Developing the UK PEMD skills landscape

Black female engineer working on industrial machine in a laboratory.

A £350,000 investment designed to fill gaps in the skills, talent and training provision for the UK power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) industry.

Almost £350,000 is being invested by the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge across 14 projects to help address the skills shortage in the UK PEMD sector.

Challenge Director, Professor Will Drury, said:

It’s no secret that there is a skills shortage in the UK in the PEMD sector. These 14 projects will develop innovative tools and pathways for both new entrants and existing engineers to help them expand their skills and knowledge whatever their background. I look forward to seeing how these projects develop over the next three months.

Applicant proposals had to deliver a clear game-changing intervention, which would realistically and significantly meet a UK PEMD talent requirement.

To be delivered over a three-month period these projects are designed to fill immediate gaps in skills, talent and training for the PEMD industry.

Diverse projects

The projects range from the creation of online training platforms, to developing continuing professional development courses and running dedicated networking events for young people.

For example, promoting opportunities for under-represented communities in power electronics, machines and drives (POUNCE) is developing two activities to support the call goals. It is led by Aston University and supported by UK Electronic Skills Foundation, It offers:

  • development of online material to build knowledge and expertise in this area and to provide relevant role models
  • an intervention focused specifically on Black, Asian and minority ethnic students, female students and students from other backgrounds with low participation in the UK PEMD sector. Involving an in-person event for 30 engineering students including:
    • career guidance
    • hands on activity focused on the design of an electrical system from a requirements point of view
    • speed networking with industry representatives
    • establishing a LinkedIn networking group.

The ‘power electronics packaging: training and upskilling’ project from IMAPS-UK aims to prepare and introduce a power electronics packaging training course based on the following levels:

  • basic
  • intermediate
  • advanced.

This will address the needs of all education levels.

From introducing students to power electronics packaging to delivering detailed training to assist in upskilling and reskilling personnel for the manufacture and testing of power modules.

Only the beginning

The funding is the first step of the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge’s aim to invest £6 million to support skills and training provision in the UK for PEMD technologies.

Focusing on activity from school leavers and undergraduates, to experienced engineers and technicians looking to retrain, the challenge aims to address the acute shortage of skills in PEMD.

Further information

A full list of the project names and companies receiving funding from the driving the electric revolution challenge:

Skills and talent insight platform for PEMD

Company: Talent Intuition Limited.

E3x2

Company: E3 Academy.

Promoting opportunities for under-represented communities in power electronics, machines and drives (POUNCE)

Companies: Aston University and UK Electronic Skills Foundation.

Power electronics packaging: training and upskilling

Company: Imaps UK.

Beyond ubiquitous: the role of wide band-gap semiconductors in electric aircraft

Company: Nascent Semiconductor Limited.

Continual professional development: refocusing talent into the PEMD sector

Company: Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies (Cenex).

Powering engagement, re-skilling, education and diversity for PEMD (POWERED-PEMD)

Companies involved:

  • Swansea University
  • CS Connected Limited
  • Newport Wafer Fab Limited
  • SPTS Technologies Limited
  • WRU Gwent Stadium Limited.

Transferring power electronics learning across different technologies (TransPLANT)

Company: Lyra Electronics Limited.

PEMD sector skills DNA

Companies: The North East Automotive Alliance Limited and Geek Talent Limited.

DriveLAB* teaching and training products: developing and delivering a pilot stage to meet the needs of academic, SME and industry for the training of electrification topics

Company: Fluxsys Limited.

Boosting the readiness of university graduates for power electronics market

Company: Sheffield Hallam University.

Advanced winding training system for electrical machines (AWSEM)

Companies: University of Nottingham and Agile Manufacturing Power Systems Ltd.

PEMD skills programme bootcamp

Company: Tech Lancaster Limited.

Web-based platform for training in thermal design of electric motors

Companies: Electric Cooling Solutions Ltd and University of Nottingham.

Top image:  Credit: skynesher, Getty Images

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