30 September 2022

Annual FEMM Hub conference a success

The annual conference for the EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub saw academic staff and researchers, including from within Sheffield's Electronic and Electrical Engineering department, present their work with the hub.

Photograph of delegates at the 2022 EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub conference
Delegates at the 2022 EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub conference

On the 13th of September, the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) FEMM (Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing) Hub held its annual conference hosting over 75 delegates from industry and academia at Factory 2050. After a networking breakfast, FEMM Hub Director, and Professor in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Professor Geraint Jewell kicked off the day with a presentation featuring highlights from the previous 12 months of the hub before introducing Kiran Harish, lead technologist for advanced systems at the Aerospace Technology Institute who presented on the Technology Journey to Net Zero (click here to view the presentation).

Photograph of FEMM Hub Director and Electronic and Electrical Engineering Professor, Geraint Jewell, speaking at the FEMM Hub 2022 conference
FEMM Hub Director and Electronic and Electrical Engineering Professor, Geraint Jewell, speaking at the FEMM Hub 2022 conference

Session 1, Innovations in Electrical Machine Manufacturing, was chaired by Dr Rafal Wrobel from Newcastle University. The first presenter in this session was Dr Harry Felton from the University of Bristol who presented on additive manufacture for next generation electrical machines (click here to view the presentation).

Dr David Simkin from the Warwick Manufacturing Group then followed who presented on recent innovations and research challenges for coil windings at the new Winding Centre of Excellence (click here to view the presentation). Before the final two presentations of this session, Dr Glynn Atkinson from Newcastle University presented on electrical machine manufacturing activities with particular focus on soft magnetic composites (click here to view Glynn’s presentation) and Dr Divya Tiwari, University of Sheffield who presented on digital process monitoring and inspection for terminations and connections in electrical machine manufacture (click here to view Divya’s presentation).

Photograph of delegates taking part in a tour of Factory 2050 at the FEMM Hub 2022 conference
Delegates taking part in a tour of Factory 2050 at the FEMM Hub 2022 conference

Delegates then had the opportunity to tour the facilities at AMRC and hear about the innovative work that the FEMM hub is doing in their work package GC2.3 led by Dr Lloyd Tinkler. Those on the tour were given the opportunity to ask questions about topics such as automated visual inspections, laser cutting and the integration of robots into industry before enjoying a networking lunch. After lunch, delegates then had the opportunity to view posters from each of the FEMM Hub projects and PhD students. The poster presentation included researchers from within the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering presenting their work carried out with the FEMM Hub.

Photograph of delegates at the 2022 EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub conference presenting posters detailing their work
Poster presentation at the 2022 EPSRC FEMM Hub conference

Session 2 was chaired by Leigh Paterson from the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland. Professor Michael Ward kicked off the session by introducing delegates to the FEMM Hub Roadmap (to listen to this presentation please click here) which will create a clear line of sight between the challenge of achieving global net zero and the challenges surrounding electrical machines. Magnus Bichan from Edinburgh Napier University was up next, presenting a critical evaluation of manufacturing techniques for large scale, direct drive wind turbine electrical machines, considering sustainability aspects and recycling issues (to view Magnus’s presentation please click here). The penultimate presentation was delivered by David Moule from the ZF Group who discussed sustainable servo motors and the design challenges associated with these (to view David’s presentation please click here). David introduced the idea of hierarchy of sustainability and asked delegates to consider how to reduce the amount of material they use and how might parts and material recovery and processing work in the future. The final presentation of this session was by Dr Jill Miscandlon from AFRC NMIS University of Strathclyde, Jill discussed three main areas (material, manufacture and remanufactured) and the importance of growth in these three areas to meet the net zero targets.

FEMM Hub director, Professor Geraint Jewell then closed the conference noting it has been an engaging and enjoyable day – highlighting the strength of the electrical machines community and praising the early career researchers that had presented at the conference.

Photograph of delegates at the 2022 EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub conference standing next to a minibus
Attendees at this year's conference travelled from across the country to attend the day

To make the event accessible for all, the FEMM hub conference was free to attend and a free shuttle bus was arranged to take delegates to and from the train station. The event was also recorded to allow for those unable to attend in person to have access to the presentations (to view the presentations please click here).

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