The construction of a new research facility for the University of Bath Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) at the Bristol and Bath Science Park has taken a step forward towards completion with the handover by construction partner Rydon of several sections to be fitted out with research cells. The bespoke cell configurations will handle complete vehicles, individual systems, or single components, utilising the latest measurement equipment.

With only the front of house facilities, offices and atrium to be completed and handed-over by Rydon in December, the nationally important £70 million IAAPS research facility will be a global centre of excellence, delivering transformational research and innovation and supporting the automotive industries in meeting future air quality standards. It will lead the development of future generations of ultra-low emission vehicles and attract sector-related businesses to the region, generating jobs and economic growth.

With work towards finalising the build of the IAAPS infrastructure underway, Rydon has been collaborating with several IAAPS specialist partners to enable them to complete the research facilities. Equipment to be installed will include bed plates, complex test rigs and dampers. The facility also includes complex pipelines to carry fuel and gas supplies throughout the building as well as a fuel farm external to the facility for which Rydon built a concrete support structure and access ramp.

Paul Barber, head of Rydon’s South West office, was responsible for securing the contract with the University of Bath for the delivery of the IAAPS facility. He said: “It has been a rewarding experience working on a project that will help meet important environmental targets as well as define highly efficient cars and systems in the future. Despite the disruption of coronavirus, which led to some supply issues, we are working hard as a fully socially distanced team together with our partners to deliver the scheme by the end of 2020 as committed.”

Gavin Edwards, IAAPS Operations and IT Director, responsible for the overall delivery of IAAPS, said: ”We are delighted to reach this significant milestone in the delivery of the IAAPS facility, which is enabling the installation of our high-precision research equipment ready for opening in mid-2021. I would like to thank Rydon for the hard work on-site to reach this key milestone in the programme.”