World-class Sports Engineering Hub links up with UTC students to increase knowledge

World-class Sports Engineering Hub links up with UTC students to increase knowledge

12 July 2022

Students at the Silverstone University Technical College (UTC) will have input into the performance of top athletes thanks to a new collaboration with Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub (SSEH).

The SSEH has installed a permanent cycling test lab, including three specialist test rigs, at the UTC for students to develop their engineering skills and apply their learning to real world applications

As well as offering practical experience, the lab will allow SSEH to advance its own research and development for sports engineering.

Customers will book the rigs in the lab and their testing will be overseen by the students, with their data feeding back into a shared specialist cloud software programme.

This will enable SSEH, located in 26,400 sq ft premises at Silverstone Park, to further push the boundaries in improving the performance of athletes – many of whom are at Olympic level – and their equipment.

These include world-class cyclists but also other athletes in winter Olympic disciplines.

The project has received £800,000 of Local Growth Funding from the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – £350,000 of that has gone towards the cycling test lab and £450,000 a pedalling rig to be housed inside the SSEH.

SSEH Managing Director Rob Lewis commented:

“It’s great to bring together business and education in a way that will inspire the students and allow them to participate in real world engineering.

“We expect the next phase of this project, the development of a pedalling test rig at SSEH, to be completed by the end of 2022.”

Neil Patterson, Principal, Silverstone UTC enthused: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with SSEH on this project.

“While it’s not unusual for businesses to work with universities on this kind of project, partnering with a school such as the UTC is quite unique.

“It gives our students an unprecedented opportunity not only to learn some mechanical principles and their applications, but also to develop their skills in lab work and research which will help set them apart when it comes to university and apprenticeship applications.”

The SSEH, famed for its state-of-the-art wind tunnel and aerodynamics capabilities, is located in the Buckinghamshire Enterprise Zone at Silverstone Park. It launched in 2019 with investment of £2m from Bucks LEP/the government’s Local Growth Fund and is one of four specialist engineering facilities at the estate.

Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a fantastic capability that will create a valuable new connection between students and industry.

“It is exactly the kind of facility that Bucks LEP imagined in the Industrial Strategy to enhance innovation and learning opportunities and I am sure the business, economic and social benefits provided by this investment represent excellent value for money for both Buckinghamshire and the UK as a whole.”

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