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Professor Gary Hawley (left) and Malcolm Wicks
Professor Gary Hawley (left) and Malcolm Wicks
Malcolm Wicks
Malcolm Wicks

Press Release - 16 April 2007

Science Minister sees University's "very impressive" work on cutting vehicle carbon emissions

The Minister for Science and Innovation, Malcolm Wicks, called the University of Bath’s work to make vehicles greener and more efficient “very impressive” during his visit today (Monday 16 April).

The Minister toured University’s Powertrain & Vehicle Research Centre, which has the most advanced experimental facilities of any UK university group looking at low carbon technologies for vehicles. Work at the Centre has cut the pollution from diesel engines by a half in seven years.

The Minister said he was very interested in vehicle technologies which cut down carbon emissions. He said that the University had “a good reputation” for working with industry including Ford Motor company and its work was “very impressive”.

“Having until recently been the Minister for Energy I’m committed to tackling problems of global warming and climate change,” he said.

“I’m not complacent but the government has said that by 2050 we have got to cut carbon emissions to tackle global warming by 60 per cent on the amount produced in 1990. "

He said it was important for everyone to play a part in this “difficult to hit” target and this would involve people’s whole way of life, including housing, energy efficiency as well as vehicles.

In recent years grants totalling over £3 million have been made by industry for research at the Research Centre, allowing the University to develop the cutting-edge expertise needed by the vehicle industry.

As part of this the Ford Motor Company has sponsored research projects at the Centre for over 25 years and the Centre was recently awarded £500,000 by Ford and BP to research low carbon technologies for the next generation of engines.

This in turn led to a Department of Trade and Industry sponsored project as part of the “Succeeding through Innovation” programme. The project, led by the Ford Motor Company, BP, the University of Nottingham and Imperial College, is concerned with improving diesel lubrication systems to cut pollution.

The total funding for the DTI project is £2,690,000, with £745,000 allocated to Bath. The project is on track to increase diesel fuel efficiency by 8-10 per cent by focusing on the lubricating systems. This will reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The Minister, whose daughter took a degree at the University, met its Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor George Lunt, as well as Professor Gary Hawley, head of the Powertrain & Vehicle Research Centre, and other senior University staff during his visit.

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