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Leading engineer considers challenges facing automotive sector

22 June 2015

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya explores the research challenges facing the automotive sector in his first paper for a Royal Society journal.

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya

In “Smarter – lighter – greener: research innovations for the automotive sector” he writes about how legislation controlling vehicle emissions has brought urgency to research underpinning the industry, with a more rapid development of technologies than at any time in the past century.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, chairman and founder of WMG at the University of Warwick, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 in recognition of his contribution to engineering research and education.

“In this paper, I introduce the contribution my research, and that of my colleagues at WMG, has made to the UK’s international competitiveness and societal priorities," he says.

“The light-weighting of structures, the refinement of advanced propulsion systems, the advent of new smart materials, and greater in-vehicle intelligence and connectivity with transport infrastructure all require a fundamental rethink of established technologies used for many decades – defining a range of new multi-disciplinary research challenges.

“Whilst meeting escalating emission penalties, cars must also fulfil the human desire for speed, reliability, beauty, refinement and elegance, qualities that mark out the truly great automobile.”

One of the ways in which WMG will be helping to meet these challenges over the coming years is through the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), a 33,000m2 research environment – which is currently being constructed at the University of Warwick campus.

NAIC will see academic and industrial R&D teams working together using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to develop breakthrough designs, technologies and processes – addressing the shortage of skilled R&D staff across the automotive supply chain, developing the talent required for the demands of emerging technologies and engaging future generations of engineers.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s paper “Smarter – lighter – greener: research innovations for the automotive sector” is available to read on the Royal Society website.

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