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Northumbria automotive designs set to electrify NE1 Newcastle Motor Show audience

30th July 2018

Visitors to this year’s NE1 Newcastle Motor Show on the weekend of Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August will be given a glimpse into the future of automotive technology as Northumbria University unveils an electric racing car built by its students.

The Formula-style car was designed and constructed by a team of students from Northumbria’s Mechanical, Automotive and Electrical Engineering programmes.

It will be on display on Grey Street during the annual NE1 Newcastle Motor Show, which takes place in Newcastle City Centre, allowing people to find out more about emerging automotive technologies and the work going on at Northumbria.

The car was built for the national Formula Student competition, a multi-university student design project managed by the UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers in which students demonstrate their creativity and engineering skills through the design, manufacture and financing of a small Formula-style race car.

It was built by students John Mills, Alex Damms, Louis Matthews, Matt Capon and Nathan Washington under the supervision of Dr Ulugbek Azimov, Programme Leader in Automotive Engineering.

Dr Azimov said: “At Northumbria we teach our students about the practical application of engineering. Taking part in the Formula Student project this year has provided a brilliant platform for students to learn mechanical and automotive engineering theories and develop new techniques.

“We know there is a growing need from the automotive industry for university courses to provide experience in applying theoretical understanding to real problems. By giving our students this kind of opportunity we are equipping them with the skills and experience they will need when it comes to starting their careers.”

This isn’t the first time Northumbria students have pushed the boundaries of automotive design – last year a team of students constructed a car powered by bioethanol, a renewable fuel made from agricultural crops or recycled wastes and residues which produces fewer emissions and greenhouse gases than traditional petrol or diesel.

It was this focus on automotive innovation which led to Northumbria University being invited to exhibit at this year’s NE1 Newcastle Motor Show.

Ben Whitfield, Marketing & Events Manager for Newcastle NE1 Ltd, which organises the event, said: “One of our goals this year is to include a focus on electric vehicles, advances in motoring technology and showcasing technological advancements. We heard about the work going on at Northumbria University and were keen to showcase this to our visitors at this year’s event.”

More than 100,000 visitors are expected to visit the NE1 Newcastle Motor Show over two days, with other attractions including the BLOODHOUND Supersonic car – the world's most powerful rocket and engine fuelled land vehicle, boasting 135,000bhp.

Stunt driver Paul Swift will also be carrying out a number of displays, with a wide variety of car dealers lining the streets of the city with some of their latest models, including Aston Martin, Lexus, Tesla, BMW and Mini, as well as others.

Northumbria has made significant investment in its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) facilities in recent years, with £6.7m, part-funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, spent on new equipment. This includes an engine test cell, scanning electron microscope, Mazak CNC machine, scanning ion mass spectrometer and wind tunnel, all of which provide first class facilities for research and teaching.

Northumbria’s Automotive Engineering BEng (Hons) and MEng course provides a foundational grounding in engineering and aspects of vehicle design. Modules include ‘Powertrain and Chassis Systems’, ‘Drive Cycles and Vehicle Performance Modelling’, ‘Automotive Design and Analysis’, ‘Vehicle Dynamics’ and others. Students are encouraged to spend a full year in the automotive industry between their second and final years.

Find out more about Northumbria’s AutomotiveEngineering BEng (Hons) programme or come along to one of Northumbria’s upcoming OpenDays.


Formula Student - Northumbria University: Team UNIRACER from Northumbria University on Vimeo.

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