Top award for engineering start-up

Artemis Intelligent Power, a start-up from the University’s School of Engineering, has won the UK’s top prize in the sector.

The company’s technology could increase the power of offshore wind turbines and cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions in trains and buses.

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, presented the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert Award to the Artemis team at an event in London.

Dr Win Rampen, Artemis Chairman and Chair in Energy Storage, and Professor Stephen Salter, Non-Executive Director, received the award from The Duke of Edinburgh, who is the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Senior Fellow.

Also present were Dr Niall Caldwell, Managing Director, Pierre Joly, Operations Director, and Dr Uwe Stein, Chief Engineer.

Industry insight

Warmest congratulations to our staff members Dr Win Rampen and Professor Stephen Salter, and to all at Artemis.

Prof Hugh McCannHead of School of Engineering

The award judges called it a massive leap forward.

The £50,000 MacRobert Award has been presented by the Royal Academy of Engineering annually since 1969.

It is known for spotting the next big thing in the technology sector, previously recognising technologies such as the catalytic converter and the CT scanner.

The judging panel said the Artemis system had done for hydraulic engines what James Watt did for steam engines.

Novel technology

Artemis was recognised for pioneering a power system, known as Digital Displacement.

Its technology has digitally controlled hydraulics, and researchers say it has the potential to transform the viability of offshore wind power and low carbon transportation.

As well as dramatically improving power capacity, the smart, modular system has been designed to overcome the significant reliability issues associated with existing turbines.

Artemis is already delivering world-leading systems, significantly improving turbine efficiency and, with it, the prospects for future exploitation of wind power.

Artemis is also applying the same technology to reduce the fuel consumption of commuter trains and buses.

Entrepreneurial successes

The award is the latest success for a commercial venture from the University.

Krotos, set up by sound design graduate Orfeas Boteas, developed Dehumaniser sound effects software for film, television and video game industry. It was recently used as the voice of Ultron in the Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron movie.

Light-enabled internet technology developed in the School of Engineering is being incorporated at the home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team in San Francisco.

Travel search firm Skyscanner - which began as a School of Informatics start-up - has entered into a joint venture with Yahoo Japan, which will give the Edinburgh firm a foothold in the world's third largest travel market.

FanDuel, a fantasy sports league enterprise, also with roots in Informatics, recently announced it has secured US$275 million of investment.

Grand challenge

The MacRobert Award identifies innovation with proven commercial success and tangible social benefit.

The judging panel commended Artemis for its potential to help solve one of the most significant global challenges while demonstrating technical engineering excellence.

As well as gaining from the prestige of the award, the winners receive a gold medal and the £50,000 prize. Also shortlisted for the prize were Cambridge-based Endomag and Victrex of Blackpool.

The Artemis story is truly compelling. The company has achieved a technical advance of global importance, making significant power delivery from offshore wind considerably more credible and realisable, and facilitating the global goal of reducing CO2 emissions. This is not simply evolutionary improvement but a complete step change, and one that took years of commitment to achieve.

Dame Sue IonChair of the MacRobert Award judging panel