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

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 

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

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