world record with the team’s car sprinting along the F1 in Schools 20 metre race track in a time of 1.003 seconds, shaving nearly two-hundredths of a second off the previous record – 1.020 seconds – held for seven years by Northern Irish team, TEAM FUGA.

The record-breaking run was not without controversy. Just as in F1, the team were challenged for pushing the boundaries of the regulations, with the fastest of the team’s runs using an air cushion device at the start gate, an innovation designed by Colossus F1 to minimise air loss when the car was released.

The team, however, believes that another of its ‘innovations’, a water tunnel test programme, also gave it the edge which produced the world record time.

The opening ceremony of this year’s event, being held at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, preceded the first day of judging in this global educational initiative, with the 38 teams in the spotlight for the first of two days of intense scrutiny with verbal presentations, pit display and portfolio assessments and plenty of high speed action in the racing time trials.

Celebrating 10 years of the international F1 in Schools competition, the event was opened by Al Tareq Al Ameri, Chief Executive Officer of Yas Marina Circuit. Just under four hours later Colossus F1 broke the world record.

F1-in-Schools-students-ride-Formula-Rossa

Mark Gallagher’s new F1 book

A1GP 2008/09, Rd 5, Gauteng

 

Spent a very enjoyable time in the company of some lovely people the other night at Mark Gallagher’s book launch event at the Marriott County Hall (the former London GLC building to you and me) in Waterloo.

Mark’s an old friend and colleague who has just released The Business of Winning – strategic success from the Formula One track to the boardroom (Kogan Page – ISBN: 978-0-7494-7272-6) and I recommend you buy it – now. If you’re in the US, click here.

Apart from it being a rattling good read, full of stories from his time in the F1 industry, many people draw parallels between the worlds of business and F1 and Mark has set out a series of his ‘insights’ into branding and image, team building, change management, innovation and global communications strategy.

Former F1 driver David Coulthard has written the foreword but interestingly, later in the tome – chapter 12 – he talks about winning culture, team building, etc from the sharp end. The driver’s angle doesn’t get talked about much so this is a good addition.

About time

As Mark reminded me on the night, he’d talked to me about writing a book at lunch in Covent Garden over 10 years ago (nice Italian if I recall correctly) but he’s been somewhat busy so one can forgive him.

“It’s been a very interesting 32 years working in motor racing. Lots of different experiences. I keep thinking of better stories I forgot to tell. To work with someone like Michael Schumacher even just for a weekend gives you an opportunity to see what excellence really looks like.

“And then to work with someone like Eddie Jordan (Jordan GP founder and team principal). Every time I mention him people laugh. Worked for him as marketing and communications director – as his interpreter. I tried to make sense of what he was saying,” says Mark jovially.

“But I chose Eddie intentionally. He has this slightly mad persona. But the reality is for 15 years he ran a highly profitable, race-winning F1 team. To work with a guy like this who is totally driven and a leader who understands what it takes to be number one is a very inspirational experience. Those 10 years I worked with Eddie taught me so much.

“It was also then quite incredible to meet Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz and work with him. He said he’d been inspired by EJ: ‘If EJ can create a race winning team as an independent guy with private funding then maybe I can also do the same.’ Of course he went on to win four world championships.”

Mark goes on to say

“Over 32 years I’ve met a lot of interesting people and I share these insights in the book. It has been fun not just to talk about leadership but also teamwork. There’s an innovation culture in F1, it’s not just a sport. We live in a country where there are 6,000 full time jobs in F1, 14,000 people working in the supply chain. This is a real industry in the UK of which we should be very proud.

Williams' Patrick Head (l)  and Mark Gallagher

Williams’ Patrick Head (l) and Mark Gallagher

“It’s an R&D-centric industry which is heavily involved in managing risk. We produce these amazing high performance machines and risk management and safety becomes a very important part of what we do, combining the ultimate in performance with the ultimate in safety.

“In my book one of the most difficult chapters to write is the one on safety because when you’ve worked in this sport which kills people and then see that come to an end in 1994, the last time an F1 driver was killed in a race, I can tell you that the world of industry is utterly fascinated in how F1 stopped killing drivers.

“The statistic is we had 43 drivers killed before then, so there’s a big lesson. If F1 knows how to stop people being killed in a 200 mph accident what can this teach other industries about risk management?

“Of course in recent weeks this has become very topical. We have a driver who has been very seriously injured in an incident at the Japanese GP so risk is again centre stage to what we do.

“We’ve also had two F1 teams go into administration which puts commercial risk management at the centre of what we do,” and so the parallels continue.

Next steps

“I find the whole environment utterly fascinating in terms of what business can learn from F1. It’s a really vibrant area to have worked in.

“And it’s been good to have the book published when my own racing team Status GP – having just bought Tony Fernandes’ GP2 team – is now at the level of racing immediately below F1.

“I had a letter last week from Bernie Ecclestone saying: ‘Dear Mark, You know what the final step is…’ I haven’t replied to it yet,” Mark says with a smile.

“But we’re on the cusp with a very exciting 2015 ahead. Having the book out as my team takes another step forward – it’s a very exciting time.”

It certainly is Mark. And long may it continue. Good luck matey, you damned well deserve it!

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