Driving change, driving manufacturing, and taking the train

2 min read

News editor

Anthony Baxendale’s latest guest blog reveals some sobering statistics, namely that around 7,500km of Europe’s roads are blocked every day, which is estimated to add six per cent to the continent’s fuel bill.

He adds that the number of road vehicles is increasing at a faster rate than the supporting infrastructure can keep up with, and that increasing road capacity is expensive and not feasible in urban environments where the problem is worst.

Baxendale suggests that intelligent mobility could help ease the problem and an event taking place this week will look at some of the issues involved.

The Car of the Future: A Merger of Electric, Assisted and Connected Driving takes place on Wednesday and Thursday in Berlin with networked vehicles high on the agenda.

Topics included in the networked vehicles segment include: interaction between the driver, the vehicle, and the road; links to power and data infrastructures and the ‘cloud’; integration of nomadic devices; green and dynamic routing; automated driving; car-to-car/car-to-x communication; road network monitoring; and multi-modal travel advice.

As the title of the event suggests, consumer-friendly EVs will feature and keynotes will address electric propulsion and the role of electronics, plus wireless charging.

The challenges of automated driving is included in the keynotes, with this topic being addressed by Reiner Hoeger, director Continental Automotive.

Tuesday and Wednesday sees Cranfield University host National Manufacturing Debate 2012: Ways to enhance the supply chain for Growth in UK manufacturing.

The free event includes a tour and demonstrations of Cranfield’s facilities, a host of keynote speakers and, of course, the debate itself which asks: What can be done to enhance the supply chain to facilitate growth in UK manufacturing?

In publicity material Prof Rajkumar Roy, head of the manufacturing and materials department at Cranfield, said: ‘UK manufacturing needs a stronger supply chain within the country.

‘We must to do more to support small and medium enterprises and to grow the size and capability of the companies. This year’s National Manufacturing Debate will challenge common views, discuss real issues faced by the supply chain and suggest way forward, it’s an event not to be missed.’

Speakers lined up for the event include Lord Alec Broers Kt, FRS, FReng; Iain Gray, CEO of TSB; and Jon Bolton, long products business manager at Tata Steel.

Young engineers compete this evening for a £1,000 prize at IMechE’s Re-railing Innovation event.

The organizers say that IMechE Railway Division holds an annual competition of technical presentations to give young members the chance to win the cash prize

Five regional heats have been held across the country with the winners now competing for the prize in an evening of presentations surrounding Innovation in the Rail Industry.



Speakers at the event include Network Rail’s John Clancy, and Roger Goodall, Professor of Control Engineering, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University. 


Two of the competing presentations will address innovation to protect rail infrastructure from rock fall, and the trialling of a device to ensure correct overhead line tension in all conditions.

Finally, business owners looking to ‘up-skill’ their engineers might do well to visit Rotherham College of Arts and Technology.

The college is hosting a free event for businesses and professionals to see what it has to offer in terms of higher education qualifications.

The college says there will be an the opportunity to tailor courses to business needs and it is keen to listen to and understand the requirements of different organizations.