A University of Brighton Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has been shortlisted for a national award that recognises inspirational and successful KTP projects.
The project, with marine specialists PSM Instrumentation Ltd, aimed to re-engineer a ceramic transmitter to meet the exacting requirements of the marine sector, such as being able to operate in a hostile environment while maintaining reliability and accuracy, which is essential for safety.
Novel features, including wireless compatibility, being able to run on batteries, and energy-harvesting from external sources such as solar power, means the resulting product has successfully penetrated Far East markets.
Whilst shipyards are primarily attracted by substantial material cost savings, environmental benefits are significant with the average container ship saving 7-10,000 metres of cabling, equating to 5 tonnes of copper and 1 tonne of plastics per ship.
The University of Brighton and PSM Instrumentation, based in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, entered into the partnership in 2011, supported by a grant from InnovateUK. University of Brighton academics Dr Graeme Awcock, Dr Simon Busbridge and Dr Mark Jones provided electronic design, measurement principles and systems, and embedded microcontroller systems expertise, working closely with PSMs Chief Technology Officer Pete Cooper, to support graduates Ayodele Lawal’s and Daniel Rodriguez Sanmartin’s work with the company.
The university’s programme with PSM Instrumentation is one of only five KTPs shortlisted in the Engineering Excellence category of the annual KTP Best of the Best Awards, with the winner to be announced at a ceremony in London in November as part of Innovate 2015.
Three University of Brighton student projects were aligned with the KTP, with PSM also hosting four Nuffield Bursary students, resulting from a scheme administered by STEM Sussex. The KTP also resulted in the development of a new area of university research which will use PSM’s water-level gauges to measure the response of wetland vegetation to climate-change-induced sea-level rises.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are government-funded programmes which help businesses and universities to work together, allowing companies to become more innovative and competitive.