Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies

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Tagged: Rhodri Jenkins

Conference Report: 2014 FISITA World Automotive Congress, Maastricht

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📥  Seminars & Conferences

On 26 June 2014, DTC student Rhodri Jenkins presented his research at the 2014 FISITA World Automotive Congress held in Maastricht, The Netherlands. This is his report.

logoEvery two years, members of the global automotive industry and research community meet to showcase the latest innovations, exchange knowledge and build collaborations for the creation of greener, safer mobility world-wide. This year, it was held in Maastrict, The Netherlands — at the heart of Europe’s thriving high-tech automotive industry — and was attended by engineers, scientists and specialists from more than 40 countries. I was lucky enough to be amongst them, and present my research to them.

DELIVER, an electric delivery vehicle made by Liberty Electric cars, which made it's premier at the conference.

DELIVER, an electric delivery vehicle made by Liberty Electric cars, which made its premier at the conference.

I attended many of the sessions, on subjects including efficient engine technologies, advanced safety technologies and improvement of exhaust after treatment for emissions reduction. The plenary lectures, however, covered the issues and advances in automated driving, including a talk from Google’s driverless car project by the project director Chris Urmson.

My research was accepted into the Liquid Fuel and Lubrication stream. My technical paper and subsequent presentation, “The Identification and Engine Testing of Potentially Renewable Liquid Biofuels from Microbes for the Aviation and Road Transport” sparked interest in the audience, as well as a lively debate on the viability of microbial products as a fuel resource. The conference was a great experience, allowing me to further appreciate the mechanical engineering side of my research.

As well as the conference, I managed to do a small bit of sight-seeing around the historic city of Maastricht, including the largest and most famous square in the Limberg province of The Netherlands, the Vrijthhof. I will definitely be returning sometime in the future.

Vrijthof , a square in the centre of Maastricht

Vrijthof , a square in the centre of Maastricht

Rhod is in the third year of his PhD, supervised by Dr Chris Chuck (Chemical Engineering), Dr Chris Bannister (Mechanical Engineering) and Prof. Matthew Davidson (Chemistry)

 

Conference report: 35th Symposium on Biotechnology for fuels and chemicals

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📥  Seminars & Conferences

This post comes from 3rd-year DTC PhD student, Lisa Sargeant.

Lisa Sargeant and Rhodri Jenkins

Lisa Sargeant and Rhodri Jenkins

It’s a sure-fire sign that you’ve chosen the right conference to attend when even feeling tired and jet-lagged doesn’t stop you having a conversation with a Prius-owning taxi driver about the fuel efficiencies of hybrid engines. From Monday 29 April to Thursday 2 May CSCT Whorrod Prize Fellow, Dr. Chris Chuck; fellow CSCT student, Rhodri Jenkins; I (Lisa Sargeant) and colleagues from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry were fortunate enough to travel to the USA to attend the 35th Symposium on Biotechnology for fuels and chemicals. The symposium was hosted by the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology in Portland, Oregon, a city famous for beer, coffee and wine!

Across the four days of the conference, we heard talks ranging from conversion technologies for biofeedstocks to biorefineries and the economics & commercialisation of biofuels/bioproducts.

Chris Chuck and I both presented posters on liquid fuels from M. pulcherima and R. glutinis respectively. Rhodri presented a fantastic talk about his research on ‘The identification and engine testing of potential renewable oxygenated biofuels for the aviation and road transport sectors’. These led to discussions with researchers from the University of British Colombia, NREL, University of Campinas, Brazil and Michigan State University: contacts we hope to develop in the future.

The talks were sandwiched between the keynote speech from Dr. Lee Lynd and the banquet speaker, Prof. Douglas Eveleigh. Lee Lynd set the tone for the conference perfectly by addressing any doubts on the feasibility and desirability of large-scale cellulosic biofuel production, whilst Douglas Eveleigh wrapped-up the conference with his highly entertaining talk entitled “Cellulase – the greatest show on earth” with references to Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, Thomas Crapper and the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Making the most of being State-side, we took the opportunity to take a holiday and hired cars to tour the West coast taking in sights such as Crater Lake, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

 

Farnborough air show trip

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📥  Prizes & awards

Jess in the cockpit of an Airbus A400M

Jess in the cockpit of an Airbus A400M

As recently mentioned on the CSCT news, DTC students Jessica Sharpe and Rhodri Jenkins won a trip to Farnborough Airshow as special guests of CSCT partner EADS.

Here's a short report on the experience from Jess:

On the 13th July, I attended Farnborough International Airshow as a guest of EADS after winning a poster competition. The morning was spent wandering around the various stalls and exhibitions, my favourite of which were a remote controlled robotic arm designed for use in space, an unmanned aerial vehicle display, and a talk from Paolo Nespoli, an astronaut who had travelled into space abroad the Space Shuttle Discovery.

From there I went to the EADS hospitality area, where I was provided with a fantastic lunch alongside members of the EADS Innovation Works UK. Following this, we got taken on private tours of the EADS aircraft, the Vulcan and the new A400M, and then were taken into the press
area where we could sit on the balcony and watch the flying displays. All in all it was a very successful day which I enjoyed greatly.