Q: Please can you provide a short description of MTC and what you do?
A: The MTC was established in 2010 as an independent Research & Technology Organisation (RTO). Its primary focus is to ensure that great ideas become reality and don’t fall into the manufacturing abyss known as the ‘valley of death’. It exists to prove innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions.
Q: How did your relationship begin with the other members of the consortium and what encouraged you to join the project?
A: JLR invited the MTC to collaborate on Perseus based on demonstrated knowledge from prior projects like TRANSCEND (also APC funded) and other direct engagements we have had with them. Joining the project made perfect sense to us as we have a wealth of expertise in both the manufacturing processes and products being created as part of Perseus and are able to offer up more innovative state of the art solutions as well.
As the consortium is a combination of OEM, SME, academia and RTO, it showed us that the project was focused around how this change to electric drive units affects the entire chain. Perseus impacts on the teaching taking place in academia, it impacts the organisational decisions of the SMEs and the OEMs and it leverages the knowledge and capability housed in the RTO catapult centres. As you can see, it is a very well-rounded set of project partners with all aspects covered, who could say no to being a part of that?
Q: Tell us what MTC brings to a project like Perseus and why you think it’s important for you to be part of the consortium.
A: The MTC houses some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world, creating a high-quality environment for the development and demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale. We provide integrated manufacturing system solutions for customers large and small, across sectors as diverse as automotive, aerospace, rail, informatics, construction, food & drink, construction/civil engineering, electronics, oil & gas and defence. Due to this, we have both the capability and knowledge in our people and equipment to add real value to projects such as Perseus, benefiting not only the larger OEMs but also the supply chains supporting them.
Q: Throughout the duration of Perseus, what does MTC hope to achieve for themselves, the wider consortium and for UK industry?
A: The MTC’s strapline is “Together we impact society in the right way”. Within Perseus we aim to do exactly that. We intend to impact the UK in its development towards an electrified future, to enable the UK to compete on a global scale in this emerging sector.
For the MTC the biggest achievement will be to see the project partners thrive from the assistance and knowledge provided by the MTC, allowing them to make robust and informed decisions on how they should develop their organisations. If the MTC learns something along the way and grow ourselves then that is always nice, but at the forefront of our efforts it is always how we impact those we are working with and wider UK industry.
Q: Explain to us what being a part of a project like Perseus means to you.
A: As an EV driver myself for the past 2 years, leading the Perseus work programme at the MTC has been very exciting as it is an area that I have real interest in. However, it is not just the project’s content but the MTC team that have made this project so enjoyable to be a part of. Their technical expertise and array of cross-sector knowledge has been truly insightful and has certainly helped shape the direction of Perseus in many ways. We all know that clean energy and electrification is at the forefront of many industries’ agendas, so being able to steer and assist industry directly is truly… ‘electrifying’.
Q: If you could use one word to describe Perseus what would it be and why?
A: Phoenix. In keeping with the Greek mythology theme we have going on, the Phoenix was known to cyclically pass away and be reborn again. If the internal combustion engine is the Phoenix, then its next life will be as the electric drive unit, rising from the ashes. The Perseus project is in place to develop and adapt all of the consortium members, readying them for the transition to the electrified future we are beginning to experience all around us.