State-of-the-art test facilities at Silverstone help students get on their bikes

A new Cycling Test Lab, designed to help students develop their engineering skills, has been launched at the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub (SSEH).

Students will have access to three specialist rigs which will allow them to apply their learning to real-world applications.

As well as offering practical experience, the rigs will allow SSEH to advance research and development skills for sports engineering.

Customers will book the rigs and their testing will be carried out by the students, with the results fed into a specialist cloud software program.

A student operates one of the rigs

The project has received £800,000 of Local Growth Funding from the Bucks Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Cycling Test Lab was launched on Friday, June 17, at an open morning attended by 80 guests made up of Bucks LEP representatives, existing SSEH customers and industry delegates.

Managing director of the SSEH, Rob Lewis, said: “It’s great to bring together business and education in a way that will inspire the students and allow them to participate in real-world engineering.

"We expect the next phase of this project, the development of a pedalling test rig at SSEH, to be completed by the end of 2022.”

The launch of the Cycling Test Lab

Neil Patterson, principal of Silverstone UTC, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with SSEH on this project.

"While it’s not unusual for businesses to work with universities on this kind of project, partnering with a school such as the UTC is quite unique and gives our students an unprecedented opportunity not only to learn some mechanical principles and their applications, but also to develop their skills in lab work and research, which will help set them apart when it comes to university and apprenticeship applications.”

Launched in 2019 with £2 million of investment from the government’s Local Growth Fund, The Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub, based at Silverstone Park, provides facilities, space and a community for the sports engineering sector.

It offers a range of wind tunnels, test rigs, offices and workshops aimed at the sports engineering industry and brings together some of the industry’s leading companies into one community, offering unique opportunities for collaboration and cutting-edge research and development.

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