Category Archives: CU Today Automotive

Coventry-built Microcab up for illustrious international design award

A hydrogen fuel cell vehicle which was conceived and manufactured in Coventry has been shortlisted for a prestigious international transport design award.The zero emission machine from Microcab – a spin-out company from Coventry University – was picked out from an array of contenders to be in the running for the sixth annual Condé Nast Traveller’s Innovation & Design Awards.

Condé Nast’s awards celebrate excellence in a number of categories from fashion and gourmet to leisure and sustainability, and its judges – including industrial design guru Sebastian Conran and Top Gear editor-at-large Jason Barlow – chose to shortlist the Microcab for the transport section.

Microcab’s H2EV is up against some stiff competition for the sought-after accolade, with candidates such as the BMW i3 electric car, a 220mph luxury high-speed train and a cableless, gearless electric bicycle all vying for top honours.

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What’s On at Cov Uni?

Spring is upon us and whilst the weather doesn’t feel much like Spring, there is a lot in store to keep you entertained around the Uni as we move through the last term.

Starting with the Coventry Conversations:

Friday 4th May (1pm): The Herbert plays host to a special Coventry City Football Club event in which the fans have the chance to meet CCFC chief-executive after an unsuccessful 2011-2012 season in which Coventry are relegated.

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Green Award For Coventry University’s Phoenix Racing Team

Coventry University’s Phoenix Racing team has won the Shell-sponsored award for the ‘Most Fuel-efficient Car’ in the premier class of the 2011 Formula Student championship.

The team, which is run by third-year Motorsport Engineering students, competed at the Silverstone circuit over the weekend against over 100 other entries from universities across the world, including Europe, America, Australia and the Middle East.

Phoenix Racing’s ‘green’ machine powered its way into the top 20 overall, ranking 6th best UK university and top university in the West Midlands. The University of Stuttgart was the overall winner.

Writes Alex Roache…

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Coventry Motorsport Students Aiming For Silverstone Success

Motorsport engineering students at Coventry University will be aiming for the top step of the podium at Silverstone next weekend, just a week after Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton wow home crowds at the British Grand Prix.

The students – who make up the Phoenix Racing team – have worked together over the past six months to design and build a single-seater racing car from scratch for the prestigious Formula Student competition. Coventry’s team will compete against over 130 entries from universities in 31 countries including India, Russia, the United States and – for the first time – Middle Eastern teams such as Palestine.

Phoenix Racing, which has been entering the Formula Student competition for over ten years, is run exclusively by Coventry University students, with minimum input from supervising staff. At the start of the project, the students split themselves into sub-teams, each working on an area of the car including chassis, engine and drivetrain. This year’s machine is set to be the most sophisticated yet, with the students taking full advantage of the University’s fully-equipped motorsport workshop and advanced engineering facilities to give them the edge.

The car is powered by a Honda CBR600F3 motorbike engine to ensure it is as light and as powerful as possible, and features a sophisticated F1-style paddle-shift gearbox which is powered by the engine’s oil pressure. The team comprises some of the same students who worked on the prize-winning evGrandPrix project, which saw the Coventry University squad claim third overall in America’s prestigious Electric Vehicle Grand Prix at Indianapolis in May.

Dan Priestman, third year motorsport engineering student and Formula Student project team leader, said: “It’s been a lot of hard work and late nights, but the whole team is confident we’ve come up with our most competitive car ever. There are some cool, clever engineering features on the car which we hope will pay off. “It’s great to be able to put into practice everything we’ve learned on the motorsport engineering course. At the end of the day, this is what it’s all about – getting your hands dirty building real life racing cars!”

The Formula Student competition, which is run by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and supported by Jaguar Land Rover and many luminaries in the Formula One world, pits universities against each other in a test of technical and driving skill. Students must demonstrate creativity in design, technical understanding and – above all – good team work and communication to overcome the challenges along the way and ensure the project is completed on time and on budget. The cars are then tested and judged by a panel of industry professionals, who score it on different dynamic aspects such as acceleration, grip, manoeuvrability and engine efficiency.

Ross Brawn, Team Principal of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One team, said: “I never fail to be impressed each year by the amount of talent shown by the Formula Student competitors. When it comes to giving the younger generation of engineers a chance to demonstrate their skills, there really is no substitute for Formula Student.” This year’s Formula Student competition takes place next week on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit over a four day period beginning Thursday 14th July.

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Coventry University Forges Shanghai Automotive Links

The West Midlands’ relationship with China is set to receive a further boost following the landmark signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Coventry University and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

The collaboration makes Coventry University the primary academic partner of SAIC in the UK, and will see the two organisations work together on a range of advanced engineering research and development projects. In particular, the projects will focus on technology development and professional training, taking advantage of the University’s engineering and managerial expertise. The announcement of the new strategic partnership comes days after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, during a visit to the SAIC-owned MG plant in Birmingham, spoke of ‘brighter prospects’ in the relationship between China and the region.

Writes Alex Roache…

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Stolen And Recovered Within 48 Hours, The Power Of The Internet

The stolen Japspeed Subaru Impreza

On Saturday June 11 at around 7pm, the Team Japspeed Subaru Impreza was stolen from the Performance Vauxhall Show at Santa Pod. Details are sparse but it’s believed two males walked into the paddock and drove the specially prepared drift car out of the main gates. Incredibly, it was filmed travelling up the M25 just 45 minutes later by a curious van driver, who wasn’t even aware it had been stolen.

Within hours, news of the theft had flooded the internet. Social networking sites were full of posts about the car and a google search revealed no less than five pages full of links to various forums and blogs.

Leading  the search was the Driftworks UK forum, whose membership base spans nearly 40,000. With various sightings and snippets of information coming in, members were able to liaise with the Police and could begin to start piecing together some clues as to the whereabouts of the specially modified RWD Impreza.

Writes Geoff Robjent…

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Jaguar Recruitment Scheme Takes On 13 Cov Uni Graduates

Jaguar Land Rover’s popular national graduate recruitment scheme has accepted 13 Coventry University graduates onto roles in Product Development, Manufacturing, IT, Design and Marketing – the highest recruitment rate to this year’s scheme among UK universities.

The Coventry University graduates, all of whom will begin their roles with the Warwickshire-based car manufacturer in September 2011, were selected following a thorough assessment process designed to whittle down over 9000 applications and find the best candidates.

Writes Alex Roache…

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