Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles for use in society. The department is committed to ensuring that its research work generates commercial and other impact. This is mostly achieved by sponsoring companies which directly apply the research outcomes, but also by setting up spinout companies. PhD students and postdocs from the research group concerned are often involved in founding the companies and many more are subsequently employed in them. The department strongly supports such ventures and hopes to see more successes in the future.
 

Companies 1-3

Brian Spalding

Concentration Heat & Momentum Ltd (CHAM)

Lead academic: Brian Spalding 

Founded: 1974 

The Department's first spin-out company provided pioneering computer simulation of fluid-flow and heat-transfer processes. One of the earliest products was PHOENICS. Most commercially available CFD software tools originate from this research area. 

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Finsbury Orthopaedics

Finsbury Orthopaedics

Lead researcher: Mike Tuke

Founded: 1978

Manufacturer of several world-first implants including the Medical Rotation Knee, Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, and large diameter ceramic hip replacements. Acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2009.

CD adapco

Computational Dynamics Ltd (later CD Adapco)

Founded: 1980

The lead academics were David Gosman and Raad Issa who in 1986 formed an unlimited liability partnership to develop and supply a new software (STAR-CD) for the simulation of fluid flow, heat and mass transfer for industrial applications. The methodology offered a capability to handle complex geometries that other software could not do at the time and this was the initial main route to its ensuing success. In 1987 the partnership was incorporated into a limited liability company (CD) with an additional partner adapco Ltd. CD grew rapidly to become the second largest provider worldwide of such software. In 1997 it was awarded the Queen's Award for Exports. Later the two companies jointly traded under the name  CD-adapco; that company was bought out by Siemens in 2016.

3 col general content block companies 4-6

PCS Instruments

PCS Instruments

Lead academics: John Hutchinson, Clive Hamer, Ritchie Sayles

Founded: 1987

Originally set up to provide consultancy services, PCS went on to use research on diesel fuel lubricity to develop lubricant test instruments. Based in West London with an annual turnover of £10 million, it is the world's main producer of test equipment for lubricants.

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robin

CINAR Ltd

Lead academic: Fred Lockwood

Founded: 1988

Provides CFD tools for energy issues such as fuel conversion, flames and burners optimisation and combustion and emission equipment.

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ICATS brochure

ICATS

Lead academics: David Ewins, Mehmet Imreun, David Robb

Founded: 1989 

A Consultancy partnership created to provide contract services for modal testing, eventually leading to the commercialisation of software tools MODENT and MODESH, aimed at the research and development stage.

3 col general content block companies 7-9

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TurboGenset

Lead academics: Colin Besant, Keith Pullen

Founded: 1992

Development of patented axial flux technology for portable generators and high speed motors. Aquired Intelligent Power Systems to incorporate power electronics research, and now trades as Turbo Power Systems. Listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2000.

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Dynamic Testing Agency (DTA)

Lead academic: David Ewins

Founded: 1993

Formed with funding from the Department of Trade & Industry. The aim was to produce a handbook of best practice for dynamic testing, based on decades of research into certification or qualification of machines and structures subjected to high levels of vibration in service. The final product is now managed by NAFEMS.

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Orion Logic

Lead academic: Charalampos Harris Makatsoris

Founded: 1996

Developer of collaborative e-commerce software, StarActive.

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3 col general content block companies 10-12

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Dynamic Boosting Systems

Lead academic: Keith Pullen

Founded: 1999

Patented technology in motors, drives and control systems; developed out of research into compressor efficiency.

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Acrobot

Lead academic: Brian Davies

Founded: 1999

Created to produce robots for MIS hip and knee joint replacement. Acrobot was based on groundbreaking research into orthopaedic robotics at the Centre for Robotics & Automated Systems (CROBAS) during the 1980s. It was acquired by Stanmore Implants Worldwide,  then Mako Ltd and finally by Stryker Ltd.

Integration Diagnostics

Integration Diagnostics

Lead academics: Peter Cawley, Mike Lowe

Founded: 1999

Formed out of a coffee break chat between Professor Cawley and Neil Meredith, a dentist who at the time was completing a PhD in the Biomechanics group. It lead to a reliable test for the stability of dental implants. The company now trades as Osstell.

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3 col general content block companies 13-15

Guided Ultrasonics

Guided Ultrasonics

Lead academics: Peter Cawley, Mike Lowe

Founded: 1999

Founded by former NDE group PhD students David Alleyne and Brian Pavlakovic in 1999, building on David’s postdoc work developing an ultrasonic guided wave inspection system to detect corrosion in pipes in the oil and gas industry and Brian’s guided wave software development during his PhD.The company is a now world leader in guided wave inspection, selling equipment throughout the world, primarily to the service inspection companies who do most of the on-site inspection work for the major oil companies. 

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Evo Electric

Lead academics: Michael Lamperth, Malte Jaensch

Founded: 2006

Manufacturer of electric machines, drive systems and integrated power products for hybrid and electric vehicles. Its flux machines feature higher torque and power densities due to utilization of the electromagnetically active material. The firm provides generator sets for transportation and mobile power applications. It was acquired by GKN in 2011. 

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Multiphase Simulation Ltd

Lead academic: Raad Issa

Founded: 2007

The company was formed to develop and market software for the simulation of multiphase flow (liquids and gases) in long pipelines in the oil and gas industry. The software is based on new methodology that is not offered by other existing software and is now being used by a major oil company to simulate flow instabilities that could not hitherto be captured.

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3 col general content block companies 16-18

permasense

Permasense

Lead academics: Peter Cawley, Fred Cegla

Founded: 2009

Manufacturer of monitoring technology for industrial applications operating under harsh conditions. Permanently installed sensors allow continuous analysis of possible corrosion, such as in gas pipelines. Acquired by Emerson Inc in 2016. 

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Sensor Coating Systems

Lead academics: Andrew Heyes, Jorg Feist

Founded: 2012

Developer of thermal history technology based on luminescence materials for engineering applications in demanding environments, such as gas turbine blades or vanes.

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hfq

Impression Technologies

Lead academic: Jianguo Lin

Founded: 2012

Based on the work of the metal-forming group on the strength of aluminium. This research lead to the patenting of HFQ (hot form quench) Technology; a manufacturing process for complex shaped, high-strength aluminium compents for vehicles.

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Spinout companies bottom

Mechanical Engineering logo with white cogs on navy and yellow background

Orthonika

Lead academic: Andrew Amis

Founded: 2014

Formed to combine novel textile technology with and tribology of soft polymers to produce artificial knee menisci; a common sports injury.

Mechanical Engineering logo with white cogs on navy and yellow background

Rheon Labs

Lead researcher: Dan Plant 

RHEON LABS works with leading sportswear and sports equipment brands to build custom solutions to enhance the performance, comfort and protection of their products.  Originally developed to deliver impact protection for the body and head in extreme sports, the technology is equally applicable across a wide range of sectors. It can control energy of any magnitude and frequency – from small constant vibrations to life-threatening single impacts at ballistic speeds. Existing customers include FLY Racing and RuRoc, highly innovative motorcycle and ski helmet brands respectively.

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