New effort launched to help close battery skills gaps
About: “Formula Student: Drive to Recharge” is a new initiative from Energy, a global leader in battery development software, aimed at closing the skills gap in the UK battery industry and assisting in the training of 1,500 battery engineers by 2030.
About: In 2022, energy will be drawn from Imperial College London and the University of Birmingham. Teams from both institutions are included in the sponsorship, which will benefit five Formula Student teams in the UK.
About: To improve battery pack design and spur engineering innovation in battery development for motorsports and the broader industry, Energy will give each of them access to state-of-the-art simulation tools and educational materials.
One of the oldest engineering competitions in Europe, Formula Student leverages motorsport to motivate students. Teams from all around the world that are sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (iMechE) design, construct, test, and compete in small-scale formula racing races using either electric or gasoline-powered motors. But with the development of EV technology recently, a lot of teams are moving to all-electric operation.
With numerous of its workers having previously participated in the program, including Gavin White, CEO of About:Energy, who led Queen’s Formula Student team to a fourth-place finish in the UK in 2018, About:Energy has a tight relationship with Formula Student.
Gavin White, CEO of About:Energy said: “Formula student is an incredible competition in which students get to apply skills learnt through school and university to a high-performance project. I thoroughly enjoyed my time leading the team at Queen’s in Belfast and it was there I learnt many of the professional skills which I now use every day as a founder/CEO. We are committed to giving back by providing the tools to enable the next generation of battery engineers.”
For Formula Student teams, battery simulation can significantly speed up the development of electric drivetrains. However, its early inclusion into development programs is hampered by the need for cutting-edge lab equipment and several months of battery testing.
Christian Pilling, Battery Simulation Engineer at About:Energy, who is leading the initiative said: “Drive to Recharge provides university students the same modelling tools that are at the disposal of the largest companies in the world. We are proud to provide Formula Student teams with a foundation for creating comprehensive battery pack models. This initiative enhances their engineering skills and tests their grasp of both theoretical and practical aspects. We look forward to supporting the team’s achievements in competitions.”
Numerous Formula-Student Teams, including those from Edinburgh, Oxford Brookes, Loughborough, Imperial, and Birmingham Universities, have already benefited from the concept.
Jacob Haseldine, Lead Engineer of the University of Birmingham’s Formula Student team, UBRacing said: “About:Energy has helped us understand how cell voltage response affects performance, and how we can adjust our control strategy to mitigate the risks of reaching voltage limits prematurely. The models enable us to accurately simulate battery behaviour, driving key design decisions for the team.”
About:Energy is looking forward to empowering the next generation.