A new hub for manufacturing and engineering has been awarded a research project three months before it has actually opened.
The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) has won a £750,000 competition run by the Government's innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board.
It will be used for a project at the Coventry centre to discover ways of speeding up the design and prototype cycle and cut costs of bringing new products to market.
Called the 'Towards Zero Prototyping' project, it will aim to develop novel modelling and simulation techniques aimed at helping designers and manufacturers reduce the need for physical prototypes.
A team of six researchers and engineers from AME will use high-performance computers at Coventry University to create cutting-edge software which will combine into on programme three verification techniques called computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and frequency responses analysis.
The project will initially use a exhaust system from Unipart Eberspächer which is destined for a new vehicle model, with longer-term plans to take the R&D into other sectors, including aerospace and rail.
Due to open this autumn, AME is a joint £32 million collaboration between Coventry University and Unipart which will create a 18,300 sq ft, state-of the-art manufacturing and R&D space for training more than 40 undergraduates and postgraduates in the first year.
Technology director James Simester said: "Car manufacturers and tier 1s spend millions every year on developing new products and platforms, with significant costs consumed by analysis and simulation, along with multiple prototype builds.
"The use of modelling and simulation tools is increasing all the time and UK companies are gaining a competitive advantage from the reduction in design cycle times and expenditure, not to mention being able to bring better products to market quicker.
"The Technology Strategy Board has committed significant funding into moving 'Towards Zero Prototyping' and we believe we have the academic capability and industry application to make the next breakthrough.
"Better still, in our spirit of learning in a live manufacturing environment, we intend on using a commercial automotive product to test our research."
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