EPSRC Centre for Power Electronics
University of Nottingham
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Kit car construction begins

Once again the Centre for Power Electronics is supporting the Greenpower Goblin kit car project.

This national scheme offers the opportunity for primary schools to get involved in a hands-on project to build an electric roadster from scratch, with support from local researchers.

The idea is to encourage youngsters aged 9 – 11, to engage in a maths and science activity in a fun way.

Abbey Road Primary School in West Bridgford won the Kit Car this year, and construction has already begun. The car was delivered to the school at the beginning of January and after-school sessions for building the car are underway.

By week three, the team had already built the main frame and steering system and attached the front wheels.  A rota system has been established to enable as many of the year 6 pupils as possible, to be involved in at least one after-school session if they would like.

Further details:

The competition is run by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), with eight Greenpower Goblin kit cars available for funding.

The electric kit cars are funded by Innovate UK and the Centre for Power Electronics. Researchers from the APC Spokes will support the projects in schools. (The APC Spokes are a community of the UK’s leading academic institutions and industry that has been established to share best practise, expertise and facilities.)

The Advanced Propulsion Centre is a £1 billion, 10-year programme to position the UK as a global centre of excellence for low carbon powertrain development and production. 

Building the kit car

Pupils from Abbey Road with their car under construction



  The children have been thoroughly enjoying the process to date and are already excited about the prospect of the races and the other competitive elements.


 Professor Lee Empringham





Watch last year's video

 Contact us


Preparing for the Grand Challenge

The Advanced Propulsion Centre and EPSRC have been supporting the UK’s academic community to research the key challenges of the auto sector, through Feasibility Study programmes such as ‘Preparing for the Grand Challenge’.

As part of this, researchers from the Centre for Power Electronics, RAM Innovations and Inspirit Ventures, presented their first results from two Grand Challenge projects at the Royal Institution on 25 April 2017. This provided the audience with an insight into leading research in the automotive industry.

The first project, led by researchers from the University of Warwick, is investigating the possibilities of a new semiconductor material – Gallium Oxide. This has the potential to improve the efficiency and power density of power electronics.

The second project, led by RAM Innovations, aims to deliver a “Converter-in-Package” technology which will revolutionise power electronics manufacturing. This will enable the full potential of wide band-gap semiconductors to be realised in a low-cost, volume-ready format.

The embedded cooling system developed in the Grand Challenge Converter in Package program provides an opportunity to collect the heat dissipated for storage and management in heat batteries manufactured by Scottish company SunAmp.

Geoff Haynes, Inspirit Ventures



Converter-in-Package - realising the true potential of wide band-gap power electronics

On 19 April, 2017, Centre for Power Electronics Director Professor Mark Johnson, presented a keynote lecture at the International Conference on Electronics Packaging (ICEP2017)in Japan, on the concept of a “Converter-in-Package” to realise the full potential of wide band-gap semiconductors.

Mark’s presentation covered the following key points:

  • Realising the true potential of Wide Band-Gap power electronics requires radical changes to the design and manufacture of converter systems.
  • Conventional approaches, assembled using discrete power modules and passives, will be replaced with integrated assemblies encompassing thermal management, EMI confinement, sensing and control functions.
  • Low-cost, efficiency, power-density and ease-of-use will drive the development of modular, Converter-in-Package products based on scalable, volume-capable manufacturing processes.
  • Higher power converters will be realised using parallel and series combinations of these standard blocks.
  • New approaches to component embedding and additive-layer processes will be needed to allow industry-standard electronics manufacturing processes to be adapted to the higher current and voltage requirements of power electronics.

Download Converter in Package presentation

 Professor Mark Johnson



I believe this is the first time that the phrase Converter-in-Package has been used to describe the integration of power electronics.


Professor Mark Johnson


Kit car sparks local school children's interest in engineering

Researchers from CPE, are hoping to inspire a future generation of engineers by helping students at Roundhill Primary School in Beeston, Nottingham,  build and race their own electric vehicles.

The Greenpower Green Goblin Kit Car project is part of a national competition being held in conjunction with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and the Greenpower Education Trust. It aims to give youngsters across the UK the opportunity to get a taste of what a career in engineering is really like.

Dr Liliana De Lillo, Senior Research Fellow, who is a mentor to the students, explained the finer details of the project. She said: “We are delighted to help the children at Roundhill Primary School build their own kit car. Weekly sessions began earlier this year as part of an after-school club and it has been encouraging to see the excitement with which the children embraced the project, along with their curiosity and enthusiasm. It’s a great feeling to inspire the next generation of engineers, particularly the girls and very heartening to see how the children have grown in confidence.”

The University’s Centre for Power Electronics provided funding towards the project. Centre Director, Mark Johnson said: “I am delighted that we can lend our support to this project, particularly to put forward the message to younger students that a career in engineering opens up a world of creativity, excitement, challenges and financial reward that few other careers can offer.”

The Roundhill team, led by teachers, Mrs Reed and Mrs Barto-Smith, have until April 2017 to construct the car. The team are now concentrating on the car’s bodywork. The project has sparked the students’ creativity involving the use of recycled materials. Once the car is completed, the children will take part in a series of races scheduled for June and July.

The Greenpower Green Goblin Kit Car project is made possible with support from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), the APC and APC Spoke Community.

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Pupils from Roundhill Primary School with the Kit Car


A career in engineering opens up a world of creativity, excitement, challenges and financial reward that few other careers can offer

Professor Mark Johnson


Challenge Network in Automotive Power Electronics - Feasibility Funding

The Challenge Network has announced today (21 March 2017) that it has awarded funding to leading UK research insitituions for two research projects worth almost £180,000.

The successful projects will support innovative research in power electronics for the UK automotive sector and will also use the funding to generate proposals for follow-on funding from EPSRC.

Download Miniaturising Magnetics through 3D Design and Manufacture - Universities of Nottingham , Manchester & Loughborough.

Download Integration Technology for a Current Sensor & Inductor for Automotive Applications in GaN - Universities of Sheffield & Swansea.


EPSRC Centre for Power Electronics

Email: correspondence@powerelectronics.ac.uk