Williams and BAE join forces in cross-collaboration engineering project
Williams Grand Prix Engineering and Williams Advanced Engineering is to partner with BAE Systems in a cross-collaboration engineering project with the aim to share skills to enhance the performance and design of fast cars and fast jets.
The businesses will collaborate to share world leading and technology-led engineering skills that could lead to improving areas such as cockpit design, battery technology, aerodynamics: lightweight materials across Formula 1 and jets.
BAE Systems plays a key role in the development, manufacture and support of fast jets such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35 and Future Combat Air Systems. Its collaboration with Williams, which has achieved decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One, will mean creating game-changing innovations, using virtual and augmented reality.
Initial collaborations are likely to include work on intuitive cockpit designs for fighter pilots and racing drivers and battery technology that could power solar powered unmanned air vehicles and the cars of the future.
The companies will work together on product and technology development, co-ordinating funding where there is a mutual benefit in doing so. Opportunities to exploit existing intellectual property will also be explored to harness some of the latest developments in specialist low volume manufacture and expertise in vehicle dynamics in each organisation’s specialist sector. There will also be secondment opportunities for engineers across both companies.
The partnership agreement follows on from previous valuable collaborations between the companies, which have included engineers from Williams Advanced Engineering using their expertise to help design and deliver a revolutionary cockpit simulator that gives BAE Systems a fully flexible and interactive cockpit to experiment with designs for work on its future combat aircraft initiative.
Ian Muldowney, Engineering Director, BAE Systems Air said: “The Government’s Combat Air Strategy, published this summer, highlights the criticality of cutting-edge UK technology and Intellectual Property, including how this is generated, sustained and exploited.
“As we begin to explore what will be required from a UK future combat air system, we must work harder than ever to answer these questions. Working with technology leaders outside of our own industry will help us find new ways of asking questions and think in a different way about the solutions.”
Mike O’Driscoll, Chief Executive Officer of the Williams Group said: “We are pleased to be joining with BAE Systems in this strategic alliance. We look forward to growing this relationship still further and sharing expertise across the talented people at these iconic British companies, in engineering and beyond, to deliver significant benefits to our customers and partners.”
The agreement will be overseen by a steering committee comprised of senior representatives from each organisation, chaired by Ian Muldowney, Engineering Director for BAE Systems Air.