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Professor Gary Hawley and David Medlock
Professor Gary Hawley and David Medlock

Press Release - 20 June 2007

£1 million endowment will help University research bio-fuels

A million-pound endowment has been given to the University of Bath by the locally-based Medlock Charitable Trust to further important research into vehicle engineering, it was announced today (Wednesday 20 June).

The Medlock Charitable Trust has built up the million-pound endowment over the past few years for the University, and the income earned from it will fund a named Chair in the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Design in perpetuity.

The first holder of the Medlock Chair in Engineering is Professor Gary Hawley, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who will get funding to further his research into vehicle systems. The funding will support several students studying for PhD research degrees.

The Trust was set up by Len Medlock, who established the successful sub-contract engineering business Hebron & Medlock, based in Oldfield Park, in 1951. His son David is now Managing Director of the firm, which employs over 1,000 staff and has an annual turnover of £45 million, and Managing Trustee of the Trust.

Mr Medlock is also High Sheriff of Somerset and a Pro-Chancellor at the University. He has long been involved in the voluntary sector, including work with Shelter, an adult literacy project in Manchester, and the Gateway Club in Bath.

“I’m delighted to be the first person to receive this honour,“ said Professor Hawley. “We have worked with the automobile industry for many years on low carbon technologies to reduce pollution and fuel consumption from diesel engines in particular. The funding we receive will be used to spearhead a new research initiative in the area of bio-fuels here at Bath.”

Professor Hawley, who is head of the University’s Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre, will receive the funding for five years and then the honorary title will be given to another Professor within the engineering faculty at the University. The endowment fund will remain at least £1 million in size and the income from this will fund the Chair.

Siôn Lutley, Director of Development & Alumni Relations at the University, said: "The University is tremendously grateful to the Medlock Trust for its wonderful support over many years. The Medlock Chair in Engineering will provide a real boost to the University's world-class engineering research and Professor Hawley is a very worthy inaugural recipient of the Chair."

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