School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


6 Nov 2015

Loughborough University Wins Prestigious e-Learning Award

The team that developed the remote photovoltaic lab

Dr Richard Blanchard and Dr Sheryl Williams have been presented with the 2015 e-Learning Excellence Award at the 14th European Conference on e-Learning for their work on the Photovoltaic Remote Laboratory.

The remote laboratory project beat off competition from 60 other entries from as far afield as Australia, South Africa and Canada winning a prize of €500.

The remote laboratory enables distance learning students to perform real experiments, via the Internet, on a rig to allow them to demonstrate understanding ot the relationships between different photovoltaic module types, irradiance and temperature.

Richard said “I am truly delighted that all the hard work by everyone who has been involved in this unique development has been recognised.  We are planning to develop additional remote laboratories for wind energy and micro-grids”.

Sheryl added, ‘We are especially pleased that the main reasons cited for us winning this prestigious award were innovation and complexity. All the team (top) can be very proud. The fact that students all over the world get to benefit from an enhanced learning experience is a tremendous achievement.’

Details of how the Remote Lab was developed and how it works can be found here.



  • The ECEL conference took place at University of Hertfordshire 29-30 October 2015.
  • Seed funding from a Loughborough University Distance Learning Fund contributed to purchasing some of the hardware.
  • A Teaching Innovation Award is being used to evaluate student feedback.

The Remote Lab in action

The remote photovoltaic laboratory in action