Bath appoints Programme Director to drive forward automotive research Institute

Gavin Edwards has been appointed as Programme Director of the University of Bath’s Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS).

Gavin, who joins Bath from WMG, starts his role today (Monday 15 January 2018) and will oversee all aspects of IAAPS which is scheduled to open in early 2020.

As Programme Director, Gavin will be responsible for delivering IAAPS, including the building itself and equipment and facilities; ensuring the Institute leads the way in developing the next generation of ultra-low emission vehicles and continues to work with commercial partners to ensure IAAPS delivers what is needed by industry.

This new role will work closely with the University’s Faculty of Engineering & Design and other teams, to help realise the University’s ambition of developing a global centre of excellence, delivering transformational research and innovation. Gavin will also work with the University’s Department of Estates on the physical aspects of IAAPS to deliver a world class facility.

Gavin joins the University of Bath with a strong background in project and programme management, and extensive experience in leading multimillion-pound automotive research projects.

In his current position, Gavin has overseen the inception and development of the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) and Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory (APRL) at the University of Warwick, and was a key member of the bid team securing £30 million of government funding for NAIC & APRL.

Commenting on his appointment, Gavin said: “I am delighted to be joining the University of Bath and leading the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems as we look forward to opening our doors in 2020.

“IAAPS will be both a national and regional asset, helping to ensure the UK maintains and expands its global position within the automotive sector whilst supporting the development of a much larger and more competitive automotive business cluster in the South West.

“With construction due to start this summer, there is much to be done and I am looking forward to begin working alongside colleagues and ensure IAAPS meets its objectives.”

Vice-President (Implementation), Professor Steve Egan added: “We are thrilled to have secured Gavin’s services to lead IAAPS in the next stages of development. His experience and familiarity in overseeing significant capital projects in the automotive industry made him an ideal candidate for this critical role.”

The IAAPS facility will be located at the Bristol and Bath Science Park and lead the development of future generations of ultra-low emission vehicles, and attract sector-related businesses to the region, generating economic growth.

Working with global companies such as McLaren, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as more local businesses such as HiETA Technologies, the Institute will exploit the engineering expertise of the University for the benefit of the UK’s automotive industry. IAAPS is projected to stimulate over £67m in additional automotive research investment by 2025, creating an additional turnover of £800 million for the UK automotive sector and supporting nearly 1,900 new highly productive jobs.

IAAPS has received capital investment of £28.9 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) as well as £10 million from the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, enabling construction of the £60 million facility to start this summer.

For more information IAAPS, please visit

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