The Newcastle research office has been based in Newcastle University since 2006 and has a long history of working on advanced motor design and control for Dyson products. Over this time, six PhDs and EngDs have been sponsored, including three current PhDs.
The topics covered by the office include:
- the electromagnetics and mechanics of motor design at high speeds and efficiencies
- power electronics and power system design for mains and battery powered motors
- the advanced control of motors and actuators
The research focus of the office complements the Newcastle Electrical Power group's expertise in power system design and control for high power density electric drives with high efficiencies and low cost.
The office falls under the direction of the Technical Research Group in Dyson RDD.
We have very close links with Dyson RDD, 20 current and former employees of the motors research team have completed postgraduate and doctoral training in motors and power systems at the department. We maintain close links with the department to ensure the content of courses and teaching will continue to produce high-quality engineers with skills suited to Dyson and industry in general.
Group MembersGroup Members
Dr Daniel Smith
Dr Daniel Smith came to Newcastle University to complete an Engineering Doctorate in High Speed, High Power motors in the MW range for aerospace and offshore oil and gas applications.
His experience lies in managing the coupled mechanical stress, electromagnetic loss and thermal effects in high speed, power dense machines; although Dyson's machines are on a different scale to what he is used to the challenges are fundamentally the same and just as severe.
He now manages the day to day running of the Newcastle office while being involved in various research projects.
Dr David Grant
Dr David Grant was a student at Newcastle University from 2006 to 2010, completing an MENG in Electrical & Electronic Engineering. Following this, he undertook a PhD which was carried out in collaboration with Dyson Technology Ltd and was completed in 2015.
He is now a member of the Motors & Power Systems team at Dyson and is involved in projects relating to power converter design and electric drives.
Bharti Srivastava joined Newcastle University in 2010 to do a postgraduate degree in Electrical Power Engineering. After graduating from Master's degree she joined Dyson Ltd. to pursue a PhD in novel permanent magnet machine design.
Her research areas focus on electromagnetic design, machine optimization for cost and performance, loss prediction and validation.
Mingzhe Hu joined Newcastle University as an MSc student in Electrical Power in 2010. After graduating he was sponsored by Dyson Ltd to complete a PhD degree in novel high-speed motor research. His research focuses on the design, optimization and validation of high-speed motors from both academic & industrial perspectives.
His experience and knowledge include electromagnetic analysis and prediction using analytical and FEA tools, mechanical & thermal behaviour estimation, drive system integration and performance validation.
Interested in doing a PhD with us?
If you are in your final year of undergraduate studies and would be interested in undertaking a PhD sponsored by Dyson please contact Daniel Smith
Dyson sponsored PhD's follow the 4 year EPSRC format with a generous additional stipend for UK students. Our work is application driven but with a strong emphasis on original research and patentable, novel solutions.
We are interested in talking to candidates with strong credentials in electromagnetic design, power electronics, motor control and system simulation.
Interested in working for Dyson?
Dyson are currently recruiting for multiple roles in power electronics, drive design, machine design, robotics and control, from graduate to senior level. If you are interested in joining Dyson feel free to contact Jason Holmes at Dyson Recruitment or take a look at Dyson careers
Publications and PatentsPublications and Patents
Sensorless operation of an ultra high-speed switched reluctance machine. IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications (Vol. 46, Issue 6), Nov-Dec 2010, pp: 2329-9994.
Dyson have filed numerous patents and patents pending related to the Newcastle Office's research in sensorless motor control, power electronics and power system design.
Advanced Electric Drives
The Centre for Advanced Electrical drives within the Electrical Power Research Group helps industry apply cutting-edge research to commercial motor drive products.
We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver:
- High performance, high speed, low-cost and high-efficiency projects
- Professional service offering with a proven track record of success
We provide industrial partners with access to our world-leading Motors, Drives and Power Electronics researchers. We have collaborated with distinguished organisations such as Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus, Dyson, Goodrich, Cummins and Toyota / Volvo (through our partnership with Höganäs).
Advanced Propulsion Centre UK Partnership
We are a member of the prestigious Spokes Network, a national network to support the automotive industry with specialist academic, technological and commercial expertise, part of the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK.
Here, you can find about our work with the APC.
Motor and drive design
- Dedicated researchers in electromagnetic, power electronics and mechanical
- Full range of tools for Motor and Drive design and analysis
- One-off prototype manufacture
- Wire erosion of lamination stacks
- Static testing
- Dynamic testing facilities ranging up to 500KW or 100krpm
- Rotor overspeed testing
- Climatic chambers
- Rare-earth magnet-free traction
- Very high fill factor (>80%) windings
- Innovative inverter cooling
Expert AdviceExpert Advice
Our academics are leading experts in the field of power electronics, drives and machines. This is evidenced by our extensive portfolio of research projects and publications.
We apply innovative thinking to provide business solutions to help our clients build and maintain a competitive edge. This can be either as part of a short-term consultancy project, or a medium to long-term commercial research project.
The Centre for Advanced Electric Drives is part of the Electrical Power research group. Visit the Electrical Power Staff List for details on the Centre's expertise and achievements.
Our business partners have access to our world-class facilities.
In addition, we also have a number of private offices, laboratories and meeting rooms where our clients can undertake research within a confidential environment.
The Centre is led by James Widmer, an expert in the design of electrical machines with experience of working in the aerospace industry.
Please contact us for an informal discussion on how we can help your business to grow.
The Smart Grid Lab and Energy Storage Test Bed are grid connected facilities at Newcastle University.
They are funded through a combined £2 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Newcastle University and industrial partners Northern Powergrid and Siemens.
These key facilities are part of Newcastle’s £200 million flagship project at Science Central bringing together academia, the public sector, communities, business and industry to create a global centre for urban innovation and sustainability.
Science Central is founded through a partnership between Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council to develop an exemplar of a smart, sustainable, resilient city that links energy, transport and digital infrastructure in an urban context.
Located on the former Scottish & Newcastle Brewery industrial site in the heart of Newcastle, Science Central is the perfect environment for exploring digitally enabled urban sustainability, and for demonstrating innovation that can benefit the local region and beyond.
What is a Smart Grid?What is a Smart Grid?
Smart grids have the potential to be a key enabler for countries worldwide to make the low carbon transition, but also to address the energy trilemma of security, affordability and sustainability.
A smart grid is part of an electricity power system which can intelligently integrate the actions of all users connected to it – generators, consumers and those that do both – in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supplies.
It uses real-time information on network operation and energy consumption, and generation to manage our future energy networks in a way that is more affordable, sustainable and secure. To achieve this, our smart energy networks of tomorrow will need to enable and integrate new low carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles, renewable energy generation and heat pumps to be widely adopted.
Smart grids also have the potential to:
- Help increase environmental sustainability
- Reduce energy network outages and disruptions
- Improve operational efficiency of the UK's networks
- Help lower cost of energy storage, transmission and distribution
- Increase the resilience and security of energy networks
Smart Grid Lab FeaturesSmart Grid Lab Features
The focus of Newcastle University’s Smart Grid Lab is the simulation of distribution networks under future scenarios.
An integral part of this system is a real-time network simulator (RTNS). This allows for detailed real-time simulation of networks using sophisticated models that can interact with the physical laboratory environment.
- The RTNS and the control systems platform are fully integrated with the LV (low voltage) network of the laboratory.
- This flexible AC system can be fully controllable in terms of amplitude, frequency, harmonic content, and independent control of phase angle.
- This reconfigurable LV network also features flexible line impedances, which can enable evaluation of networks with different X/R ratios.
- The smart grid system can be operated de-coupled from the grid or even with soft open points between different areas of the LV network using a flexible power converter.
- This converter allows three-phase or single-phase real or reactive power to flow between different distribution networks.
- Emulated PV and other distributed generators are also integrated into the laboratory system, as well as a set of controllable real and reactive load banks.
- A reprogrammable energy storage emulator system with the ability to emulate several battery types and energy storage technologies, including Li-Ion and fuel cells, is fully integrated with the laboratory.
- A commercial energy storage system which enables islanded capability of the laboratory is also available.
Real-time network simulation models
- Real-time network simulation models can interact with the laboratory via a digital link to a three-phase, four quadrant inverter drive capable of delivering fully controllable voltage waveforms and events.
- This arrangement provides the power-hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) emulation platform, which facilitates the real experimental LV network to interact with the large-scale network model simulated by RTNS in real-time.
- Fully instrumented, high speed communications and instrumentation system utilising National Instruments and high speed, FPGA based systems.
- Allows detailed investigation of the LV networks and the smart grid components.
- Smart home appliances such as a smart washing machine and a smart load have also been installed.
- In addition, there is an EV charge post which enables the charge cycles of real EVs to interact with the systems within the laboratory.
Smart grid control systems
- A smart grid network management system, featuring a state estimator and optimised power fl ow (OPF) technology.
- Additionally, energy management software system for micro-grids is integrated into the laboratory.
- Energy management software for micro-grids is also integrated with the generation, load and storage devices.
Flexible low voltage grid
- A four wire three-phase experimental low voltage AC and DC network, which enables investigation of AC and DC power systems.
- This flexible system can be fully controllable in terms of amplitude, voltage, frequency, harmonic content and independent control of phase.
- This reconfigurable LV network also features flexible line impedances, which enables evaluation of networks with different X/R ratios.
Energy Storage Test BedEnergy Storage Test Bed
Energy storage is a potential game changer for the UK.
The country is expected to be a global leader in energy storage, which is projected to provide £10 billion in benefits by 2020 and over £120 billion by 2050.
It provides many services to the grid to make the energy network more efficient, secure and lower in carbon emissions.
Moreover, due to technology advances and economies of scale the cost of large-scale and small-scale energy storage is predicted to plummet in the next 10 years.
There are a range of benefits that energy storage technologies can offer to increasing energy efficiency and stabilising grid infrastructure including:
- Balancing supply with demand
- Increasing use of renewable energy generation to decarbonise the grid
- Managing imbalances on the grid
- Hedging against fluctuating energy demand and availability
What the Energy Storage Test Bed has to offer?
This grid-connected facility houses a variety of electrical energy storage (EES) technologies, from fast-response systems (e.g. Supercapacitors) to slower but more energy dense technologies (e.g. NaNiCl2 and Redox Flow batteries) to support a plethora of grid services and case studies.
The facility can also interface with any other EES technology across a wide range of technical specifications, or even emulate technologies through dedicated battery emulators. In addition to the actual grid, the facility can “virtually” connect to emulated networks using a sophisticated Real-Time Network Simulator.
Key specifications and capabilities of the Energy Storage Test Bed
- Actual grid-connection through a bi-directional AC/DC power converter rated at 360kVA linked with the 400V Science Central electrical network and then on to Northern Powergrid’s distribution network, allowing for active and reactive power flows control and provision of ancillary services (e.g. frequency support, power quality improvement etc.).
- Controllable DC bus carrying a number of DC/DC converters able to interface and fully control voltages and currents of up to 9 different EES systems and/or combinations of those with other energy systems (e.g. Photovoltaics (PVs), 3rd party power converter systems etc.).
- DC/DC converters provide a range of voltages from 0V up to 700V at 90kW each. All power converters are built around a reprogrammable hardware platform and controlled by high-performance, real-time control units.
- Software design is open, flexible and based on Matlab/Simulink® so users can easily create new applications from the ground up, and test the performance of newly designed control methodologies from the highest level (e.g. co-ordination and control of power flows between the batteries and the grid responding to network requirements) down to the lowest level (e.g. PWM control, battery management).
- Programming extensions using popular human-machine interfaces e.g. web-browsers, or via application programming interfaces (API) integrated with scripting languages.
- Multiple communication interfaces (e.g. CAN, Modbus, EtherCAT) allowing interfacing with any 3rd party system (e.g. Battery Management Systems (BMSs), Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technologies).
- Real-Time Network Simulator that can be linked directly with the power converters greatly increasing research capabilities. Battery and PV emulators are also present at the facility allowing for a multitude of different scenarios to be tested.
Work with UsWork with Us
- Operate and test your technology in an actual or emulated grid at a range of scales (i.e. domestic, commercial, local or regional capacities) before deployment into the field. Evaluate the impacts in real-time.
- Carry out continuous, long-term tests on your battery system (e.g. round trip efficiency and degradation) for a specific real-world application or emulated charge/ discharge cycles. Facilitate a cost-benefit analysis for a proposed application.
- Benchmark how your system compares to other technologies. Identify interdependencies and complementarities of diff erent technologies and propose optimised hybrid solutions.
- Emulate an EES technology through dedicated emulators. Reduce development costs.
- Develop optimised control systems for both battery management and its connection with the grid.
- Investigate V2G (vehicle to grid) technologies and the optimal utilisation of car battery systems.
- Provision of expertise to assess possible alternative applications for second-life batteries.
- Compare different EES technologies for a portfolio of grid services and investigate their impact in real time. Recommend which technology fi ts best a specific application and identify optimal solutions for maximising grid support and profits.
- Facilitate development of regulations and standards for EES.
- Investigate the challenges and opportunities of linking EES technologies with other systems e.g. renewables in an actual microgrid to create win-win solutions.
Contact UsContact Us
If you are a business based in the UK, we may also be able to provide financial assistance to address your smart grid or energy storage needs through our ‘Innovation Fund’, especially if a proposed project will help encourage a longer term, mutually beneficial collaborative relationship.
Please do get in touch if you would like to learn more.
Dr Samuel Neill
Science Central Corporate
+44 (0) 191 208 4814
Dr Yvonne Huebner
Science Central Inward
+44 (0)191 208 6855
For specific questions about the labs email email@example.com.
Our team boasts some of the leading academics in electrical and electronic engineering.
As well as our excellent teaching and research facilities, we pride ourselves on our services for industry.
We have collaborated with a wide range of business, both small and international, through consultation, developing new technologies and developing our students into world-leading engineers.
Our work with industry includes:
- Industrial Advisory Board
- collaborative research
- consultancy for design, evaluation, development and testing
- employee training programmes
- support small and medium sized businesses to develop their products
- transfer of IP from our research in to new products and services
- expert witnesses
Introduction to MATLAB and Advanced MATLAB (CPD)Introduction to MATLAB and Advanced MATLAB (CPD)
We can only offer this CPD course to staff and students of Newcastle University. These two intensive seminars serve as an introduction to MATLAB.
The main focus of Day 1 will be to introduce the basic principles behind efficient MATLAB usage, while Day 2 addresses more advanced MATLAB programming and scientific topics.
The delivery of the course will take place in a state-of-the-art computing laboratory within the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering providing an efficient problem-based learning experience.
A typical session will include a short lecture from the facilitator followed by hands-on experience whereby MATLAB related practical problems will be solved by the attendees. No prior MATLAB knowledge is required for Day 1 due to its generic form. However, prerequisite for Day 2 is either attendance of Day 1 or equivalent MATLAB experience.
This two-day MATLAB course is suitable to a wide range of applicants eg engineers, scientists, industrialists, PhD students, etc.
Day 1: Introduction to MATLAB
Working with the MATLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE): desktop tools, preferences, command prompt, command history, workspace, menu structure, editor/debugger, create/run m-files, toolboxes, path search and browsing, help and documentation, code analyzer, publishing code.
Introduction to arithmetic calculations: working with real/complex numbers/variables string, structures, objects and other common mathematical operators and functions.
Working with arrays: creating, concatenating, indexing, resizing and reshaping, shifting and sorting of vectors and matrices, linear algebra, dot product, inverses, determinants, eigenvalues.
Scripts and functions: definition and simple use including local and global variables.
Plotting: 2D plots, 3D contours and graphs, bar and area graphs, histograms, pie charts, animation, graphical object handles and generic plot manipulation including extracting data from plots, axis and title labels, preparing professional plots for publications.
Reading/writing numerical data from/to text/mat files, saving/loading workspace, working with Excel spreadsheets, importing and exporting to images, record/play and read from/write to audio files.
Structure of Day 1
This course will be structured as follows:
08:30 - 09:00: Registration and coffee
09:00 - 11:00: Blocks: 1-2
11:00 - 11:15: Coffee break
11:15 - 13:00: Blocks 3-4
13:00 - 14:00: Lunch Break
14:00 - 16:30: Blocks 5-6
16:30 - 17:00: Summary, conclusions and feedback
Day 2: Advanced MATLAB
Programming fundamentals: Relational/logical operators, control flow including for/while loops and if/elseif/else and switch/case/otherwise statements, advanced functions, program debugging, parallel processing.
Polynomials: Representation, evaluation, roots, derivatives, convolution/multiplication, partial fraction expansion, characteristic polynomial.
Data analysis: min, max median, mean and variance computation, data interpolation and polynomial curve fitting, convolution, data filtering, averaging and detrending, Fourier analysis.
Symbolic variables: Definition and simple manipulation including symbolic solution of algebraic and differential equations, integral computation, Laplace, Fourier and Z transforms, Mupad.
Simulink: Library and toolbox browser, elementary blocks and models, scopes and data displays, continuous and discrete systems, simulation engine parameters, fixed and variable-step ODE solvers, numerical solution of linear differential equations, impulse and step response.
Structure of Day 2
This course will be structured as follows:
08:30 - 09:00: Registration and coffee
09:00 - 11:00: Block: 1
11:00 - 11:15: Coffee break
11:15 - 13:00: Blocks 2-3
13:00 - 14:00: Lunch Break
14:00 - 16:30: Blocks 4-5
16:30 - 17:00: Summary, conclusions and feedback
Charalampos Tsimenidis - Senior Lecturer
Dates and Times
2017 dates will be announced soon.
£100 per day for Newcastle University staff and students.
Cancellations up to 10 days before the course start date will incur a 10 per cent cancellation fee. For later cancellations, or non attendance, the full course fee will be charged.
Please book at least two weeks in advance of each session.
Industrial CollaborationIndustrial Collaboration
We aim to develop strong ties with industry to create job opportunities for our students and strengthen research links. These include:
- Direct company funded R&D projects
- Technology Strategy Board funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and Collaborative Research Projects
- Developing work placements for students
- Talks from industrial leaders
- Career fairs and events
- Partnership in UK Research Council and European funded projects
- Technology transfer and licensing of IP
- Industry funded studentships
We also have a long history of working on advanced motor design and control for Dyson products.
Some past industrial projects:
Fabrication and modelling of titanium dioxide memristor
Asynchronous memory controller with data validation
Camera monitoring system
Information extraction from terrestrial laser scanning data
Investigation into soft switching technique with isolated DC supply
Digital Design Automation Software (PDF: 1MB)
Designing Earthing Systems for Onshore Wind Farm Sites (PDF: 5MB)
Asynchronous Memory Controller with Data Validation (PDF: 1.1MB)
Industrial collaboration enquiries
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8850
Singapore collaboration enquiries
Dr Wai Lok Woo
Telephone: +65 6550 1965
Microelectronics Systems Design and TestMicroelectronics Systems Design and Test
We host a Microelectronics Systems Design and Test consultancy team and offer consultancy in the Systems Design and Test area for large multinationals and SMEs.
- research and development
- adaptation or modification of existing hardware and software solutions to match new technologies
- design of new solutions (ASICs, SoCs, FPGA, EDA tools) for new system requirements
We aim to assist companies looking for a better alignment of their business objectives with their existing infrastructure.
Our team can help to assess existing system designs in line with functional requirements and business objectives. This can help you to optimise your design solutions.
- System timing solutions
- Metastability characterisation and synchroniser design
- Low power and low EMI system design
- Hardware security and cryptographic engine design
- Timing measurement, test and validation
- EDA tools for secure and asynchronous hardware design
- Built-in test, concurrent error detection
- Modelling and analysis of Systems-on-Chip issues
- Variability analysis and characterisation
ASIC design using standard tools (Cadence, Synopsys) and prototyping with FPGA design kits (Altera, Xilinx)
Off line and online testing, fault-tolerance solutions
Professor Alex Yakovlev
Professor Computer System Design
Tel: +44 (0) 191 208 8184
Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 8180
APC Electric Machines Spoke
Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC)
The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC) aims to position the UK as a centre of excellence for low carbon propulsion development and production. The APC team brings together and supports those who have good ideas in the form of innovative technologies with those who can bring them to market as products.
As the Electric Machines Spoke, we act as the focal point for electric machines development in the automotive sector. Bringing together the academic and industrial communities in order to set the agenda for future collaborative research.
The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) recently announced six Spoke communities. These communities include:
- Newcastle University for Electrical Machines
- University of Nottingham for Power Electronics
- University of Warwick for Electrical Energy
- Loughborough University for Digital Engineering & Test
- University of Brighton for ICE Thermal Efficiency
- University of Bath for ICE System Efficiency
The Spokes network identify the next generation of researchers and industrialists in the UK. The aim is to encourage collaboration and engagement with the automotive industry. The Spokes work also includes helping junior researchers into collaborative projects and working with industrial partners to ensure apprentices are trained to manufacture future technologies.
The Electric Machines Spoke will act as the focal point for electric machines development in the UK automotive sector. The Spoke will bring together the academic and industrial communities and set the agenda for future collaborative research.
The Spoke Network aims to build collaborations that focus on transforming research into products. ‘Open to all’ the Spokes will include research and industrial representatives from the materials, manufacturing, design and simulation, testing and vehicle integration.
The aims of these Spoke communities include:
- Taking the key research from the academic community and identifying opportunities for embedding the outcomes into future low carbon technologies
- Establishing key industry challenges and translating them into fundamental and applied research programmes for the broader academic community
- Bring together the whole of the Supply Chain to establish ‘end to end’ solutions and routes to production
The Spoke is for everyone involved in the development of electrical machines for the automotive industry, including:
- materials research
- mechanical design of high speed rotating machines
- software tools
- test and more
For more information on our work in Electrical Machines, visit the APC Spoke Network
APC Electric Machine Spoke Launch
The Electric Machines Spoke, situated at Newcastle University, held its official launch event in October 2016.
Key industry figures and leading academics met to celebrate the opening of the Spoke, which will be the centre for a community of experts in electric machine technology.
View the gallery below for highlights from the event.