Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub

The FEMM Hub research team is made up of individuals from the AFRC, AMRC, University of Sheffield, University of Strathclyde and Newcastle University. Read more about the team involved by clicking on their photos below.

Geraint Jewell

Hub Director

Professor Jewell is a graduate of Sheffield (BEng- 1988; PhD 1992) and has been a member of the academic staff in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in Sheffield since 1994. He held an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship (2000-2005) and a Royal Society Industry Fellowship at Rolls-Royce (2006-2008). He has been Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Advanced Electrical Machines since 2006. Alongside his academic roles within the Department, he served as the Faculty of Engineering’s first Director of Research and Innovation from 2008-2011 and was Head of the Department from 2013-2019.

His research interests cover many aspects of electromechanical devices including electrical machines (permanent magnet, switched reluctance, synchronous reluctance) and linear actuators. Much of this research in recent years has been directed towards aero-engine applications in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. This research has included high temperature devices (many around 400 °C but with one up to 800 °C) and several demonstrator starter-generators for aero-engines. He has supervised some 20 PhD students to completion across a wide range of electromagnetic and electro-mechanical topics.

Laura O'Keefe

Hub Manager (currently on maternity leave)

Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield

Laura O’Keefe an experienced Manager with a demonstrated history of working in higher education. Prior to her current position at the University of Sheffield, she spent 8 years at The University of Manchester in positions within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, EPSRC Supergen Bioenergy hub and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Ashutosh Tiwari

ACSE, Uni. of Sheffield

Professor Ashutosh Tiwari
Airbus/RAEng Research Chair in Digitisation for Manufacturing, The University of Sheffield

His research focuses on real-time digitisation, simulation and optimisation of skill-intensive manufacturing processes, such as wing manufacture and engine assembly, with a vision to develop a digitised factory that requires no setups and inspections for manufacturing part variants.

He has secured around £7m of research funding and is an executive committee member of the EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub. He has completed 36 PhD theses supervision, and produced 316 publications including 137 journal and 125 conference papers. He is a Fellow of IMechE and IET, a Chartered Engineer, and an executive committee member of EPSRC Connected Everything Network Plus.

He is an associate editor of Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing Journal, a review editor of Applied Soft Computing Journal, and an editorial board member of IMechE Journal of Engineering Manufacture.

Michael Ward

AFRC, Uni. of Strathclyde

Professor Michael Ward
Research Director, Advanced Forming Research Centre, University of Strathclyde.

Professor Michael Ward has a dual role as both Chief Technology Officer for the Advanced Nuclear Research Centre and Director of Industrial Strategy for the University. As CTO of the ANRC Michael is focused on providing strategic technical direction, promoting collaborative research and development activity and securing further funding. As Director of Industrial Strategy, Michael works with the central team, colleagues across the university, industry and other key stakeholders to help build Strathclyde’s approach to industrial activity. Strathclyde has a broad range of advanced manufacturing activities across the University and its various research centres. Previously as Technical Director - AFRC Michael was responsible for leading and developing the technical team, which grew to well over 100 staff, and for developing technology strategy to enable the future growth of the centre. Prior to Joining Strathclyde Michael worked for Rolls-Royce in a number of roles most latterly as Chief of Capability Acquisition, which involved leadership of the global manufacturing technology programme and development of the company approach for industrialising manufacturing technology. In his earlier career Michael led a specialist process modelling group with expertise in developing numerical models of complex manufacturing processes, which built on his EngD in numerical modelling.

Zi-Qiang Zhu

EEE, Uni. of Sheffield

Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu
Professor of Electrical Machines and Control Systems, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield

Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu graduated with a BEng degree (1982) and an MSc degree (1984) from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and a PhD degree (1991) from The University of Sheffield, UK. After working as a Lecturer/Assistant Lecturer at Zhejiang University from 1984 to 1988, he joined The University of Sheffield in 1988. Initially, as a Visiting Research Fellow sponsored by the British Council (1988-1989) and a Research Associate working on an EU funded project in co-operation with Philips (1989-1992), then on an established university post as a Senior Research Scientist/Officer (1992-2000). He is currently a Professor on Electrical Machines and Control Systems in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (2000- present). He holds the Royal Academy of Engineering/Siemens Research Chair (2014- present) and is the Head of the Electrical Machines and Drives Research Group (2008- present).

Prof Zhu’s research interests include the design and control of novel high torque/power density and high efficiency permanent magnet machines and drives for applications ranging from electric vehicles through domestic appliances to wind power generation and more electric aircraft. By way of example, his research activities over last >35 years cover (a) novel permanent magnet machines including Halbach machines, fractional slot machines, stator wound field machines, switched flux machines, magnetically geared machines, multi-3-phase machines, segmented stator machines, ultra-high speed machines, and novel linear machines; (b) theories, and analytical and numerical modelling techniques of permanent magnet machines; (c) novel PWM, sensorless, and vector and direct torque control techniques; (d) acoustic noise and vibration in electrical machines and drives. These research activities have been sponsored by the UK/EU government and the global industries based in the UK, Germany, Japan, Denmark, France, and China, with research funding of >£20M. He is the Founding Academic Director of Sheffield Siemens Wind Power Research Centre on direct-drive permanent magnet wind power generators, the Founding Director of CRRC Electric Drives Technology Research Centre on the power trains for fast train propulsion, and the Founding Director of Midea Electric Machines and Controls Research Centre on low cost high performance electric motors and drives for domestic appliances.

Ben Morgan

AMRC, University of Sheffield

Ben Morgan MEng CEng FIMechE
Programme Director, AMRC

Ben Morgan is Head of the Integrated Manufacturing Group at AMRC and is responsible for the £43m Factory 2050. He leads a multi-disciplinary team of over 70 engineers carrying out transformative research for UK manufacturing industry. Factory 2050 is the world’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research and the venture has increased the group’s ability to transform research into high tech solutions for some of the world’s leading aerospace and engineering companies.
Ben has previously been PI on a number of large innovation projects including VIEWS (£2.2m of £30m, Innovate UK), Spirit AeroSystems Aerostructures Factory of the Future (£2.3m, Innovate UK), Meggitt M4 (£1m of £6m, Innovate UK) and Airbus Factory of Aircraft Future (£1.8m of £15m, Innovate UK). Morgan has won several BAE Systems Chairman’s Business Innovation awards developing automated solutions for aircraft manufacture. Morgan also sits on the board for the EPSRC Machining Industrial Doctorate Centre.

Gladys Benghalia

AFRC, Uni. of Strathclyde

Dr Gladys Benghalia
Strategic Programme Lead – Electrification at The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), University of Strathclyde

Dr Gladys Benghalia is the Strategic Lead for Net Zero: Electrification at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. Gladys graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering in 2011 before commencing a PhD in the Weir Advanced Research Centre investigating the development and validation of a fatigue-resistant weld cladding technology. Gladys joined the Advanced Forming Research Centre in 2015 as a Research Associate in materials science and residual stress. During this time, she led research programmes on the characterisation of residual stress due to quenching, aging and machining processes in collaboration with a number of industrial partners including Rolls-Royce & Boeing, as well as leading the development of non-destructive residual stress measurement using ultrasonic means. Gladys then progressed onto the role of Strategic Lead for Net Zero: Electrification at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, combining electrical and manufacturing expertise and leading industrial engagement with the UK supply chain to secure a manufacturing base for the sustainable design and manufacture of high value, high integrity PEMD (power electronics, machines and drives) across multiple sectors.

Robin Purshouse

ACSE, University of Sheffield

Professor Robin Purshouse
Professor of Decision Modelling and Optimisation, Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield

Robin Purshouse received the MEng degree in Control Systems Engineering in 1999 and a PhD in Control Systems in 2004 for his research on evolutionary many-objective optimisation under the supervision of Peter Fleming. Commercial experience includes Logica plc (1999-2000), PA Consulting Group (2003-2007) and Rolls-Royce plc (2007-2008). He returned to the University of Sheffield in 2008 – initially as a Research Fellow in the School of Health and Related Research and, since 2010, as a Lecturer in the Department of Automatic Control & Systems Engineering. Robin was a principal architect of the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model, alongside Alan Brennan, Rachid Rafia, and Petra Meier. He was the holder of an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant award (October 2012 – September 2014) and, with Peter Fleming and Carlos Fonseca, was General Chair of the seventh international conference in the world-leading series on Evolutionary Multi-Criterion Optimization (EMO) held in Sheffield in March 2013.

Xiao Chen

EEE, Uni. of Sheffield

Dr Xiao Chen
Lecturer in Electrical Machines, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield

Xiao Chen is currently a lecturer in EMD group, EEE department, University of Sheffield. He received his PhD degree in electrical machines from University of Sheffield in Dec 2015, before working as a research associate in the same group until May 2018. Then, he joined Dyson Technology Limited as an advanced motor drive engineer from July 2018 to Sep 2019, before coming back to University of Sheffield in Sep 2019.

His current research interests include manufacturing-led innovation in electrical machines, multi-phase fault tolerant electrical machines for more electric aircraft, digital twin of electrical machine and drive, high-speed electrical machines for traction, low-cost electrical machines, and powertrain energy management for electric vehicles.

Rab Scott

AMRC, University of Sheffield

Professor Rab Scott
Professor of Industrial Digitalisation. Head of Digital at the AMRC.

Professor Rab Scott has been a member of the AMRC staff since its beginning in 2001, after heading up the Virtual Reality and Simulation activities he now leads on the strategic development and implementation of digital manufacturing solutions across the whole organisation.

Rab is the operational chair of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s Digital Strategy Team. He sits on the Steering Committee of Immerse UK (the UK’s body for immersive technologies), the IET’s Digital Panel and their Applied Visualisation Forum. He is also the IET’s spokesman for Virtual Reality. Rab has recently been made a Visiting Professor in the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde.

Michael Farnsworth

ACSE, Uni. of Sheffield

Research Associate, ACSE, University of Sheffield

Dr Farnsworth graduated originally from the biological sciences having pursued a BSc in Biochemistry at Cardiff University before undertaking an MSc in Computer Science at the University of the West of England (UWE). He continued with his interest in biologically inspired computation, undertaking a PhD at Cranfield University on the evolutionary design optimisation of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). He continued on with this theme as a researcher of a number of projects throughout his time at Cranfield University, ranging from autonomous maintenance and robotics, self-healing systems, manufacturing informatics and process optimisation.

In his current role as a research associate within ACSE he researches and develops digital, electronic and robotic solutions for automation within manufacturing and shop floor environments. He is developing a research theme concerned with digital manufacturing and how the distributed resources of IoT and ‘Smart Products’ can augment robotic cognition in this field. The core of this research is centred on my interests in biologically inspired computing, whether it be evolutionary computation, machine learning and AI, or robotics and cognitive neuroscience.

Nabeel Ahmed

Newcastle University

Research Associate, Electrical Power Research Group, Newcastle University

Nabeel received his BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Newcastle University in 2012. He completed his Ph.D. degree from Newcastle University in 2016 in which he designed several Flux switching modulated pole machine topologies to reduce cogging torque in futuristic electric vehicles.

Nabeel began his career with Jaguar Land Rover where he worked as a Lead Power Electronics Design Engineer in Electrification Department. He now works as a member of the Electrical Power Research Group in Newcastle University and specialises in high speed electrical machine design and FE simulation, linear motors, 3D machine topologies for aerospace and railway engineering and manufacturing process.

Presently working at EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub which combines expertise in electrical machines and manufacturing for the first time. Previously, Nabeel was working on a UK funded project (called Z_LIM) investigating predictable and optimised braking for rail systems applying the concept of a linear induction motor. Instead of using an integrated primary and secondary unit, it separates them using the existing running rails as the secondary, placing the primary component attached to the bogie in the fashion of an eddy current brake. This allows for the generation of forces that are independent of the level of adhesion between wheel and rail, effectively providing a zero wheel-slip effect.

Prior to this, Nabeel worked extensively in the development of drives for use in a variety of aerospace applications. He was particularly involved in the manufacturing of a calorimetric system for testing high efficiency, low mass motors for use in solar powered aircraft applications. These projects involved QinetiQ, Boeing and Airbus, and saw motors designed which achieved new levels of efficiency whilst being designed to operate at altitudes above 50kft and at temperatures below -50degC.

Lloyd Tinkler

AMRC, Uni. of Sheffield

Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), University of Sheffield

Dr Lloyd Tinkler is a Senior Project Engineer at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). Lloyd holds an MEng (Hons) degree in electronic engineering from the University of Hull and a PhD from the University of Sheffield for his research on the optical nonlinearities of semiconductor waveguides.

In his role at the AMRC, Lloyd has led numerous projects for aerospace companies on topics including the robotic application of sealants and adhesives, and the use of autonomous mobile robots for internal logistics. He has also led the research on reconfigurable and flexible manufacturing systems for high-value products, culminating in the design and construction of a state of the art reconfigurable robot assembly cell. This cell, designed to allow rapid changeover between processes and products, is used as a test-bed for automation projects and research into flexible and reconfigurable manufacture.

Gianmarco Pisanelli

AMRC, Uni. of Sheffield

Control Engineer, AMRC

Gianmarco is a Control Engineer at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). He was awarded an MEng (Hons) in Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering at the University of Sheffield. His thesis proposed a novel methodology to control Collaborative Robots using natural language interfaces. He has previously conducted research on intuitive interfaces for Human-Robot Interaction applications. He worked alongside audio-visual artist Mark Fell to develop an interactive robotics art installation for the Festival of the Mind 2018. He has also collaborated with Sheffield Robotics to develop choreographic performances with robotic swarms for public events.

Steve Forrest

EEE, Uni. of Sheffield

Research Fellow in Electrical Machines and Drives, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield

Dr Forrest is an experienced researcher in the field of Electrical Machines and Drives, having spent many years as a post-doctoral research fellow within the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Advanced Electrical Machines and the wider department. Historically his research interests have focused on both electrical machine and grid facing power converters, primarily for Aerospace applications, including advanced topologies and control methods. His PhD was concerned with a novel, low energy storage, power converter to control a multi-phase switched reluctance machine in an Aerospace application. More recently, Steve’s research interests have focused on failure analysis and fault mitigation methods for coil based faults in permanent magnet machines and thermal management of power dense permanent magnet machines in Aerospace applications.

A graduate of Sheffield, Steve initially gained a BSc in Physics, before moving to the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering and completing an MSc, in order to gain entry to the field of Engineering. Following an initial role as a research assistant in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, investigating a control strategy for electromagnetic valve actuation, he went on complete his PhD in 2011, under the Rolls-Royce Technology Centre.

Jill Miscandlon

AFRC, Uni. of Strathclyde

Dr Jill Miscandlon
The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), University of Strathclyde

Dr Jill Miscandlon is a Senior Manufacturing Engineer at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. Jill graduated with a PhD and BSC (Hons) in Mathematics before joining the AFRC as a Research Assistant in 2013. She worked for 6 years leading large-scale CR&D projects on novel forming processes, such as flow forming and spinning, including the SAMULET (Strategic Affordable Manufacturing in the UK through Leading Environmental Technologies) and Manufacturing Portfolio projects. Jill is currently the lead researcher for Strathclyde on the EPSRC-funded Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing (FEMM) hub, and is leading two grand challenges within FEMM: one on light weighting of non-active components, and the other on sustainable manufacture of electrical machines. She was a leading figure in the development of the work package around sustainable manufacture and circular economy of electrical machines. Jill’s knowledge and expertise also informs and directs the electrification strategy within NMIS and the wider University of Strathclyde community.

Glynn Atkinson

Newcastle University

Dr Glynn Atkinson
Electrical Power Research Group, University of Newcastle.

Glynn is Senior Lecturer and the Faculty Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research. His research interests include soft magnetic composites, fault tolerant machines for aerospace and design and analysis of electrical machines for a wide variety of domestic and industrial applications.

Jiabin Wang

EEE, Uni. of Sheffield

Professor Jiabin Wang
Professor, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield

Professor Jiabin Wang graduated with a BEng in 1982 and MSc in 1996 from Jiangsu University in China, and a PhD in 1996 from the University of East London, UK, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering. He was an academic staff in Jiangsu University, from 1982 to 1983 and from 1986 to 1991, and a visiting academic researcher in Liverpool University, UK, from 1991 to 1992. After working on multi-degrees of freedom rotary and linear electromagnetic actuation systems as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Sheffield from 1997 to 1998, he joined the EEE department in the University of East as Senior Lecturer in 1998. Since 2001, he has been with the EEE Department at the University of Sheffield, being promoted to Reader in 2007 and to Professor in 2010.

His research encompasses advanced control techniques for electrical drives, novel rotary and linear machines and drives, advanced electrical power-trains and ‘more-electric’ technologies and energy management strategies for electric and hybrid vehicles, and aircraft. Currently, his research focuses on high integrity, fault tolerant and high efficiency electric drives and associated condition monitoring techniques for applications in aerospace, automotive and household appliances.

Barrie Mecrow

Newcastle University

Professor Barrie Mecrow
Professor of Electrical Power, School of Engineering, Newcastle University.

Barrie commenced his career as a Turbogenerator Design Engineer with NEI Parsons, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., where he completed his PhD on 3-D eddy-current computation in large electrical machines. He became a Lecturer in 1987 and a Professor in 1998 with Newcastle University. He was Head of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Newcastle University, from 2012-2017, where he is also a Professor of Electrical Power Engineering. His research interests include fault-tolerant drives, high-performance permanent-magnet machines and novel switched reluctance drives. He has close links with Dyson and a number of automotive and aerospace companies, and is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Alasdair McDonald

Chair in Renewable Energy Technology

Professor in the Institute for Energy Systems and Mechanical Engineering Discipline, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh. Models and designs powertrains and generators for offshore wind turbines.

Rafal Wrobel

Newcastle University

Senior Research Associate, Newcastle University

Dr Rafal Wrobel is a Senior Research Associate in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University. His areas of expertise are electrical engineering and electrical machines.

Ryan Diver

AMRC, Uni. of Sheffield

Head Of Technology, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), University of Sheffield

Ryan Diver is the Head of Technology for the Integrated Manufacturing Group based at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Within the Factory 2050 facility, he is responsible for the research strategy and project delivery for 60 multidisciplinary research engineers. His research teams focus on: Robotics and automation; Control systems and integration technologies; Augmented and virtual reality; AI and manufacturing informatics; In-process metrology and inspection. Ryan graduated from The University of York with a BEng in Computer Science and worked in embedded electronic design before joining the AMRC. Over the past 5 years, he has delivered the Spirit AeroSystems Aerostructures Factory of the Future programme (£2.3m, Innovate UK) and Airbus UK Factory of the Aircraft Futures programme (£1.8m, Innovate UK) both from a project management and research delivery perspective. These programmes were both focused on the manufacture of high value, low volume components and assemblies utilising robotics, smart factories and digital manufacturing technologies.

Mehrad Kazemi Amiri

EEE, Uni. of Strathclyde

Research Associate, Wind Energy and Control Centre, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Dr. Abbas KAZEMI AMIRI is a Research Associate in the Wind Energy and Control Centre (WECC), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Abbas joined Strathclyde’s WECC in January 2018 and has been involved in several research and industrial projects in the area of wind and renewable energy. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Centre of Structural Mechanics and Dynamics, Technical University of Vienna (TUWien), Austria, where he also completed his PhD in 2016. He studied Civil Engineering and obtained his Master’s degree in Structural Engineering. Abbas Specialises in wind engineering and energy with the focus on structural mechanics and dynamics. His areas of expertise include earthquake and performance analysis of structures, wind vibration mitigation, wind load identification, vibration testing and operational modal analysis, and fatigue damage and wind turbine lifetime extension.

Divya Tiwari

ACSE, Uni. of Sheffield

Research Associate, ACSE, University of Sheffield

Dr Divya Tiwari is a Research Associate working in the area of Digital Manufacturing within the department of ACSE at the University of Sheffield. Her work focuses on sensors and simulation for high value manufacturing processes.

She has a background in optical fibre sensing technology and was awarded a fellowship by Royal Academy of Engineering and Daphne Jackson Trust in 2013 for the development of novel photonic sensors for industrial applications. She was awarded a degree of PhD in 2010 by Cranfield University. Before joining academia, Divya worked in an electronics industry on the development of sensors for aerospace and automotive applications in the UK.

Alexei Winter

AMRC, Uni. of Sheffield

Technical lead, IMG Electrification Team, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

Alexei Winter holds an MEng in aerospace engineering and an EngD in systems from the University of Bristol. His doctoral studies centred on the optimisation of a renewable energy device for harnessing power from tidal flows. He was granted patents for his control strategy and blade design. After a diversion which involved studying classical vocal technique at the Royal Welsh conservatoire, working as a concert soloist and teaching children maths and science, he joined the AMRC in 2018. Initially, he worked within the aerostructures and landing gear team, focusing particularly on the machining of thin-walled aluminium components.

Alexei Winter is currently a technical lead within the electric machines team within the Integrated Manufacturing Group. His current work centres on automation of high-value, low-volume electrical machines.

Karen Wood

Hub Manager (Seconded until March 2022)

Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield

Karen Wood joins us on secondment from another EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub (Manufacture using Advanced Powder Processes) also led out of the University of Sheffield. She has a background in science and many years experience in project management and business development. She has been at the University of Sheffield since 2014, prior to which she was involved in supporting business start-ups.