An interview with… Dr. Emily Pike-Wilson


  1.  What’s your experience with KTP to date?

This is my first KTP which I have joined as the academic supervisor. Current research at the University of Brighton in cryogenics and energy storage naturally led to an involvement with Highview Power Storage.

  1. What is your KTP project(s) about and how are you getting involved?

The KTP project is in partnership with Highview Power Storage, based in London. Highview design and develop large-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plants. Our involvement in the work focuses on the material selection for the packed beds used for thermal storage and future design tools which can be implemented by the company.

  1. What would you say is the best thing about the KTP scheme?

I would say that the best thing about a KTP is the relationship that is formed between industry and academia, allowing both parties to learn new technologies and gain valuable experience.

  1. Why do you think the KTP scheme is important to
  2. the university

The KTP is a great opportunity for the university to form strong links with industry, working at the forefront of cutting edge research. For example, this KTP has required new experimental methodologies to be developed which can now be applied to academic research. The KTP has required cross disciplinary research between engineering and geology within the university, which adds further dimensions to the applications of this work.

  1. companies

The main advantage to the company is access to the knowledge and resources at the university. The aim of the KTP is to answer a question that a company has but doesn’t have the knowledge within the company to answer. For this KTP, the solution required developing experimental methodologies, an area which the university has both the resources and experience in.

  1. graduates

The KTP offers a unique chance for a graduate to work within a company, taking leadership of a project. The graduate can integrate themselves into the company, taking on responsibility from the start which is a rare and valuable opportunity in industry. The training budget allows for the graduate to improve and learn anything that they feel is necessary to aid them in their work which, hopefully, builds their confidence. They can also attend courses at the university which include many business and personal development courses.

  1. What would you say about the KTP scheme to colleagues who might be thinking about getting involved?

I would recommend the KTP as an excellent way to further academic research and to form links with industry, with both parties benefitting from developing new technologies and techniques. It is exciting to see the application of the work conducted at the university being implemented into developing industrial technologies.

  1. If you could use 3 words to describe KTP, what would they be?

Collaboration, development, knowledge.

Developing fuel cell technology at Ceres Power with KTP

Ceres is a world leading developer of next generation fuel cell technology. Based in Horsham, the company employs a team of experts from across a range of industry sectors including engineering, power generation, oil and gas, automotive and materials science.

The company aims to change the way homes and businesses generate their electricity, reducing costs and lowering emissions, through its fuel cell technology.

“We have an affordable fuel cell for the real world, made possible with the use of conventional materials and standard manufacturing processes.” Paul Barnard, Director at Ceres Power.

One challenge in developing low cost products was in understanding the principles governing accurate and durable temperature measurement which would allow them to achieve highly accurate temperature control.

Paul Barnard, Director – Fuel Cell Module Design Authority at Ceres, had worked with Professor Robert Morgan from the University of Brighton on various consultancy projects. In 2013 the company began a KTP with the University of Brighton to bring thermal and fluid dynamics expertise to the company. The KTP in thermometry aimed to measure temperature accurately and reliably at the required product cost point, inside the system.

Paul said: “We knew we had an opportunity to develop our in the knowledge, but also partner with a University and develop a young engineer. We could have done the project internally, but it would have taken much longer. This is a very specialist area, and it’s quite akin to automotive engines and exhaust measurements, so the university’s Centre for Automotive Engineering was a logical partner for us.”

The KTP focussed on testing the thermocouple inside one of the component pipes of the system, to check for accuracy and consistency. Supervised by Professor Robert Morgan, KTP Associate Dr Farzad Barari designed the test rig which is being used to find the critical measurements, parameters and design a solution. Since completing the KTP, Farzad has been employed on a permanenet basis at Ceres Power.


Focus on wow factor projects – GB Electronics

University name – University of Brighton

Company name – GB Electronics

Associate name – Gary Mitchell

Active Timeframe – 05/10/09 – 04/10/12

What the partnership was about – developing and embedding a product design, verification and approval process for diabetes monitoring equipment in a clinical scenario.

What was the WOW factor – Progress in the healthcare sector – the device which was developed for the KTP project has the potential to be lifesaving and will improve quality of life for diabetic patients – it is predicated that around 333 million people will be diagnosed with diabetes globally by 2025. The KTP project also generated the university’s first spin out company (nGauge) which is directed by the Associate.  nGauge is initially taking the device which was designed in the KTP to market, supported in part by SMART and SBRI funding and will also launch a range of company-developed products for the health sector, gaining Medical Device Directive compliance using the process developed in the KTP.

Focus on wow factor projects: The Seafood Restaurant

University name – University of Brighton

Company name – Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant

Associate name – Filip Jicinksy

Active Timeframe  –  18/06/07-17/06/09

What the partnership was about – Defining and implementing a retail business strategy for e-commerce mail order, merchandising and management control, improving profitability, reducing costs, and providing a platform for future expansion.

What was the WOW factor – This was the University of Brightons first ever retail KTP –  by implementing rigorous retail systems and operational processes it delivered phenomenal increase in turnover (26% in-programme) and profit margin (106% in-programme), exceeding the 3 year post-programme forecasts put forward in the proposal during the project.

What’s KTP like for an Associate?

Associate Profile

Name:                    Jugal Desai

Background:          University of Warwick (MSc Engineering Business Management)

Brief description of project

To develop and implement an innovative product design process, fully integrated into the supply chain, to deliver competitive, modular products for new and established markets.

Highlights from the project

Personal highlights:

This project was an eye opening opportunity for me. Working on this project has helped me to realise my hidden potentials. My key personal highlights from the KTP include;

1)    Presenting a paper at the KTP Associate’s Conference 2013.

2)    Achieving certified status of Managing Successful Programmes ® Practitioner.

3)    Delivering a motivational marketing presentation for UoB members of staff.

4)    Presenting as a key note speaker at the KTP Associate’s Conference 2014.

5)    Becoming a finalist for “Business Leader of Tomorrow” Awards.

6)    Identifying my hidden managerial and leader potential along with business acumen that led me to an Operations Manager role post KTP.

Project highlights:

The project has fundamentally changed the way that Dando’s operations are performed. The most effective aspect has been the integration of the information between various departments and key supply chain links. Any queries are now being flagged in real time, enabling Dando to be more flexible, proactive, economic and responsive.

The project has also provided strategic benefits for the University. It has been able to document and understand the impact of this work in a real manufacturing environment and has been able to apply this to relevant teaching materials. The project also generated a significant number of student placements, and two of these students were recruited by Dando after graduation.

This project has helped me to build an engineering managerial career as I have since been employed by the company as Operations Manager.

The best thing about being a KTP Associate

There are infinite benefits to this role but of all, I believe following to be the best thing about being a KTP Associate;

“You own your success”. There is no better thing feeling you have been successful. I was a strategic partner in this Partnership and my career dream is to achieve a key corporate leadership position within a global organisation. This is a long term dream that could take more than 10 years of learning and experience, however KTP has been a driving force to help me achieve this dream sooner by giving me the opportunity to lead a corporate strategic project.

Challenges overcome during partnership

Mine was a two year long project with high level strategic aims and significant outputs, so maintaining enthusiasm throughout the project was a key challenge. Some say, “Success consists of going from failure to failure but without the loss of enthusiasm”. The success of the KTP project depends on the enthusiasm, patience and motivation of the Associate. I treated KTP Project as a business in itself and KTP Associate (myself) as its Business Director. Hence, all the challenges were to be faced with passion to make this business successful – enthusiasm is the catalyst that will make a KTP Project shine to the stars.

What I am doing now

I am currently employed as Operations Manager at Dando Drilling International. I oversee Supply Chain, Planning, Product Development and Production functions. My work includes managing day-to-day activities as well as coming up with new processes and strategies, so potential applicants must be able to see both the big picture and the minute details. Daily tasks may include: reading, writing, and analysing reports and statistics; presenting to stakeholders and members of upper management; establishing and tracking budgets; researching new technologies or methods of efficiency; and managing employees, manage inventory, facility layouts, product distribution, and many more tasks.

Working as a KTP Associate, I gathered a good strategic insight of the company’s operations, the challenges it faced and its vision. This provided a strong foundation that led me to Operations Manager role.

I would recommend a KTP because…

In today’s world, the fact is that being different is the first step to success. I have found KTP to be the only programme that is truly different compared to others and which adds great value to your career dreams. I believe that “Leading a successful team and leading a successful dream are two different things”; KTP is the only programme that will fuel both.



Unexpected spin-offs and benefits from KTP

Watch a video about the benefits of KTP from Dando Drilling International.

Gina Fitch-Roy, Commercial Director at Dando said, “The relationship with the University – good from the start but much strengthened through the KTP process – yielded many unanticipated benefits – our collaboration has been characterised not only by academic rigour and a clear commitment to our commercial goals but also by a good humour and tolerance that has made it tremendous fun. Our investment in KTP has been one of the best we have made.”

Dando took advantage of every opportunity to engage with the university from the outset to achieve significant outcomes across the board. Overseen by the Associate with support from the academic team, they set up projects which were delivered by two final year students and a group of engineering Masters students which resulted in Dando employing two Brighton University graduates on a permanent basis.

Find out more

To find out whether a KTP with the University of Brighton could help your company innovate and grow, contact Shona on 01273 642435; and see for more examples of companies who have benefitted from KTP.

It’s National KTP Month!


This year the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is celebrating its 40th birthday and to mark the occasion, the KTP team are holding a number of events throughout November (National KTP Month).

After starting life in 1975 as the Teaching Company Scheme (TCS) and then evolving into KTP in 2003, the scheme has become one of the largest graduate recruitment programmes across the UK.

Since the University of Brighton KTP Centre opened in 1998, it has delivered over 250 TCS/KTP programmes with schools including the School of Environment and Technology, the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, the Business School, the School of Sport and Service Management, the School of Art and Design, the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM).

The University of Brighton has an excellent reputation for delivering KTP, bringing about significant benefits for the university, company partner and the graduate (the KTP Associate) and currently has one of the largest programme of KTP projects in London and the South East. One of our programmes was also recently shortlisted for a national award that recognises inspirational and successful KTP projects.

Companies can find out more at a morning drop in session on 20th November in Crawley – email for more details.

Academics can find out more at one of our briefing sessions:

Date Time Location
11/11/15 1pm-2pm Hastings, Priory Square 402
13/11/15 10am-12pm Huxley Building 400/401
17/11/15 12-1pm Eastbourne, Aldro G9
18/11/15 1.30pm-2.30pm Grand Parade, Dorset Place 502
24/11/15 12.30pm-1.30pm Mithras House 227

Please RSVP to

Hope to see you in November!

Shona, Sue and Liz