A UNIVERSITY of Sussex student won this year’s prestigious Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award, supported by Nissan.
Second-year Mechanical Engineering student Joshua de Wit, 21, scooped the award for his original idea for stacked grapheme batteries aimed at improving the sustainability of electric vehicles.
He was announced as the winner at the annual Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders’ (SMMT) dinner in London.
He will now spend a month with Nissan (as well as other participating manufacturers) shadowing and learning from the best of Nissan’s engineering minds.
Joshua’s design concept harnesses the conductivity, lightness and strength of grapheme for the total redesign of a typical EV battery. This would greatly reduce charging times while balancing cost, strength, weight, storage capacity and size.
As part of Nissan’s commitment to the award, David Moss, Vice President, Vehicle Design & Development at NTCE, spent a day mentoring one of the finalists. He was also key to the judging of the final award, along with other automotive representatives.
He said: “The Next Generation Award is a fantastic way of highlighting and celebrating young talent in the UK.
“Nissan looks to these bright young minds to lead and inspire the next generation of innovations and is thrilled to welcome Joshua into our research centres.
“His focus on electric vehicles is close to our hearts, and we’re proud to be able to support him on his journey forward to improving sustainability – there’s every chance that his success will help power our LEAFs and e-NV200s in the future.”
In a closely fought competition, the other two finalists also impressed the judges with unique and innovative entries.
Joel Hayes, of Northumbria University, presented an autonomous vehicle promotion campaign called ‘Be Driven’, while Manuel Agustin Yepez Corsetti, from the University of Glasgow, created a concept that harvests waste energy with thermoelectric materials.
Applications for the 2017 Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award will open early next year.
For more information, visit http://www.autocar.co.uk/nextgenerationaward