The Energy, Emissions and the Environment Research Group (EEERG), led by Professor Rakesh Mishra, part of the Centre of Efficiency and Performance Engineering, has carried out key research into the optimal design of flow-handling systems. This research has transformed the development strategies and global market sales of a major industrial partner, Weir Valves and Controls Ltd. The company has achieved a 75% saving in design lead time and a 1800% increase in annual sales after integrating fluid dynamics expertise into the design process.
Knowledge Transfer Partnership
A three year Knowledge Transfer Partnership, between Weir and the University of Huddersfield, has focused on the company’s need to embed complex flow knowledge into its design, operation and sales teams. By improving scientific understanding of flow geometry of valve bodies and complex internals, this research was able to enhance valve performance and fully comply with the latest international standards. This innovative work has been credited with transforming the design, operating and sales strategies of this major industrial partner. The successful application of research, which has resulted in an 18-fold increase in sales for the company and further contracts for the University, has been described as an exemplar of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.
Enhancing industry knowledge
In addition to improving design lead times and sales, the research by the EEERG has enabled enhanced knowledge of the pressure field and the velocity field inside valve internals, allowing the company’s design and sales employees to handle client queries far more efficiently. The success of this collaboration has also led to more investment in the company’s research, development and sales strategies, including the formation of a new team.
“The impact of embedding outcomes of fluid dynamic analysis into the design strategy, as well as operation and sales, transformed the market for X-Stream worldwide.”
Weir’s R&D Lead Engineer
Creating opportunities for graduates
In the past three years six graduates have been employed by the company as full-time engineers, and every year Weir has employed up to two placement students, contributing to the partnership’s sustainability. These opportunities will be replicated in a future venture with another local engineering firm, as two PhD studentships are being sponsored by Blackhall Engineering Ltd to embed the team’s knowledge base into the company’s design and development activities in order to optimise Blackhall’s product range.