Since joining the University of Bath as Programme Director of the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems in January 2018, it’s been an exciting time working with the team at Bath to move the project forward from the successful fundraising bid into tangible delivery.
My main priorities consist of overseeing the development of the capital build to completion of the building, equipment and facilities. I’m also responsible for developing the commercial partnerships that will enable us to harness the expertise and technical capabilities that IAAPS creates. These partnerships will ensure our expert academic team continue to align their thinking with the challenges faced by industry, ensuring collaborative working across academia and industry on transformational research and innovation. I have also been putting in place the organisational structures that will come into operation as the facility develops, and have already started recruiting an operations team. Below is an overview of progress on each of the major project milestones in more detail.
Earlier in the year, we appointed architects Stride Treglown and DKA as the design team for IAAPS. Stride Treglown is lead consultant partnered by Bath-based DKA who bring their specialist automotive expertise to design the complex testing facilities. The project is progressing in line with our key milestones: The design of the new facility is developing well, with RIBA stage 4a design completed in November 2018. Planning permission was secured in the same month. As the diggers moved in to start the enabling works, we also issued the tender for the main contractor. This appointment will be made in the spring with works starting on site in April 2019. After a competitive tender for the equipment supplier, we will soon also be announcing our appointed supplier.
You can enjoy 360 virtual reality tour of IAAPS here
Underpinning the physical build of the facility is a huge amount of work to develop the organisational structures and processes that will ensure the smooth running of IAAPS once operational. Since being appointed to my role, I have been building a team around me to support on this. Rob Oliver has joined as Chief Engineer, leading on facility management and processes as well as the technical detail of the equipment installation in the new building. Tamsin Foxwell is our People Lead, heading up the development of our People strategy, ensuring that we attract the best talent to join our expert team and achieve our vision of rapid R&D and transformational research at IAAPS. Sarah Sempala-Ntege is our Communications Lead, overseeing the implementation of our Communications strategy across multiple channels between now and launch. Henry Watts is the Project Manager for IAAPS, ensuring that all workstreams are joined up and delivering to our project masterplan.
Additionally, I have met with a number of our current industrial collaborators to discuss opportunities to continue and extend our joint R&I capabilities, as well as initiating discussions with potential new partners who are as focused as we are on helping the automotive industry on the Road to Zero. IAAPS has been designed with open collaboration at its heart, a space where researchers and academics, industry and inventors can work together to accelerate the transition from low carbon cars to zero carbon vehicles and transport systems. We are always on the lookout for new opportunities to collaborate, so please do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about working with us.