National Instruments has unveiled the winners of the 2015 Engineering Impact Awards at a ceremony held at the Royal Academy of Engineering, London. The awards highlight Northern Europe’s most innovative engineering projects using NI technology to solve some of the world’s most demanding engineering challenges.
The 2015 Application of the Year Award was presented to Martin Mathias and Alex Trimnell, from Muc-Off for their case study detailing their use of NI hardware and software for chain lubricant optimisation for professional cycling teams. Ultimately, this helped to contribute to Sir Bradley Wiggins’ success in setting the current UCI World Hour record.
Muc-Off and Team Sky collaborated to bring a new science to cycling, for the very first time in the history of the sport. Muc-Off used LabVIEW and CompactDAQ to create a comprehensive testing system to quantify the quality of their lubricants and prove to Team Sky that they had the expertise to create the world’s best bicycle chain lubricant.
With no previous experience of using LabVIEW and a very tight time frame, the Muc-Off team worked with NI to develop a training plan, adaptable hardware configuration with CompactDAQ and a scalable software development approach. This enabled Muc-Off to create a test rig that gives immediate results, simultaneously, to both the technical engineering team and the non-technical cyclists, to vastly improve development time. This innovation in testing is leading the development of a new class of lubricant, incorporating military grade materials and Nano-Tube technology.
Using this technology Muc-Off supplied a fully tested and optimised chain to Wiggins on the day of his 1-hour record attempt. In professional cycling, the smallest improvement can make a huge competitive difference, and Muc-Off’s new, optimised chain contributed to Wiggins smashing the world record by more than 3 per cent, travelling 54.526km (33.88 miles) in only 60 minutes.
Martin Mathias, co-author of the Application of the Year, says: “We now work with NI frequently to help drive further marginal gains in professional cycling, while always aiming to bring the best of this technology to the everyday cyclist. So whether it is in-depth sound and vibration analysis or reproducing climate conditions, NI has the breadth of experience across many industries to assist in specifying and utilising the hardware and software to achieve our upcoming goals.”
Congratulations go to all the category winners in the 2015 Engineering Impact Awards:
Advanced Research: Merlin: Developing a High-Speed X-Ray Imaging System for Synchrotron Beam Lines Using FlexRIO and LabVIEW – Quantum Detectors
Education: Robotic Table Football: Revolutionising Mechatronics Education Using myRIO and LabVIEW – Loughborough University
Electronics Test & Measurement: ON Semiconductor Speeds Up Test Times With the Semiconductor Test System – ON Semiconductor
Internet of Things: Preparing Today for the Grid of Tomorrow – National Grid UK
Life Sciences: Holographic Tweezers: Positioning Living Stem Cells in 3D – University of Nottingham
Machine Control: Subsea Cable Survey and Inspection ROV Control System – TBG Solutions
Physical Test & Measurement: Lubricating the Gears of Greatness – Muc-Off
Student Design: MedSIM - A Haptic Simulator for Medical Training – University of Leeds