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The University of Southampton

Cutting fuel and emissions. Engineering researcher wins award for his work to improve HGV efficiency

Published: 6 January 2015 Origin:  Engineering

Research Fellow Dr Angus Webb has been awarded an Enterprise Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). The grant of up to £85,000 will support him in developing a spin-out business linked to his research.

Angus, who has also been awarded a Doctoral Prize by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is interested in helping transport companies to operate more efficiently. This enterprise will advise commercial hauliers of the best ways to save fuel, considering options including better aerodynamics, improved driver training and modifications to engines and other systems. Reducing the amount of fuel used will also cut emissions and benefit the environment.

“On the whole, HGVs are inefficient and consume a lot of fuel. In the UK alone that adds up to six and a half billion litres a year, so there is great scope to make savings,” he says. “However, as there are so many different kinds of improvements to consider, many operators do not know which are the right ones for them. My work to see which efficiency measures work best will benefit both hauliers and vehicle manufacturers.”

Angus and his colleagues (Dr Simon Box, Dr Henry Truong and Dr Xiaoyu Chen) will investigate the various efficiency savings, analyse the requirements of different types of lorries and devise a process to determine the best ones for each operator. They are already in talks with local authorities and companies about working with them.

During his PhD research, Angus worked with UK Olympic swimmers to help them improve their times in the pool. He was part of the team that won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for this project.

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