Ten engineering researchers are to spend time working in industry as part of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Industrial Secondment scheme.

The scheme provides academics with up to 12 months’ experience at a partnering organisation, collaborating directly on projects with industrial applications. It provides first-hand experience of working environments while strengthening the links between academia and industry that are crucial for innovation.

In 2015-16 the Welsh National Research Network (NRN) has provided additional funding to support two additional awards for academics from Welsh Universities.

Dr Liana Cipcigan, of Cardiff University, joins the National Grid to examine how to manage changing demand patterns for electricity. As the levels of micro-generation in the electricity network increase, with a particular jump in small-scale solar power systems, Dr Cipcigan will develop demand forecasts for 2020 to 2025 and analyse solutions for balancing energy supply and demand.

Dr Hamed Haddad Khodaparast, of Swansea University, is to work with Airbus on the design of composite aircraft structures. The project will deliver new tools, using sophisticated calculations, which can optimise the design of large, complex aircraft by explicitly quantifying the uncertainties in aircraft systems that have previously proved difficult to model.

Elsewhere in the UK, Dr Karen Renaud of the University of Glasgow will spend a year working with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre to better understand the security needs of SMEs. Dr Renaud’s secondment will allow her to create a security pack to support sole traders securing their business information.

Professor Ric Parker CBE FREng, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Research and Secondment Committee, says: “Collaboration between industry and academia is a vital part of the innovation ecosystem. The Academy’s Industrial Secondments not only produce great results in the form of the initial projects, but they also strengthen the vital relationships between industry and academia – benefitting both partners. I know that long-term working relationships will develop from these secondments.”

The ten secondments all commence this month, with the Royal Academy of Engineering contributing up to £30,000 to support each of the projects.

The full list of secondees and their projects is as follows:

Dr Richard Bourne, University of Leeds

Self-optimising Reactors for Pharmaceutical Process Development, hosted by AstraZeneca   

Dr Liana Cipcigan, Cardiff University (funded by Welsh NRN)

Future balancing services for high levels of embedded electricity generation, hosted by the National Grid

Dr Ibrahim Habli, University of York

Evidence-based Assurance of Health IT Safety, hosted by the Health & Social Care Information Centre

Dr James Hopgood, University of Edinburgh

Novel Signal Processing Algorithms for Automated Electrophoresis Analysis, hosted by Agilent Technologies LDA UK Ltd

Dr Megan Jobson, University of Manchester

Operational optimisation of low-temperature separation processes, hosted by Process Integration Ltd

Dr Simon Julier, University College London

Scalable and Extensible Tracking for Virtual Production, hosted by Mo-Sys Engineering Ltd     

Dr Hamed Haddad Khodaparast, Swansea University (funded by Welsh NRN)

Efficient stochastic design (EStDe) of composite aircraft structures, hosted by Airbus

Dr Dongfang Liang, University of Cambridge

Integrated dynamic modelling of surface and ground waters, hosted by Mott MacDonald Ltd

Dr Christopher Power, University of York

Methods for Positive User Experiences in Big Data Analytics, hosted by International Business Machines Corporation

Dr Karen Renaud, University of Glasgow

Engaging with Scotland's SMEs to improve their Digital Security, hosted by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre     

Notes for Editors

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK's national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK's role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK's world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook. We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655
E:  Aaron Boardley