Aeristech part of Cummins-led consortium that will accelerate the development of air handling technologies for hybrid and fuel cell powertrains

Huddersfield, U.K. — Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), the lead organisation of a consortium focused on decarbonising heavy-duty powertrains, announced today that the Government and industry funded project, TRIDENT will accelerate British development of air handling technologies by three years. The funding allows Cummins and its partners to allocate additional engineers and resources to develop new air handling technologies for hybrid and fuel cell powertrains.

Aligned with U.K. Government ambitions, the collaborative project led by Cummins, seeks to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality by building a U.K. supply chain for the next generation of heavy-duty turbochargers.

Cummins, a leading supplier of turbocharger technology for more than 60 years with rich company heritage derived from the Holset brand, is well-positioned to lead the consortium with partners University of Bath, Holtex Ltd and Aeristech. Brett Fathauer, Executive Director – Research & Engineering for Cummins Turbo Technologies said, “The funding that Cummins and our partners received from the Advanced Propulsion Centre is critical to helping us deliver CO2 and fuel consumption improvements across a variety of power solutions.”

“Additionally, we expect to accelerate our development of air handling technologies for hybrid and fuel cell powertrains by three years, as we continue our focus on developing and offering technologies that are better for our customers, the environment and our communities.”

The TRIDENT project supports the U.K.’s long-term capabilities to reduce CO2 and improve air quality for future generations, a clear ambition which is a focus for all levels of Government. This was once again highlighted at the recent G7 Summit in Cornwall where world leaders stood by the ongoing global commitment to halve global emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

While immediate purchases of on-highway zero-emission vehicles remain focused on cars and buses, investment in long-term research and development is critical to meeting the demands of heavy-duty applications and aligning with zero-emission targets.

Duncan Kerr, CEO of Aeristech, said: “Working with Cummins in a partnership of this caliber is an outstanding opportunity to use our electric motor technologies in next-generation powertrains for hydrogen-fuel cell powered vehicles. Our technologies deliver the high performance and efficiency needed to increase the power output of the fuel cell by forcing air into the fuel cell engine using an electrically driven turbocharger. These hydrogen fuel cell systems are zero emission and we’re delighted to be working with Cummins to jointly develop new green technology solutions.”

Announced as a recipient of funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre in June last year, as part of the latest round of Government and industry funding for low-carbon emissions research, the announcement comes as the U.K. starts counting down towards the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), held in Glasgow later this year with more than 200 world leaders due to discuss climate action.

Jon Beasley, Business Development and Programmes Director at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, added ‘‘We are delighted to be working with the Trident project consortium. It’s an exciting time for the U.K. automotive industry as the country hosts world leaders for both the G7 and COP26 summits, it provides an opportunity to demonstrate how we are focussed on tackling climate change and taking significant steps towards clean mobility.”

“Our funded projects accelerate the development of low and zero-emissions technology, enabling solutions that can play a role in the decarbonisation of transport on a global scale. The Trident partners will be working together to advance the technologies that will not only move us toward 2050 targets, but also safeguard and create jobs within the U.K. automotive supply chain.” Building on extensive cutting-edge developments in every major component and subsystem across the mechanical and e-machines domains, Cummins and the consortium partners aim to create a game-changing energy recovery platform which delivers CO2 and fuel consumption improvements across a variety of sustainable power solutions, understanding that electric alone may not be suitable for some applications.

Day in the Life of Andy Phillips, Head of Product Engineering

The next part in our series on Aeristech employees is Andy Phillips, our Head of Product Engineering. Read what he has to say about life at the company and the exciting opportunities available.

Q: What do you do at Aeristech?

A: I’m Head of Product Development here at Aeristech, managing our team of skilled mechanical, electronic and software engineers to deliver our industry-leading air compressors.

Q: What kind of career path has led you to your current position?

A: I’ve worked in the automotive industry all my life at a wide range of companies, from large OEM vehicle manufacturers to small, high-growth start-ups.

I’ve found that the smaller, more agile, faster growing companies have allowed me to make the biggest contribution, along with enabling me to build teams that really perform. Seeing great products being developed by great people never fails to inspire.

Q: What excites you about working at Aeristech?

A: What’s not be excited about when you’re engineering state-of-the-art compressors for state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cells!

The range of fuel cell applications being explored is huge: passenger cars, HGVs, marine, passenger planes, drones – the possibilities are endless. Conventional battery-led electrification will not address the complex requirements of all these markets and that’s why there is so much interest in hydrogen as the prime power source. Our fuel cell compressors are a key enabler of all these applications and Aeristech is growing fast to service these opportunities.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: Every day is different and that’s why I love working here. Early mornings are about catching up with our operations team in China, followed by project reviews, design reviews and customer meetings.

Before I leave the office, I like to walk around our engineering team to find out directly from them what has gone well that day, the challenges they’ve faced and what I can do to help. Our big ambitions mean we have to put formal design processes and reviews in place, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still act like a small company and keep those informal feedback channels open – they work really well!

Q: How has COVID-19 affected the way the company operates?

A: Like all companies, we’ve adopted government-recommended safe working practices and increased remote working, but that hasn’t slowed us down. Regular teams meetings ensure we keep everyone involved in projects and one-to-ones with line managers focus on the professional development and wellbeing of our staff.

Q: What does 2021 have in store for the business?

A: We have several really exciting projects maturing in 2021/22 for many different applications, including aviation, which I am particularly thrilled about.

Q: Where do you see the industry in 10 years’ time?

A: A mature industry delivering an environmentally friendly electrification alternative to current battery technology, with Aeristech recognised as the industry leader enabling this transformation.

Q: Why should people join Aeristech?

A: We’re aiming to double the size of engineering team this year, so we currently have vacancies in a wide range of roles for both junior and experienced engineers: automotive electronics, power electronics, mechanical engineering and project management.

We find that junior employees tend to throw themselves into their roles and really immerse themselves in it, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for. There are plenty of opportunities for promotion and to learn new skills. We’re looking for good foundational skills, but also the right attitude: enthusiasm and a willingness to get stuck in.

Q: Finally, what are the current opportunities at Aeristech?

A: Aeristech has big ambitions and is growing fast. We also have a clear product vision and are resourced to deliver.

Opportunities for personal or professional development are always much easier to provide when growth and resources are available – engineers who’ve experienced low-growth or stagnating companies will be aware of that.

Missed the interview with Luke Read, our Head of R&D? Click here.

Day in the life of Luke Read, Head of R&D

In a new content series for Aeristech, we've been interviewing members of the Aeristech team on what it's like to work at the business. Meet Luke Read, our Head of Research and Development.

Q: What is your role at Aeristech?

A: I look after the R&D department, which is a small group of engineers looking at innovation and how we can we progress the technology. Basically, we consider how can we make things smaller, lighter, faster and cheaper.

Q: How long have you been with the company?

A: 10 years.

Q: What kind of career path has led you to your current position?

A: I started in defence with the MOD, but found the pace too slow. So I began looking for a start-up I could join and was lucky enough to find Aeristech. I started as a mechanical engineer and soon became interested in the magnetics of our products and the general motor design.

This gave me a good overview of the product that the company was looking to design. From there, I began leading teams and eventually ended up looking after the whole R&D team.

Q: What do you find exciting about working at Aeristech?

A: Air compressors sound quite boring, but are very technically challenging. They spin very quickly, typically at 120,000-150,000 RPM. So we’re taking something that’s cutting edge and trying to make it into an everyday product, like something you might use in your car. We’re also trying to develop the hydrogen economy.

Q: What does a typical day look like?

A: There’s no such thing as a typical day – and that’s a good thing! We have the challenge of helping to make air travel and vehicles sustainable – that’s our job. Trying to progress a product inevitably involves challenges and finding ways to overcome them, so a typical day involves solving problems. Plus we’re creating products to support the hydrogen economy.

Q: How has COVID-19 affected the way the company operates?

A: Quite a lot of collaboration is needed between the mechanical, electronic and software teams. In order for collaboration to happen, people need to be in the office up to a certain point. People want to be on site, and we’ve allowed for that as much as possible while respecting social distancing.

But there have certainly been some advantages to the pandemic. Tools like Zoom and Teams allow collaboration to happen virtually, which gives us the confidence that it will work with people further afield. To produce our products, we may need to use technology that the UK isn’t particularly strong in. The new working practices we’ve introduced in response to COVID-19 have given us the confidence to go to specialists in places like the US and Switzerland. It’s slightly odd that we know these people well without ever having formally met them, but the pandemic has accelerated our ability to collaborate as it’s forced us down that route.

It’s also allowed us to recruit from around UK, instead of just in our local area. Although we haven’t recruited from outside the UK yet, I can’t see why that wouldn’t be possible at some point in the future.

Q: What does 2021 have in store for Aeristech?

A: We’re looking to significantly increase the power levels of our prototypes and we’ll also be making big improvements in capabilities like quality control and processes. Generally, we’re moving from a start-up mentality to one of a more established company. As the hydrogen economy has picked up, it’s given us the resources to develop the company and establish departments focused on quality control and processes. We’ll be looking to develop those in the next year and generally increase our power capabilities.

Q: Where do think the company will be in 10 years’ time?

B: Power electronics generally get smaller and more efficient, which leads to product size and costs decreasing. So fuel cells will become a much bigger part of our lives. Cars with internal combustion engines won’t be available to buy from 2030, so fuel cells are likely to play a more significant role. That will lead to greater public knowledge of fuel cells and, in turn, hopefully greater awareness of our company and what we do. Fuel cells should also have started making inroads into the air travel industry by then.

Q: Finally, what are the current opportunities at Aeristech?

A: Lots! We’ve almost doubled in size in last year. The UK has been quite ambitious with its emissions-reduction targets and we’ve been able to take advantage of that to grow the company. We’re looking for engineers who want to use cutting-edge technology in a “normal” way, as well as people who want to follow prototype development all the way through to a product development level in what is currently a very immature industry.

If you join an established firm, your job role might not change very much for the next 10 years. But at Aeristech, the change is likely to be much more constant as we’re always modifying the way we do things and looking into new industries.

Also, anyone with ambition joining now can make their mark in these early stages. You’ll have the chance to generate new IP and introduce something new that could be used in the final product.

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As we continue to grow, we're looking to hire more people that are interested in making a difference and being at the forefront of innovation. Learn more about joining Aeristech here.

Aeristech powers up with £5.15m funding round and key appointments to drive rapid growth of leading electric motor and controller business

Leamington Spa, UK – April 12021 - Aeristech, a UK-based leader in high-speed electric motor and controller technology, has announced the close of a £5.15m private funding round led by investors Sabien Technology, Vela Technologies and SAIC Venture Capital. 

The funding round will supercharge the company’s investment in its development of market-leading e-boost technologies for hydrogen fuel-cell, hybrid-electric and internal combustion engine powertrains utilising its unique patented technology. This includes expanding the company’s skilled engineering and design talent, adding new test cells and investing in the next generation of R&D to build on its market leading advantages. 

Aeristech’s unique and patented technologies mean it can deliver electric motors that are smaller, lighter and faster accelerating than its competitors. The resulting high performance and efficiency means Aeristech’s technologies can play a significant role in powering innovative low carbon transportation solutions.  

Richard Wall, Executive Chairman of Aeristech, said: 

“As the world takes action to reduce emissions from transport and deliver new forms of mobility, such as hydrogen powered vehicles, it will need new and better electric motor technologies. This is where Aeristech is focused on making a difference through our innovative solutions. We are pleased to welcome Sabien Technology, Vela Technologies and SAIC Venture Capital as partners as we invest to make it possible.” 

The company has recently announced partnerships with leading aerospace innovators ZeroAvia and GKN Aerospace, with both companies working with Aeristech on the development of new low carbon hydrogen-electric powertrains for aviation, a sector where power density is crucial. For both ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer II and GKN’s H2GEAR projects, which aim to deliver some of the first commercially available hydrogen-electric propulsion systems for aviation, Aeristech is playing a key role by integrating its advanced hydrogen fuel cell compressors. 

Alongside the close of the funding round, Aeristech has announced a series of strategic hires that will further expand its skilled engineering talent base. This includes hires in aerospace engineering, power electronics, and embedded software engineering. 

Later in the Spring, Aeristech will also complete work on a series of new test cells at its site in the heart of a high performing engineering cluster in the UK’s West Midlands. The new test cells mean that Aeristech can rapidly progress and test new designs for new projects and partnerships. 

Richard Parris, Chairman and CEO of Sabien Technology, said: 

“Sabien believes that environmental and shareholder benefits are not mutually exclusive. We are focused on building a portfolio of solutions which reduce carbon dioxide production at the point of consumption. Aeristech fits this template completely - its work within hydrogen fuel cell optimisation is class-leading and the resulting technology will be, I am sure, capable of significant growth.” 

John Shi, Director of SAIC Venture Capital, said: 

“SAIC Venture Capital is a champion of forward-thinking technology companies. We actively seek to invest in companies with the potential to deliver growth and change the world around us for the better. We look forward to joining Aeristech as it delivers innovation with the potential to help transform the transportation sector.” 

James Normand, Executive Director of Vela Technologies, said: 

"Vela is pleased to be investing in Aeristech whose leading technology is increasing the viability of hydrogen fuel cell power, particularly in the automotive and aviation sectors. Together with the government grant funding, this funding round will enable Aeristech to develop its products for application to hydrogen fuel cell solutions for commercial jets, light aircraft and heavy goods vehicles and to broaden its customer base." 

For media enquiries: 

Ben Gascoyne – Madano 

Aeristech@madano.com 

07785 486201 

Aeristech joins H2GEAR, collaborating to develop a ground-breaking hydrogen propulsion system powering aircraft

GKN Aerospace will lead a ground-breaking UK collaboration programme, called H2GEAR, to develop the company’s first hydrogen propulsion system for sub-regional aircraft. Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in the decarbonisation strategy of aviation as it can power aircraft efficiently, leaving water as the only by-product. H2GEAR puts GKN Aerospace at the heart of the technology developments needed for the future of more sustainable aviation. The technology will first focus on significantly improving sub-regional aircraft hydrogen powered performance, in turn enabling applications on larger aircraft and longer journeys. The programme is supported by £27M of ATI funding, matched by GKN Aerospace and its industrial partners.

H2GEAR aims to develop a liquid hydrogen propulsion system for sub-regional aircraft that could be scaled up to larger aircraft. Liquid hydrogen is being converted to electricity within a fuel cell system. This electricity efficiently powers the aircraft, eliminating CO2 emissions. This would create a new generation of clean air travel, eliminating harmful CO2 emissions.

H2GEAR will reinforce the UK’s position at the forefront of aerospace technology research and development. GKN Aerospace will collaborate with Intelligent EnergyAeristechNewcastle University, The University of Manchester and University of Birmingham, throughout the programme, aiming to create more than 3,000 jobs in the next decade. The programme will be delivered from GKN Aerospace’s Global Technology Centre in Bristol, the company’s £32M brand-new collaborative space for research and development.

Russ Dunn, Chief Technology Officer for GKN Aerospace, said; “Hydrogen-powered aircraft offer a clear route to keep the world connected, with dramatically cleaner skies. The UK is at the forefront of this technology, and the H2GEAR project is an example of industry, academia and Government collaboration at its best. Working with our partners, and made possible by Government investment, GKN Aerospace will develop and industrialise the breakthrough technology to fly aircraft with zero CO2 emissions by the mid-2020s. This will not only create thousands of jobs, but it will keep the UK at the forefront of the next generation of cleaner air travel for decades to come.”

Duncan Kerr, CEO of Aeristech, said: “This is a truly ground-breaking programme for hydrogen technology, bringing together some of the UK’s most established organisations for a cutting edge clean aviation solution. Aeristech’s world leading power dense and efficient compressor technology will play a vital role in powering GKN Aerospace’ first hydrogen propulsion system, helping to bring hydrogen-powered air travel closer to reality.”

David Woolhouse, CEO at Intelligent Energy, said: “We have a very exciting programme of work over the next few years, including developing leading lightweight fuel cell modules for aerospace. This programme will see us develop the next generation of fuel cell technology and supports the growth of manufacturing right here in the East Midlands.  We are planning to increase our manufacturing capability with a new state-of-the-art Gigafactory facility in the region, positioning the East Midlands as a centre of hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing in the UK. The entry-into-service of the first hydrogen-powered aircraft could be as early as 2026.”

 GKN Aerospace will use its long term experience and in-depth knowledge of electrical power systems and propulsion technology to accelerate the development of technology. The entry-into- service of the first hydrogen-powered aircraft could be as early as 2026.

For more information, contact Hoda Awad here.

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Aeristech announces expansion into aerospace with HyFlyer II

Aeristech, a leading innovator in electric motor technology, has today announced an aerospace expansion that will create up to 60 new ‘green collar’ jobs. 

Aeristech’s aerospace facility will enable the company to begin offering its expertise in market-leading power dense electric motors and motor controllers to the aerospace sector, including for hydrogen fuel-cell compressors, which will make it possible to reduce aviation emissions. 

The planned expansion of Aeristech will see the company invest in an advanced facility in the West Midlands from which the company will deliver high tech projects with its aerospace sector partners. It will also see Aeristech take on up to 60 new roles, in highly skilled areas such as power electronics and motor drive engineering. 

The expansion follows the announcement of its first partnership, HyFlyer II, which will see its technology used as part of sustainable aviation innovator ZeroAvia’s UK Government-backed project to deliver the world’s first 19-seat hydrogen-electric powered aircraft by 2023. Aeristech’s cutting-edge 25kW fuel cell compressor technology will enable ZeroAvia to achieve the power output required for a 19-seat aircraft. 

Aeristech has been awarded UK Government funding through the ATI Programme of £2.75m for its part in the HyFlyer II project which will further strengthen the UK’s position as a hydrogen innovation powerhouse at the forefront of aerospace technology.  

The company already has market-leading technology in power dense electric motors and motor controllers and projects underway in the automotive sector.  

The announcement of Aeristech’s investment in new facilities and new roles is a boost for the UK’s aerospace sector and its supply chains, which has faced closures and job losses through 2020 as a result of COVID-19. Aeristech is investing in aerospace because it sees the potential for sustainable aviation technologies to lead the sector’s recovery. 

Establishing a dedicated aerospace facility will enable the company to meet the high-quality control, safety and management procedures and processes required to launch the aerospace business for success. 

The HyFlyer II project is the first of a steady stream of upcoming partnerships that will see Aeristech’s electric motor and motor controllers, including for hydrogen fuel cell compressors, play a vital role in enabling the aerospace sector’s biggest names to drive sustainable aviation forward. 

Duncan Kerr, Chief Executive Officer of Aeristech comments: 

“We are incredibly pleased to announce the launch of our aerospace facility and our involvement in HyFlyer II, where we will be working with industry-leading innovator ZeroAvia to bring passenger-ready zero emissions aviation to reality. 

“This is a significant expansion for Aeristech and highlights the potential for our technology in aerospace applications. 

“At Aeristech, we have a proven track record in other industries such as the automotive, marine, off-highway and material handling sectors. This has helped us to identify an exciting opportunity to use our technology to make large-scale, zero emissions hydrogen-electric flights possible, with the potential to create hundreds of highly skilled ‘green-collar’ jobs in the UK.” 

Gary Elliott, CEO of the Aerospace Technology Institute, comments: 

“We are very pleased to see Aeristech investing in the creation of Aeristech Aerospace.  

“One of the strengths of the UK’s aerospace sector is the depth of its leading eco-system of innovative, highly-regarded engineering companies and suppliers. As sustainable aviation technologies become an imperative for the sector and a commercial reality through projects like HyFlyer II, it is vital that the UK can draw upon the expertise of innovators like Aeristech Aerospace. It also demonstrates the power of the Aerospace Technology Institute: build an environment for innovation in the UK and it leads to new businesses and new infrastructure, and creates the next generation of high-tech jobs.” 

Follow Aeristech on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up with company news.

For more information:

Hoda Awad - Madano 

Aeristech@madano.com  

+44 (0) 20 7593 4014 

About Aeristech: 

Aeristech was founded in 2006 to develop electrification of automotive supercharger systems and has since become a leading designer of advanced electric motor systems. The company is based in Warwickshire, at the heart of the UK engineering industry, with access to automotive professionals, manufacturers, and prototype component suppliers. 

Aeristech’s technology enables it to manufacture the world’s fastest accelerating and most power dense permanent magnet variable speed electric motors. Aeristech’s high-speed motors are ideal for applications where efficiency, power density and speed are essential. 

The company recently moved into new dedicated headquarters in Leamington Spa, with laboratories, pilot production facilities and four fully instrumented test cells for motor and turbo-machine commissioning, validation and durability testing. In 2020 the company received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation for its electric motor system designs. 

About HyFlyer II: 

The HyFlyer II project aims to decarbonise medium range small passenger aircraft by demonstrating powertrain technology to replace conventional piston engines in propeller aircraft.  

HyFlyer II will scale-up, develop and integrate the hydrogen-electric powertrain technology aboard an aircraft capable of carrying up to 19 passengers, which will perform initial test flights out of Cranfield and culminate in a 250 – 300 nautical mile (NM) demonstration flight out of an airfield in Orkney. 

The project is led by ZeroAvia with project partners the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and Aeristech. 

The HyFlyer project is supported by the ATI Programme, a joint Government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacture. The programme, delivered through a partnership between the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK, addresses technology, capability and supply chain challenges. 

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