2015 at the VEC

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2015 has been a hugely exciting year for the Virtual Engineering Centre. Here are just a few of our highlights.


At the heart of the VEC are the partnerships and networks we help to develop. We have been thrilled to see our relationships continue to grow across our network of SMEs, the Liverpool City Region, Sci-Tech Daresbury science and innovation campus, BAE Systems, Bentley, the Northwest Automotive Alliance, the Institution of Engineering Technology to name only a few. The list continues to grow as we find new ways to collaborate across technologies, sectors and regions.

We were particularly delighted this year to host the formal signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Liverpool and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre. This occasion marked a strengthening of the link between both research institutions and saw the Vice-Chancellor of the University visit the Daresbury campus.



We are always exploring new sectors that can benefit from our advanced modelling, simulation and visualisation expertise. This year we undertook some exciting projects in transport and medical sectors, including work for Hitachi Rail and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital- two very diverse clients! Look out for more information on these in the New Year.



Due to our collaborative networks we have been fortunate to grow our VEC presence in 2015. Earlier this year Gillian visited Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) campus near Shanghai, China to speak about the way in which the VEC works and to look for future opportunities and collaborations. At the start of the new academic year the VEC@Liverpool was opened, providing a base for University of Liverpool students to use our facilities and expertise as part of their studies. Based by the iconic Victoria Building in the School of Engineering, we are now at the heart of the campus, helping us to work more closely with our academic colleagues, as well as students.

Back at our Daresbury office, we opened up RASL, a new Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory in partnership with the University’s Centre for Autonomous Systems Technology. This has been well-received by both the Robotics and Autonomous System community, as well as industry. We successfully completed the GAMMA programme which has resulted in a legacy infrastructure that SME’s can “plug in” novel applications and software programmes and test them within representative operating environments. This exciting development enables physical and real entities to be combined, offering a platform for testing and validation of complex scenarios such as transport systems.



Part of what makes the VEC such a success is the people. This year the team was acknowledged with several accolades, including best paper at EuroVR (read more here).

The team continued to grow, as we welcomed new recruits, in both the Commercial team (Sarah Rogers, Marketing and Business Support Officer) and the Technical team (Dr Gopal Chinnaswamy, CAE Project Engineer), in addition to Carlo Pinto (Research Engineer) becoming a permanent member of staff following a placement.)


Here’s a sneak-peak of what 2016 has in store | Gillian’s New Year’s resolutions

* Open VEC @London, as part of the University of Liverpool’s London Campus

* Strengthen existing partnerships and build new networks across industry and academia, spanning technologies and regions

* Continue to be a leading centre of excellence for Virtual Engineering technology in the UK

* Position the Liverpool City Region at the forefront Industry 4.0 through the integration of unique assets and capabilities in partnership with colleagues at the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF), Hartree Centre, Liverpool John Moores University and Sensor City.

* Always do what cannot be done!


Thank you to everyone who has helped make 2015 such a success, and we look forward to 2016!