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UK's fusion energy opportunity and the hydrogen ferry: 10 top stories of the week

Professional Engineering

The Scottish-led Hyseas III project aims to deliver Europe’s first seagoing ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells
The Scottish-led Hyseas III project aims to deliver Europe’s first seagoing ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells

3 obstacles to net zero plans – and some engineering solutions

Professional Engineering

After years of anticipation, the government finally released its net zero strategy this week. The document makes a lot of commitments, but few will be plain sailing. Here are three obstacles that need to be overcome for the government’s plans to be successful – and some potential engineering solutions.

New report highlights UK fusion energy opportunity


A new report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that the UK is well placed to lead the development of commercial fusion technology. The research, commissioned by Assystem, found that the creation of a robust regulatory framework will give it key influence in the global market.

Rolls-Royce uses 100% sustainable fuel in engine

The Engineer

100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powered a Rolls-Royce Trent engine during a test flight. The flight, using the company’s 747 Flying Testbed, lasted for just under four hours.

First renderings reveal how hydrogen-powered ferry could look

Professional Engineering

A project to design and build a hydrogen-powered ferry has released the first images of what the craft is likely to look like. The Scottish-led Hyseas III project aims to deliver Europe’s first seagoing ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The double-ended passenger and car ferry will have capacity for 120 passengers and 16 cars, or two lorries.

UK onshore wind boom set for mid-2020s as ‘pipeline’ grows

Professional Engineering

Onshore wind farm numbers are set to boom in the UK, with a new report showing ‘significant increases’ in deployment from the mid-2020s onwards. The research, by trade organisation RenewableUK, found that the total capacity ‘pipeline’ – projects that are operating, under construction or in planning – has grown to nearly 33GW.

Seaweed-like generators harness wave energy to power devices

Professional Engineering

Flexible power generators that mimic the way seaweed sways can efficiently harvest wave energy for marine-based devices, their developers have said. The American Chemical Society researchers, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and others, created plant-like flexible triboelectric nanogenerators.

’Hot Robotics’ centres could boost nuclear research

The Engineer

Bristol University has launched the National Nuclear User Facility for Hot Robotics, four facilities aimed at boosting robot use in nuclear power stations. The centres will provide robots, drones and testing spaces.

Ant-like swarming robots respond to distress signals and tackle obstacles

Professional Engineering

A new type of four-legged swarming robot can autonomously respond to distress signals from partners before joining together to help overcome environmental challenges. The collective behaviour of animals such as ants, honeybees and birds inspired developer Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Ford invests £230m to build electric car parts in Merseyside

Professional Engineering

Ford will transform a Merseyside facility into a factory building electric power units for its all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles sold in Europe. The automotive giant announced plans to invest up to £230m in the Halewood vehicle transmission facility.

Government offers £5,000 grants for household heat-pump installation

Professional Engineering

Government grants of £5,000 will be available to homeowners for the installation of low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps from April next year. Designed to help ensure that low-carbon heating systems cost the same amount or less than gas boilers, the £450m boiler upgrade scheme will run for three years.

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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