Two former engineering students have joined forces to lead a new Clean Sky-funded project worth €900,000 (£795,000). They will develop an on-ground, high-power high-speed testing system for electric aircraft.

The four-year IGNITE initiative brings together two former Nottingham University students.

Dr Tao Yang is now Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and The Institute of Aerospace Technologies at the University of Nottingham. Dr Beniamino Guida runs his own business, Aeromechs.

In 2016, Yang was awarded first place and Guida won second place in the Clean Sky best PhD competition. More recently, the pair have evolved from competitors to research partners on IGNITE, combining Yang’s expertise in electrical high-speed drives and Guida’s in testing control.

Essential technologies

Yang said: “The project will demonstrate high-speed high-power electrical generation technologies, which are essential for future hybrid and fully electric aircraft. The successful delivery of this project will consolidate the leading position of University of Nottingham in hybrid propulsion and electric aircraft.

“I also feel very pleased to work with Dr Beniamino Guida on this project. We got the Clean Sky Best PhD Award together and now have this great opportunity to contribute to the Clean Sky agenda. It is really exciting.”

Guida said: “Working in IGNITE together with Tao and the University of Nottingham team is an excellent opportunity to increase the Aeromechs skills in development of supervisory and control systems for aircraft electrical systems.

“As an SME focused since its foundation on R&D projects with innovative applications in aeronautic field, IGNITE is perfectly aligned with the company’s plan for further growth. Starting this new collaboration with the University of Nottingham is something really exciting for us and will surely have a great outcome.”

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