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Two students from the School of EESE have picked up awards at an event organised and sponsored by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Midland Power Group. The event was held in late February at Coventry University.

Five students from Birmingham, all of them 3rd year BEng students from the School of EESE, entered the competition; Jinfeng Li, Yang Yu, Hao Fu, Shen Xiang and Jihong Zhu.

Dr Pietro Tricoli, School of EESE and student supervisor, said; “The students presented the results of their final year project to an audience with many representatives from industry and academia across West Midlands. This was undoubtedly a great opportunity for them to understand a bit what they have to expect after their graduation.”

Of these five, Jinfeng Li and Shen Xiang were both given awards by TRW, an automotive company based in Solihull. Jinfeng’s award was in recognition of his work on motor drives for hybrid electrical vehicles, and Shen’s for his work on hybrid bus powertrain optimisation.

“I believe that all the students skilfully showed the quality of the current research activities undertaken at the School of EESE and I express my congratulations to the winners for their well-deserved award”, added Dr Tricoli.

The event was supported by Amey, Arup, Alstom Grid, GE Energy Converteam, Sulzer Dowding & Mills, Science City Research Alliance, and TRW.

You can read interviews with the two winners below:


Click here to view Xiang's poster.

Why did you choose to study at Birmingham?
The university has a good reputation globally and in the UK. Birmingham has this direct-entry scheme with my home-country university which I think is a fantastic opportunity for me to explore the British culture and more importantly, receive high standard education. So I decided to come to the university in 2011 to pursue my dream.

Describe your poster...
The poster I made for the event was about my final year project, and the topic of which is ‘Hybrid bus powertrain optimisation’. It's basically about the investigation of the control algorithm of a hybrid powertrain system found in a hybrid electric bus. My intention is to use the hardware model I developed to find the best way to switch between the battery and diesel engine in order to save the fuel and reduce gas emissions.

What made yours a winning design?
Every project presented at the event was quite interesting but I think the reason for the success of my project is that it has a bigger view so people can have a better understanding of it. The theme is also one of the hot topics today— saving energy and saving the environment.

What support did you get?
My supervisor helped me to design the project and also provided me with lots of important guidance and suggestions. And the School gave me more facilities, as well as technical support. I could not have won this award without the help of my supervisor and the School.

What does winning the award mean to you?
The award made me feel more confident and positive about my project. I realised that the hybrid-vehicle related industry has a bright prospect and it may influence my career choices in the future.

Click here to view Jinfeng's poster.

Describe your poster…
Motor drives for hybrid electric vehicle based on cascaded multilevel inverter to improve fuel economy

What support did you get?
I express heartfelt appreciation to my supervisor Dr Pietro Tricoli who led me into the emerging field and gives a pivotal impetus to my project.

What does winning the award mean to you?
It strengthens my commitment on the research that challenges the conventional thinking.

What are your ambitions for the future, and how does this award help?
The award rekindles my passion on power engineering industry and I look forward to make a difference to the sustainable energy future for the world.