Engineering School facilitates major equipment grant from Lincoln Council to aid local businesses

EOS P380 Rapid Prototyping Machine

Lincoln City Council has secured approval to purchase a Rapid Manufacturing Machine in order to establish a facility which is accessible to local businesses as part of a commitment to promote and encourage the growth of engineering and innovation activity in the local economy.

The School of Engineering is fully committed to this initiative, which is part of its engagement process with local industry and a long term close collaborative relationship with the City Council.

Dr Jonathan Lawrence, who is Reader and Head of the  Laser Materials Processing Group in the School, has sourced a machine in China, and will be travelling out to Shanghai in the near future to perform a technical verification before the unit is shipped to Lincoln.

The School will be working closely with the Council to promote the usage of the facility, and will be subsequently working with local businesses to fully utilise it.

The EOS P380 machine uses a high-powered laser, which fuses metal powder into a solid part by melting it locally using the focused laser beam. Parts are built up additively layer by layer. This process allows for highly complex geometries to be created directly from the 3D CAD data, fully automatically, in hours and without any tooling, producing parts with high accuracy and detail resolution, good surface quality and excellent mechanical properties.

Advanced Airship Research Project at the University of Lincoln

MAAT Multi-body Advanced Airship for Transportation project logo

Lincoln School of Engineering is part of a global consortium which will be kicking off an EU Framework 7 Programme Collaborative Project in September 2011.

The project is MAAT Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport, and is led by Professor Antonio Dumas at the University of Modena, Italy.

Principal Investigator at the University of Lincoln is Prof. Paul Stewart, and Co-Investigator is Prof. Chris Bingham, both of the School of Engineering.

Project Members

  • Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Universidade da Beria Interior, Portugal
  • Logistics Network Consultants GmbH, Germany
  • University of Hertfordshire, UK
  • Southern Federal University, Russian Federation
  • ENGSYS Ltd., UK
  • University of Lincoln, UK
  • Universita di Bologna, Italy
  • Universite di Torino, Italy
  • Esponential Design Lab, Uruguay
Proton Energy and Sanswire High Altitude Commercial Rigid Airships

The MAAT project overcomes structural and physical limits of airplanes in cruiser/feeder operation. It aims to investigate an airship cruiser-feeder global transport system for medium and long range transports.

The MAAT system is composed by three modules.

  1. PTAH (Photovoltaic Transport Airship for High-altitudes) is a heavy payload cruiser which remains airborne on stable routes;
  2. ATEN (Air Transport Efficient Network feeder) is aVTOL feeder airship by gas buoyancy linking the cruiser to the ground;
  3. AHA (Airship Hub Airport) is a new concept of low cost vertical airport hub joinable by ATEN, easy to build both in towns and in logistic centres.

The strengths of the MAAT concept are:

  • standardized and modular global air transport system;
  • operative altitudes higher than traditional civil routes;
  • heavy payload, low cost of transportation and non-stop flight;
  • possibility to act as a flying integrated logistics centre;
  • self sufficient by photovoltaic propelling system;
  • increased safety to prevent crashes and long evacuation times;
  • hovering ability to simplify cruiser/feeder engagement;
  • cruiser/feeder transfers in motion;
  • VTOL ground operations;
  • silent landing and take-off operations;
  • cost effective, light and easy to deploy structures on the ground;
  • reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions

The MAAT Project aims to study the system and its components in a full structured systemic approach and to define:

  1. the general design of cruiser and feeder, to optimize aerodynamics and photovoltaic energy;
  2. the preliminary structural draft of cruiser, feeder and hub;
  3. control systems, procedures and codes for stability and flying attitude control;
  4. electrical propulsion systems able to overcome the problems related to the low air density;
  5. operative procedures for rendezvous and joining operations;
  6. internal design of cabins and cargo;
  7. study and design of cruiser/feeder connections;
  8. passive and active safety systems.



Sustainable air travel, behaviour change and social media workshop.

A one day workshop organised by the EPSRC Airport Energy Technologies Network.

18th May 2011, University of Lincoln.

Online social media sites, such as Facebook, give us hitherto unachievable insight in to what our friends collectively think and do – it is perhaps unsurprising that social media has been suggested as a powerful platform to deliver behaviour change interventions based on social norms and peer pressure. Emerging research has demonstrated this potential in applications such as domestic energy consumption, fitness and diet.

This workshop aims to summarise the state-of-the-art in using OSNs and social media to facilitate behaviour change and will explore the potential of using such technology to deliver sustainable behaviour change in the context of the air-travel industry. The seminar will reveal research already in progress aimed at using OSNs to deliver behaviour change interventions in both domestic and organisational settings and explore issues pertinent to the air-travel industry such as transport to and from airports, passenger attitudes to air travel, airlines and destinations, public attitudes to air freight and sustainable food consumption, energy usage in airports and international and multi-cultural agendas.

The seminar will be hosted by the School of Engineering at the University of Lincoln and co-organised by members of the Lincoln Social Computing (LiSC) Research Centre who are research leaders in the design of social media interventions for positive behaviour change. Speakers at the workshop will include those already engaged in delivering behaviour change interventions using ICT and social media across a number of societal issues. Confirmed speakers include Prof Mark Blythe, Professor of Interdisciplinary Design from Northumbria University, Dr Tim Ryley from Loughborough University and co- investigator on the Airport Energy Technologies Network, Dr Parisa Eslambolchilar from Swansea University and co-investigator on the EPSRC CHARM project, and Dr Charles Musselwhite from the Centre of Transport and Society at the University of the West of England.

For further details please contact:

Denise Bateman or Prof Shaun Lawson

This event is organised by the Airport Energy Technology Network (, which is an EPSRC funded network hosted in the School of Engineering at the University of Lincoln, and co-hosted at the University of Loughborough in the School of Civil Engineering.

University drives electric vehicle study

L-R: Kate Bell, Environmental Co-coordinator LCC, Rob Smith, Lincoln Council and Prof chris Bingham, Professor of Energy Conversion Lincoln:Engineering

Staff at the City of Lincoln Council will spend two weeks travelling to external meetings in an electric car, thanks to the University of Lincoln’s School of Engineering and Cenex, the UK’s Centre of Excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technology.

The electric Smart Fortwo, which has a range of up to 85 miles and can be recharged from a domestic electricity socket, will be used by City Hall staff. The vehicle is being loaned as part of the government’s Smart Move study into the integration of electric vehicles into fleets, which is being managed by Cenex.

Electric cars are a lot cheaper to run than a conventional petrol car and it is estimated that the City Council could save around £50,000 a year based on current fuel prices, if its staff were able to use electric cars for council business.
According to the University’s Professor of Energy Conversion, Chris Bingham, the initiative shows that far from being the technology of the future, electric cars are the here and now.
Already this year Professor Bingham has been joined by a host of motorists who agreed to have their driving styles assessed whilst driving the electric powered car.
“I find that people are always amazed by how smooth the car feels,” said Professor Bingham. “People’s main concern seems to be about running out of battery power, however, research indicates that most journeys around town and to and from work are less than 15 miles for most people. This vehicle has a range of around 70 (nominal) from a single charge but this is dependent on how efficiently the car is driven, so this has been the focus of my recent research.”
Rob Smith, Business Services Team Leader at the City of Lincoln Council, said: “We’re delighted to take part in the Smart Move study and test drive the electric car for two weeks. This will give our staff an insight into the benefits of driving an electric car and, as an organisation, it will give us an idea of whether or not an electric fleet would be beneficial for the council.”
Findings from Professor Bingham’s research will contribute to his study into the impact of driver behaviour on charge conservation in all-electric vehicles, a collaborative venture with CENEX.