UK's best collaborative engineering projects recognised at awards

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Photo of people at The Engineer Awards 2016

Some of the UK's finest collaborative engineering projects, including research on cutting edge jet engines, the design of the UK's largest warships and the use of 3D printing to create implants tailored to patients' needs, were recognised at a prestigious new awards competition.

Eight projects bringing together the worlds of academia and industry were named as winners at The Engineer's inaugural Collaborate to Innovate (C2I) awards, partnered by the EPSRC and Engineering UK, which were launched to celebrate the role collaboration plays in developing ground-breaking new engineering solutions.

The winners were judged by a panel of leading engineers, and had to demonstrate that they were collaborative, innovative and would have a demonstrable impact in their field of application.

They will now present their projects at the C2I Conference at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry on November 17.

Jon Excell, Editor of The Engineer, said: Collaboration - and in particular collaboration between the UK's innovative technology firms and its world-leading academic community - is at the heart of many of our most significant engineering advances. These awards are a fitting celebration of that.

EPSRC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Professor Tom Rodden, who was a member of the judging panel, said: These awards illustrate the strength, breadth and depth of collaboration between academia and industry in engineering and the impact they have on society and the economy.

The C2I award winners:

Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability (sponsored by ABB)

Project: Atmospheric sampling over Ascension Island using UAVs - The University of Bristol with Royal Holloway University, the University of London and the University of Birmingham

In a project supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the team used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to sample methane and CO2 gases in the South Atlantic in order to better understand southern tropical methane sources, their distribution and causes of variability.

Health and Wellbeing (sponsored by GE Healthcare)

Project: ADEPT (Additive Manufacture for Design-led Efficient Patient Treatment) - Renishaw PLC with PDR, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University, LPW Technology Ltd

The ADEPT collaboration, supported by EPSRC, has looked at the utilisation of 3D printers to produce implants tailored for individual patients, reduce costs and save an estimated 1.85 million man hours every year in health care services around the globe.

Information, Data and Connectivity (sponsored by Bosch)

Project: ORCHID - The Science of Human-Agent Collectives - University of Southampton with the University of Oxford, University of Nottingham, BAE Systems, Rescue Global and Secure Meters

Looking at moving the relationship between humans and intelligent software from one where humans deliver instructions to passive machines to one where software agents can become truly collaborative, the EPSRC supported initiative could lead to improvements in sustainability, inclusion and safety in the future.

Safety and Security (sponsored by QinetiQ)

Project: The Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - The Aircraft Carrier Alliance with BAE Systems Naval Ships, Thales, Babcock and Ministry of Defence

The 65,000 tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales will be the largest warships ever built by the UK, and will carry helicopters and, from 2020, the F35 Lightning II that will be the world's most advanced stealth fighter-bomber.

The Built Environment (sponsored by Bechtel)

Project: The SPECIFIC (Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings) Innovation and Knowledge Centre - Swansea University with Tata Steel, NSG, BASF and Cardiff University

The EPSRC-supported project is developing coated steel and glass products to turn the exteriors of buildings into energy generators and stores that could produce more than one third of the UK's renewable energy target by 2020.

Transportation (sponsored by Airbus)

Project: Materials Strategic Partnership - EPSRC and Rolls-Royce with the University of Cambridge, Swansea University and the University of Birmingham

Since the partnership was launched in 2009 it has helped to deliver breakthroughs in the development of jet engines, such as the implementation of low density materials that can cut engine weight, fuel burn and emissions.

Young Innovator - Design (sponsored by Renishaw)

Project: Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge Design Project - Watford Grammar School for Boys with Hyder Consulting

Students created a design concept for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Thames in London.

Young Innovator - Practical Application

Project: Nuclear Crane Zoning System - Future Tech Studio with Sellafield

Students designed an automated system for controlling the movement of a crane used to deal with nuclear waste at the Sellafield plant in Cumbria.

Further information

For more information on the Collaborate to Innovate Conference, including how to register, visit The Engineer website.

Reference: PN 45-16