Morgan wins major award

The successful development of new design, development and manufacturing capabilities, has seen the Morgan Motor Company receive the ‘Achievement in Innovation’ prize at this year’s Lord Stafford Awards.

The award recognises the achievements of three Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programmes between the company and BirminghamCityUniversity’s Technology Innovation Centre (TIC).

Charles Morgan said: ‘Every Morgan car is a combination of skilled craftsmanship and technical innovation. While we do keep many traditions alive by making cars by hand, we combine that with modern materials and processes to meet modern levels of performance and efficiency. The TIC has proved an excellent supporter, collaborator and source of expertise. We value their contribution most highly.’

Entering into a two-year scheme with the company, TIC-graduate, Matthew Welch, was the university’s first Morgan ‘KTP-associate’. Using the computer techniques and an exhaustive programme of physical testing, he contributed to the Morgan Aero 8’s exceptional level of occupant safety. This prepared the model for entry to the US market. Matthew has since been recruited as Morgan’s full-time Homologation Engineer.

The second, manufacturing-focused KTP saw graduate-associate Tom Cox recruited to work on all aspects of Morgan’s operations management. Supervised by TIC’s Dr. Keith McQueen, Tom is supporting the adoption of lean manufacturing techniques and continuous improvements, which have already produced savings approaching £1/2m through a wide spectrum of activities. These encompassed mapping production processes together with planning plant layout, quality systems, maintenance, health and safety, as well as consideration of environmental issues and staff training.

To increase the rate of vehicle developments and new model introductions, vehicle design graduate, Matthew Humphries became Morgan’s third KTP associate. Assisted by TIC’s David Arbuckle, Matthew’s design work initially produced revisions to the front-end styling of the Aero 8, as well as the new four-seater Morgan Plus 4. Subsequently he has been working on the design of the company’s hydrogen-cell based LIFEcar project and the limited edition Aeromax coupe.

BirminghamCityUniversity’s Vice Chancellor and TIC chairman, Professor David Tidmarsh, said of the Achievement in Innovation Award: ‘BirminghamCityUniversity is committed to being an exemplar for working with business. This award underlines the effectiveness of our KTP programmes to drive innovation, through collaboration with industry.’

Businesses seeking information about how they can benefit from a KTP scheme should contact Prof Ray McCafferty on 0121 331 5400 or e-mail