Collaboration produces better products that can help and decarbonise society
Megger was delighted to sponsor and attend The Engineer’s Collaborate to Innovate awards, or C2I, hosted at The Institution of Civil Engineers last Thursday. The awards recognise engineering projects that display collaboration between two or more organisations, normally involving a university or academic body – and what an incredible list of projects it brought together!
The #C2I awards has nine categories defined by activity, from automotive, to medical and manufacturing technology, plus Young Innovator. Megger sponsored the “Wildcard” award comprised of enterprising entries from outside the main industry sectors.
The overall winner and winner of the Medical and Healthcare category was the inspiring ProstaPalp, a device to check the condition of prostates and screen them for cancer before it develops. It is estimated that one man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer, but also many who agree to biopsies do not have the disease. After a decade of collaboration, Intellipalp’s ProstaPalp device will help increase correct diagnoses and save the NHS millions. The ingenious device is worn under a glove during digital rectal examinations, measures the firmness of the prostate surface and creates a map of nodules that uses an algorithm to determine cancer risk. The project was led by Heriot-Watt University and The University of Edinburgh with four other partners, see below.
Net zero is a huge theme for engineering and two awards – Energy and Environment and Data and Connectivity – were won by electric vehicle projects, demonstrating the growing importance of #EVs. The energy category was won by EV-elocity, a project close to Megger’s interests in #EVs, that tested a vehicle-to-grid, or #V2G, demonstrator. Assembling expertise across academia and industry, from automotive testing facility Cenex, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick, Crowdcharge, Leeds City Council, and Nottingham City Council, the project collected hard data on the benefits of V2G technology, using real-world trials. V2G and efficient two-way vehicle charging is essential to understand as EVS proliferate. The project worked out the best charging/decharging opportunities, optimise battery longevity, plus cost and carbon savings – all in the real world.
“Snakes Everywhere” was the name of a project run by Rolls-Royce and The University of Nottingham, an advanced snake-like robot originally developed for the aerospace sector that could transform in-situ maintenance and manufacturing operations in many environments that are difficult to access. It builds on several earlier snake robot projects run by teams from Rolls-Royce and the university and supported by Aerospace Technology Institute for repairs, coating repairs, inspection and testing. The latest one, a snake-like continuum robot, could potentially by applied to locating and then giving water to people trapped in collapsed buildings following earthquakes.
Megger’s Damon Mount (Director of Business Development) presented the Wildcard category, which was won by a great technology that helps to keep beehives healthy, run by Nottingham University’s “BeeSave” project. It uses thermal management – heat – to control Varroa mite infestation, a mite that kills bees and is a growing problem for beekeepers. Bees play a vital role in the ecosystem, and Greenpeace claims bees perform about 80% of worldwide pollination, vital for crops and agriculture. Chemical treatments are mostly used to treat Varroa mites, but these might taint the bees’ health and the mites can acquire resistance.
The PCM Heat Storage Device is sustainable and cost effective and should be popular with beekeepers in the UK and then abroad, with a potential international market. It was created by PCM Products, E.H. Thorne (Beehives) Ltd, Healthy Bees Ltd and The University of Nottingham.
Lisa Newman, Group Brand Manager Megger, said: “Megger is pleased that we supported this awards programme. All the entries were strong and fascinating, and we learned a lot about engineering trends, especially in net zero technology. Megger produces testing technology to keep EV charging points running efficiently and safely, so it was good that two awards involved EV and charging technology. Overall, it really shows how companies can develop good products, that have a role in society, more quickly by collaboration, and we intend to do more of this at Megger.”
Dr Richard Drake, CTO of headline sponsor Babcock International, said: “I often talk about the power of collaboration, of partnerships where we can all learn and benefit from each other, whether it’s bringing a different skillset, an idea or an element of R&D to the table – and that’s exactly what makes these awards so special. So, on behalf of Babcock, I would like to congratulate all the winning teams.”
Megger’s HR Director Nina Cooke, Group Brand Manager Lisa Newman, and Head of Business Development, Damon Mount, attended the awards.
More information about the C2I winners and runners-up can be found here: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/content/news/seventh-annual-collaborate-to-innovate-awards-winners-announced