First DSM SIG Event Sparks Great Debate

Silverstone Technology Cluster

2nd October 2019

On 26th September, our recently formed Design, Simulation & Metrology (DSM) Special Interest Group’s “Getting Ready for an Electric Future” event got off to an explosive start when Dr Paul Faithfull of Potenza Technology, woke us all up by suggesting that batteries may be targetted to become potential weapons of mass destruction! He explained the future risk of online battery management systems being hacked in the home and cars is very real. We not only heard about the challenges, but also considered possible ways to manage these as we become increasingly dependent on batteries in future.

The event, hosted by our founding members, Barclays, at the newly refurbished Cranfield Eagle Lab, then saw the combined wisdom of Marcos Kauffman from the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering and Prof. Trevor Toman of Coventry University’s Metrology Department. Marcos firstly explored the complexities of manufacturing batteries, highlighting how the sheer range of types available is affecting the agility and progress of effective research and production. Prof. Toman then further explained the almost impossible task of trying to accurately measure battery behaviour, vital in R&D projects needed for providing data that will help evolve the industry – a huge challenge to an industry already struggling to keep up with consumer demand.

We next heard from Daniel Henbest of Intelligent Power Generation, who shared his passion for finding alternative ways to fuel and power many common existing ICE powered vehicles – with the aim of reducing carbon emissions as soon as possible. He explained that we no longer have time to wait for many of the commonly discussed potential fuels of the future like hydrogen power. To help tackle the current climate change crisis now, he shared his vision of a flame-free, ceramic based powertrain fueled by LNG that could replace ICEs within the next couple of years and have a much faster and significant reduction in carbon emissions. This fascinating concept created much discussion in the audience.

Our final speaker was Dave Allan from CYSIAM who challenged us to consider the real risks of how we manage cyber security both within our business and personal lives. Citing the example of a casino getting robbed through a fishtank thermometer, left us all clear about the risks and neccesity to tackle our own weaknesses as soon as possible! 

All-in-all a fascinating event for both learning and thoughtful contemplation on many difficult matters facing us on the road to an electric world. 

“This was a great event for our newly formed group, and we recevied a lot of really postive feedback” said STC CEO Pim van Baarsen. “It was good to have a variety of thought-provoking and informative presentations, which really allowed the audience to engage and have their say. This is very much why we set up these Special Interest Groups, so it is really good to see it working so well.”

You can review all the presentations in the following links:

EV Battery as a Weapon of Mass Destruction? Dr. Paul Faithfull, Potenza Technology

EV Battery Manufacturing – The challenges and importance of Digitalising: Marcos Kauffman, Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering

Metrology – The Challenges of Manufacturing for Battery Production: Prof. Trevor Toman, Coventry University

Future Energy – The Need for Fuels: Daniel Henbest, Intelligent Power Generation

Industry 4.0 – IoT & Supply Chain in an increasingly Connected World: Dave Allan, CYSIAM


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