Warwick University has officially opened its new cleanroom facility, designed for carrying out research into energy efficient semiconductors.
The facility is part of a £10.6 million project funded by the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Birmingham Science City Energy Efficiency and Demand project.
Warwick is leading the project in collaboration with Birmingham University as part of the Science City Research Alliance programme. Some £9.5m has been invested in equipment which is accessible to any users from both local industry and academia.
Phil Mawby, head of the new facility, marked the opening by presenting the first semiconductor wafer to be processed by the new facility to Chris Snowden, President of the UK Institution of Engineering and Technology, who will gave the keynote address at the opening of the new lab.
Also present at the event were representatives from companies that hope to work with Warwick to make use of the new facility, including Converteam, the UK’s largest technology company in the renewable energy sector.
“The new Science City Cleanroom builds on the Warwick Institute for Sustainable Energy and Resources (WISER), which links together energy research at Warwick, including the fundamental sciences, economics, business and social studies and now creates new links with other local universities and high tech business,” Mawby said.
Almost every piece of modern electrical equipment uses power electronics to manage energy use efficiently. “It is a generic technology with a vast array of applications, from the very low power levels found in mobile phones, to the very high levels used in power distribution grids. Technological advances in this area have a significant potential to reduce energy consumption, even at a time when the global demand is growing rapidly,” Mawby said.