GKN Automotive has established a new Advanced Research Centre project in the UK to develop next-generation eDrive systems. The company is partnering with the University of Nottingham and Newcastle University in an effort to encourage what it calls modular innovation, and focus on the development of ultra-high efficiency EDUs for future electric vehicles.
GKN’s £3.5m (US$4.64m) investment in the Advanced Research Centre, which is co-located across three leading engineering facilities, is being partly supported through the Melrose Skills Fund (Melrose has owned GKN since 2018), to increase the automotive electrification knowledge capability and strengthen research and development in the UK.
The project will be virtually shared between the engineering departments at the University of Nottingham and Newcastle University, with research teams at each university operating collaboratively with engineers at the GKN Automotive Innovation Centre.
Gordon Day, MD of GKN Automotive Innovation Centre, said, “GKN Automotive is a pioneer of advanced eDrive development and this new research partnership will play a key role in strengthening the innovation of electrification technologies for future advanced propulsion systems.
“We are extremely proud that this research will be in partnership with Newcastle University and the University of Nottingham, two renowned and respected global leaders in automotive electrification engineering research. Both institutions will also play a leading role in helping us develop a supply of high-calibre engineering talent, which is essential to enable us to put the UK at the forefront of global automotive industry innovation.”
Both partner universities are already part of the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s ‘spoke’ community. The initiative brings together specialist academic, technological, and commercial expertise from across the UK to share best practice for the development of low-emission propulsion technologies.
The University of Nottingham is the APC’s spoke for power electronics, and home to the Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Industrialisation Centre – Midlands; while Newcastle University is the spoke for electric motors, and leads the national network of four DER Industrialisation Centres including the Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centre – North East.