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20 October 2008 - PR 08/148

Double success for Loughborough University in national awards

Loughborough University is celebrating two wins in The Engineer Technology and Innovation Awards 2008, as well as being shortlisted for a third.

The national awards were set up to recognise the best examples of collaborative work undertaken by the UK’s most innovative companies and its world-class universities.

‘Hotfire’, a joint project between Loughborough University and University College London (UCL), together with Lotus Engineering and Continental Powertrain, won this year’s Automotive Award. This exciting project developed an advanced gasoline direct injection combustion concept engine with variable valve timing that reduced both fuel consumption and emissions. A key aspect of Hotfire was the use of a matched pair of research engines – an optical engine at Loughborough with a thermodynamic engine at UCL.

The same combustion concept engine was adopted by Lotus Engineering and Continental Powertrain in a joint venture – the Low CO2 project – to deliver a three cylinder, turbo-charged, mild-hybrid engine. When installed in an Opel Astra demonstrator vehicle this system resulted in significant improvements in real world performance, fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

Loughborough’s Sports Technology Institute – home to the internationally renowned Sports Technology Research Group (STRG) – won the category for University Support of Business. This was in recognition of the value added to business as a result of research undertaken by the STRG. The research group partners a wide range of sporting goods brands in both fundamental and applied research projects focussed upon the creation of advanced athletic footwear, technical sports apparel and novel sports equipment. Current and recent collaborators include adidas, Dunlop, Callaway Golf, Head, New Balance, Nike, Reebok and Slazenger. The Sports Technology Institute runs an undergraduate Sports Technology degree in addition to a comprehensive PhD programme. Many of the graduates from this programme enter the sporting goods industry in senior R&D positions.

The University was also shortlisted for the Business Support of Universities Award for its work with BAE Systems, in collaboration with Cambridge, Cranfield and Southampton Universities.

Dr Graham Wigley. Group Lotus Senior Research Fellow, who heads up Loughborough’s involvement in the Hotfire project, said: “I am delighted the project has been recognised with this award. Hotfire has brought together world-leading experts to address the very real issues facing global vehicle manufacturers.”

Professor Mike Caine, Director of the Loughborough’s Sports Technology Institute, added: “The Institute is committed to boosting enterprise in the sport and fitness sector. This award is fantastic recognition of the contribution that our research makes to the development of new sporting innovations.”

In conjunction with its main sponsor, BAE Systems, The Engineer presented winners in eight categories at the awards, which were held at the Royal Society on 3 October.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University,
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. For more information about the Sports Technology Institute visit: www.sports-technology.com

  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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