Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Glasgow Engineer Award Winner Brings Energy Innovation To Electric Cars

Written by Seb Murray | Electrical and Electronic Engineering | Thursday 26th November 2015 14:20:00 GMT

Morven Fraser won a top award for her energy-capturing car concept

Copyright: joel-t

Copyright: joel-t

University of Glasgow student Morven Fraser has a knack for innovation. The hot young engineer has just won a top award for her energy-capturing and storing body panel concept for cars.

Conceived as a launch pad into the competitive automotive industry for aspiring innovators, the Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award has helped many graduates kick-start their careers in engineering.

Morven’s energy-capturing system proposes the combination of two new technologies.

Photovoltaic paint on the major body panels of an electric vehicle or hybrid will give cars the ability to capture solar energy, which can be converted into usable electrical energy; this captured energy is then stored in integrated carbon fibre body panels housing nano-batteries, potentially extending range capability and reducing reliance on weighty lithium batteries.

Morven will now embark on a six-month work experience tour of award sponsors and top automotive groups Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda, Toyota and Honda. She also landed a cash prize of £9,000.

“Taking part in this award has been an absolutely amazing experience from start to finish; I’ve loved every minute of it,” said Morven, 21 and from Glasgow in Scotland, adding that she learnt much about herself from the process.

She is excited by the prospect of completing her placements with leading carmakers over the coming months. “I fully intend the seize each of the opportunities they all present,” Morven said.

She is only the second female recipient of the award, but hopes others will follow in her footsteps and “propel themselves into the automotive industry”.

Adam Pumfrey, Courland’s chief operating officer, said: “Although we operate predominantly at board level for the automotive industry, we’ve been aware for some time that the automotive industry is not always the first choice of many younger candidates.”

He added that the company seeks to uncover the “fresh young talent the industry needs”.

Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said the award was set up to “find, nurture and encourage bright new talent for the automotive industry”.

Morven, who is studying for a BEng in mechanical engineering from the University of Glasgow, saw off competition from three other finalists, Edward Chamberlain and Michael Everymann, whose entries comprised a tactile feedback accelerator pedal, which guides drivers’ acceleration toward speed limit compliance, and a self-replenishing windscreen water system.

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