As the low-carbon future takes shape, the University of Huddersfield is a case study for the way in which important innovation is accelerated by collaboration on campus and in partnership with industry
Because of its town?s economic history ? revolving around wool textiles and the still-thriving chemical industry ? the University has an excellent record in scientific research with an industrial application.
Professor Rob Brown
And now important work is taking place in the development of bio-fuels, efficient engines and reducing the environmental impact of emissions. Meanwhile, academics in fields such as logistics and health are investigating strategies for lowering the carbon footprint of the freight transport industry and within the NHS.
For an insight into the productive links that can be forged on a well-integrated and well-equipped university campus, take a brief look at the work of three members of the academic staff at the University of Huddersfield ? Professor Rob Brown, Dr John Fieldhouse and Professor Andrew Ball. Importantly, all three have extensive experience of working in industry and maintain close ties with some of the most innovative firms in the private sector. Rob Brown, from the School of Applied Sciences, is a chemist, and his current research includes work on new catalysts that are vital for the efficient production of biodiesel from the recovered oils ? such as cooking fat ? that must be used.
A major advantage for Rob Brown?s team is that they can link up with Dr John Fieldhouse, whose engine research laboratory within the University?s School of Computing & Engineering is exceptionally well equipped. This means we are looking not just at the next generation of fuels, but at their impact on engine wear.
In addition to exploiting the use of bio-fuels, the engine research laboratory is looking at other ways in which vehicles can reduce their carbon footprint. They can be made lighter for example, and if better lubricants can be found, so that the life of an engine is doubled, then the amount of carbon generated by manufacture is halved at a stroke.
The engine research lab is also an important resource for Professor Andrew Ball, who is the University of Huddersfield?s Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Enterprise. He has vast industrial experience and is a leading authority on maintenance engineering. He has conducted innovative research into the engine emission capture and has co-developed a technique ? now in use on buses, taxis, fire engines and police vehicles around the country ? that can reduce the harmful particularates from diesel engines by as much as 95%.
It is also vital to know more about the emissions from engines using bio-fuels and what impact they might have on human health. Andrew Ball?s work on emissions capture is of importance here too.
For further information about work
mentioned in this article, please contact:
the University?s Business Gateway team
Tel: 01484 473 666
Added the 27 August 2009 in category Innovation UK Vol5-1