Automotive Professors awarded Research Medal

Professors Gary Hawley and Chris Brace have received the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Medal in recognition of their world-leading automotive research.

Professor Hawley, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & Design and Director of the Powertrain & Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC), and Professor Brace, Deputy Director, have worked together for over two decades conducting research into the development of cleaner and more efficient car engines.

The reputation, scale and ambition of the research has grown significantly and, under their leadership, the PVRC has become a flagship activity for the University of Bath and one of the leading automotive propulsion facilities in the UK. It has attracted over £25 million of research funding and, in 2015, was awarded ‘Spoke’ status by the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Professor Chris Brace; the Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex; and Professor Gary Hawley.

Professor Chris Brace; the Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex; and Professor Gary Hawley.

Professor Hawley joined the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1995. In 2005 he was promoted to a Personal Chair and in 2007 was awarded the prestigious Medlock Chair of Engineering. He has been the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & Design since 2008. His research expertise spans a broad range of powertrain engineering, including fuel efficient vehicles, precision measurement of CO2 emissions and the impact of biofuels on engine performance. In 2014 Professor Hawley led a £2.4 million EPSRC grant to establish the Centre for Low Emission Vehicle Research (CLEVeR). He has also published over 160 research papers.

Professor Brace studied at the University of Bath at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, receiving his PhD in 1996. He remained at the University as an employee progressing to Reader and then to Professor of Automotive Propulsion in 2014. He was also the Chair of the Automobile Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers between 2012 and 2014. He leads a wide portfolio of powertrain-based research which includes human behaviour when driving and the impact this can have on fuel economy.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell commented: “Professors Hawley and Brace have both played a key role as research leaders and role models at the University.

“They have strong records of nurturing talent and are very clear about their belief in, and commitment to, early-career researchers. They both have exceptionally strong research reputations within communities spanning academia and industry and are thoroughly deserving of this accolade.”

Professor Hawley said: “We are delighted to be awarded this honour which represents many years by a lot of people in undertaking, delivering and supporting the research work of the PVRC. We have high ambitions for the future and fully intend that the work undertaken here at the University is nationally and globally recognised for the real life impact that it delivers.”

Professors Hawley and Brace were presented with their Research Medals by the University’s Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex, during the 2016 Winter Degree Ceremonies.

The Vice-Chancellor's Research Medal was established in 2009 and is awarded annually in recognition of sustained research excellence and impact.

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