The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham hosted a visiting delegation from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore on Friday 30 January. The College welcomed delegates for a day of discussion and to explore its projects focusing on ‘cold and power’. In attendance were; Professor Tay Beng Kang, Associate Dean (Research), College of Engineering: Professor Louis Phee, Chair, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Professor Alessandro Romagnoli, Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Nanyang Technological University has an international reputation for excellence in engineering and technology, ranking 9th in the world for these disciplines last year. Its College of Engineering houses six schools and their collective ethos of interdisciplinary research grounded in engineering synonymous with the University of Birmingham’s innovative approach to studying the challenges of today.

The visit took in the Birmingham Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage (BCCES), and two cryogenic based projects being developed in collaboration with the University. Using liquid air, the Highview Power Plant demonstrates large-scale cryogenic energy storage, while the Dearman engine test cell houses a zero-emission engine that can deliver power and cooling on demand.


Liquid air ‘cold and power’ technologies were the subject of much discussion throughout the day, in particular the way in which the cryogen – used in the Dearman engine to create ‘clean and cool’ shaft power – can be used in a variety of applications to ‘do cold better’. With Singapore seeking to be at the forefront of ‘smart’ and clean technologies in South East Asia, the applications of liquid air in commercial vehicles as a zero-emission solution had particular resonance.

Forging a link between two internationally renowned universities, such as Nanyang Technological University and University of Birmingham, is an exciting step towards uniting academic, industrial and governmental institutions with a common research agenda – such as the provision of economic and environmental cold and power.