Science park brings in specialist engineering firm to help get ‘car-of-the-future’ centre on the road

January 24, 2020

The Bristol office of national specialist engineering group SES Engineering Services has been appointed to carry out mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services worth £12.5m for the new ultra-low emission vehicles research centre on the Bristol & Bath Science Park.

The contract covering the 11,300 sq m Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS), pictured, has been awarded by the University of Bath, which will open the £70m two-storey global centre of excellence next year. 

It will house unique experimental facilities, combined with academic expertise in advanced propulsion systems, enabling the development of new technologies for ultra-low emission vehicles.

The centre will house 17 specialist pieces of equipment used to test vehicle propulsion systems, as well as offices, experimental and demonstration spaces, prototyping workshops and start-up space for future entrepreneurial activities.

The SES team, led by operations manager Andy Harris, is based at Aztec West and will work closely with main contractor Rydon Construction and other stakeholders during the design process to ensure the integration of the propulsion test cell suppliers’ highly complex technical requirements.

Work started on site in October 2019, with completion expected in August 2020. IAAPS will be operational in early 2021.

SES business director for Midlands and South West, Steve Tovey, said: “This latest contract win continues to demonstrate our prowess when it comes to delivering hi-tech projects. 

“Our technical expertise, experience in automotive research establishments, digital engineering capability, off site capability and ability to deliver BIM Level 2 projects were all critical in helping us secure the contract.

“IAAPS will be the catalyst to develop future generations of ultra-low emission vehicles and we look forward to applying our technical authority in delivering this landmark facility safely and on time.”

The appointment is the latest to demonstrate SES’ expertise in complex, hi-tech projects in the region, including Viridor’s pioneering £252m Resource Recovery Centre at Avonmouth.

The University of Bath bought the Bristol & Bath Science Park with South Gloucestershire Council in a joint £18m deal in 2018.

The park, which opened in 2011, is also the home to the pioneering National Composites Centre (NCC) – which is creating new materials for the aerospace and automotive industries – and an Innovation Centre and Forum exhibition and conference building.




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