Entrepreneur, racing driver and former science minister Lord Drayson has unveiled a cutting-edge research facility – the Power Systems Laboratory – at the Treforest campus of the University of South Wales.
The new Laboratory is home to the University’s Centre for Automotive and Power Systems Engineering (CAPSE), a specialist team engaged in research and testing for major players in the international motorsport and automotive industry, as well as supporting niche technology and power companies in Wales.
CAPSE’s mission is to support business and other organisations to develop the next generation of low carbon technologies and in doing so support the creation of new jobs and economic opportunities. CAPSE aims to achieve this through leading research and knowledge transfer based activities, to deliver a greener and more sustainable future.
During the day, Lord Drayson, who was the UK’s Science Minister and architect of Britain’s Defence Industrial Strategy, was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Technology of the University. He is founder of Drayson Technologies, past President of the Motorsport Industry Association, has completed the Le Mans 24-Hour Race and is the current holder of three world land speed records for electric vehicles.
Speaking to an audience of business leaders and students in his keynote lecture, “Harnessing the power of science for business,” Lord Drayson said: “Electric and hybrid technology will power the 21st century automotive industry and it is essential that the latest science is harnessed to ensure that the UK stays at the front in the technology race. The University of South Wales has already established a leading reputation for excellence and partnership with industry and I am delighted to open this state of the art facility, which will further accelerate this important work in power systems engineering.”
Professor Julie Lydon, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of South Wales, said: “USW was founded here as a specialist college of engineering and management by industry, for industry. The Power Systems Laboratory is the latest example of our partnership with the cutting-edge industries of our time, and shows our dedication to applying the finest research to decisions in the real world.
“CAPSE’s success has been built on its reputation as a first-class facility that provides its partners with focused knowledge to develop the next generation of energy technologies. We are delighted that Lord Drayson, a business leader and automotive technology expert himself, has recognised this and, having already made use of the facilities in his own racing outfit, has come to see for himself the great work we do here by being part of this launch celebration.”