Bath partners with Newbury Electronics on student EVs

Newbury Electronics is working with Bath University to supply printed circuit boards for electric vehicles developed by the university’s students.

The Berkshire company has provided printed circuit boards (PCBs) for Bath’s electric Formula Student car, as well as for an electric motorcycle that will race on the Isle of Man TT Circuit this month. Students also had a chance to visit Newbury Electronics to see how the PCBs are manufactured.

The team behind the electronic car
The team behind the electronic car

“The university only has very basic production capabilities and we were amazed to see the investment in modern manufacturing and verification equipment that has been made by Newbury Electronics,” said Robert Macgregor, a final year student and a member of the electric motorcycle development team.

Additional support has come in the form of visits to Bath’s engineering departments from Jon Hawkins, technical director at Newbury Innovation, the electronic design division of Newbury Electronics.

“I have seen a number of the students on a regular basis over the last year or so and watched how they have developed both their knowledge but also a wider understanding of the commercial design and manufacturing environment,” said Hawkins.

“We are hopeful that at least one of them will consider joining our team once they have graduated and look forward to further involvement with the university in the future.”

Hawkins believes there is a serious shortage of electrical design engineers being produced, and that this is having an adverse effect across industry. According to Hawkins, more should to be done to encourage young people into the profession, and universities need to better prepare students for the practical demands of engineering in the workplace.

“It is no good us just moaning that we can’t recruit the quality of staff that we need to continue to thrive in a competitive global market place,” he said.

“We all need to invest some of our time and experience in helping those currently undergoing training and education to reach their full potential which will in turn enable us to flourish.”