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‘Formula Student: Drive to Recharge’ launched to tackle UK’s skills

24 January 2024

About:Energy, an innovator in battery development software, has announced the launch of a new initiative to recruit 1,500 new battery engineers by 2030.

As part of the initiative, About:Energy has sponsored five Formula Student teams in the UK, including those from Imperial College London and the University of Birmingham. 

About:Energy will provide each with cutting-edge simulation tools and education resources to enhance battery pack design, driving engineering innovation in battery development in motorsports and the wider industry.

Formula Student is one of Europe’s most established educational engineering competitions which uses motorsport to inspire students. 

Run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (iMechE), teams worldwide design, build, test, and race small-scale formula-style racing cars, powered by petrol engines or electric motors. However, with recent EV technology advancements, many teams are now switching to fully electric.

About:Energy has a close history with Formula Student with several of its employees previously participating in the programme including Gavin White, CEO of About:Energy, who was Team Leader of Queen’s Formula Student team which placed as the fourth best UK team in 2018. 

Gavin White, CEO of About:Energy said: “Formula Student is an incredible competition in which students get to apply skills learnt through school and university to a high-performance project. 

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time leading the team at Queen’s in Belfast and it was there I learnt many of the professional skills which I now use every day as a founder/CEO. We are committed to giving back by providing the tools to enable the next generation of battery engineers.”

Battery simulation has significant value in accelerating electric drivetrain development for Formula Student teams, but initial adoption into development programmes is a barrier to entry that requires innovative lab facilities and months of battery testing. 

“Drive to Recharge provides university students the same modelling tools that are at the disposal of the largest companies in the world,” said Christian Pilling, Battery Simulation Engineer at About:Energy, who is leading the initiative. 

“We are proud to provide Formula Student teams with a foundation for creating comprehensive battery pack models. This initiative enhances their engineering skills and tests their grasp of both theoretical and practical aspects. We look forward to supporting the team's achievements in competitions.”

Several Formula-Student Teams have gained value from the initiative already including Edinburgh, Oxford Brookes, Loughborough, Imperial, and Birmingham Universities.

Jacob Haseldine, Lead Engineer of the University of Birmingham's Formula Student team, UBRacing, concluded: “About:Energy has helped us understand how cell voltage response affects performance, and how we can adjust our control strategy to mitigate the risks of reaching voltage limits prematurely. 

“The models enable us to accurately simulate battery behaviour, driving key design decisions for the team.”

Following its success in the UK, the initiative is expanding globally across Germany, the US, India, and beyond. Student Engineering teams interested in taking part in the initiative are encouraged to contact racing@aboutenergy.co.uk.


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