The University of Brighton’s Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC), led by Professor Morgan Heikal, has an international reputation for producing innovative, future-facing research. The Centre investigates and optimises complex engine combustion processes and develops laserbased measurement techniques, fundamental modelling and computational simulations. Its focus is on applied research and development for the solution of industrial and commercial problems.

The research centre has built a 20-year partnership with Ricardo Plc, culminating in the establishment of the world-leading Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories, and a rich ongoing collaboration. It conducts pioneering work on novel low carbon internal combustion systems that have a direct environmental impact through creating greater fuel efficiency and developing ways in which to reduce CO2 and other harmful emissions.

Professor Neville Jackson, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Ricardo Plc said: “The team at Brighton has a really open attitude to collaboration. The University of Brighton is one of the leading universities in this field and we now have one of the most sophisticated test labs in the world.”

Together with its numerous industrial partners, the University continually invests in the Centre’s facilities, equipment and researchers to help it to build new capabilities, refine its modelling and simulation methods and fully exploit its joint expertise.

The research team collaborates on a national and international scale, with more than 40 academic institutions and 30 commercial companies and receives funding from government, Research Councils and industry. This year will see a major milestone with the opening of its new £14 million state-of-the-art Advanced Engineering Building which recently attracted a major £500k grant from the Wolfson Foundation.

“Our strategy is driven by the core values of inclusivity, sustainability, creativity and partnership. The Advanced Engineering Centre is a great example of these values being put into practice. We hugely value our long-standing partnership with Ricardo which is producing groundbreaking work with the potential to make a huge global impact. It is fantastic that this has been recognised with a grant award from the Wolfson Foundation.”
Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor University of Brighton

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said of the grant: “Awards from the Wolfson Foundation are made following a rigorous review process and are a mark of excellence. This is certainly the case with the University of Brighton’s Advanced Engineering Centre which will support research of the highest quality. We are delighted to be funding Brighton, and were particularly impressed by the fruitful partnership between the University and industry. Urban pollution and the wider effect of high carbon emissions remain some of the greatest societal challenges. Success in creating the next generation of more efficient, low carbon internal combustion engines will benefit us all.”

The University of Brighton recently published its latest five-year strategy ‘Practical Wisdom’. This places research and enterprise-driven collaboration and partnership at the heart of its mission.