Students on target for greener skies

Blackburn College are nearing the end of a landmark research project to develop an innovative power source for aircraft vehicles by converting wasted heat into power, reducing fuel consumption and environmental impact.  A saving that could make flights cheaper for the public.

The project, which involves students from Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) programmes at Blackburn College, is led by the Managing Director of EU Eco Technologies, Stavros Kindylides. 

Stavros explained: “To develop this technology, we used a drone as a test case and needed to design, manufacture and assemble a thermo-electric generator which would convert wasted heat into electrical power.”

“By using thermo-electric technology (Prometheus) to replace one of the drone’s jet engines, we can create fuel efficiencies and reduce CO2 emissions.  These innovations will in the long-term, impact on the purchase cost of aircraft, the cost of air travel and the impact on the environment.”

The partners of the project met at Blackburn College to discuss the exciting developments each has made.  The project is funded by NATEP (National Aerospace Technology Programme) and involves Cranfield University, IWS (Innovation Works and Systems), BAE Systems, Northwest Aerospace Alliance, William Blythe and Emerson and Renwick.

Stavros added “The paramount need of the human race are food, shelter and energy and we are involved in harvesting that energy and as a college to provide shelter for these ideas.  It is such a great project to inspire the engineers of the future.”

Student, John McGlynn who is studying a Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair said: “I am really passionate about Engineering and the opportunity to get involved and with such an exciting project is what dreams are made of.  This experience will help make me stand out to future employers.”

Nicola Clayton, Director of Business Development and External Engagement at Blackburn College said: “It has been exciting to follow the journey of this project and see first-hand the positive impact it has had on our students through a fantastic collaboration between education and industry.

Nicola added: “At Blackburn College, we have been proud supporters of Prometheus for the last 6 years and are delighted to be collaborating on this new development, providing our students with excellent industry knowledge and key employability skills.”

To discover the fantastic range of programmes on offer at Blackburn College visit or ring The Hub to speak to our friendly advisors – 01254 292929.

10 Dec 2018, 11:21 AM