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18th April, 2019

Second research grant in two months funding MDX Digital Twin project


The Department of Science & Technology (DST) India and the UK India Education & Research Initiative (UKIERI) has awarded Dr Huan Nguyen and his team £200,000 for a two year project starting in April 2019 to fund the Digital Twin Modelling for Automation, Maintenance and Monitoring in Industry 4.0 Smart Factory project.

The aim of the project is to develop a digital twin to mirror the Festo smart cyber factory Industry 4.0 facility at Middlesex and bring this model to India to help facilitate the automation and smart maintenance/monitoring of Industry 4.0 in Sricity’s industries.

Commenting on the research, Dr Nguyen said:

“It’s fantastic to receive two research grants in close succession to fund our Digital Twin project and this is testament to the amazing research taking place at Middlesex.  We are leading the way in developing digital twin and smart factory modelling in the UK and worldwide.

“The joint funding call between DST (India) and UKIERI (UK) received 104 joint proposals and eleven were granted demonstrating the highly competitive nature of the application process. We are very proud that Middlesex was awarded one of the grants.”

The project offers a platform to evaluate system limitations and the impact of malfunction in manufacturing processes. This enables real-time data collection, analysis and decision making, which are crucial for the proper operation of the Cyber Physical System. This process will help reduce instrumentation cost and make monitoring and maintenance within factories affordable, as part of the increasing trend of applying artificial intelligence (AI) to every aspect of life.

“It’s fantastic to receive two research grants in close succession to fund our Digital Twin Project and this is testament to the amazing research taking place at Middlesex. We are leading the way in developing twin and smart factory modelling in the UK and worldwide.” Dr Huan Nguyen

There is also a strong desire for partner countries to address safety issues and sustainable development through automation in manufacturing industries. This research will contribute to preparing the industry/manufacturing sector in India for the era of Industry 4.0 as well as promoting the excellence of Middlesex’s research capability.

The project team will recruit several key personnel including postdoctoral research fellows and PhD students in both the UK and India. It is also expected that the research will contribute to the development of the Connected Curriculum programme in partnership with Siemens and Festo, benefiting MDX students through the latest research outcomes and enhance their learning experience.

The research will involve collaboration with international and UK partners and industry. The UK team, led by Associate Professor Dr Huan Nguyen as Principal Investigator, includes Dr Ramona Trestian, Professor Mehmet Karamanoglu and Professor Balbir Barn. The Indian team from the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Sricity is led by Professor Hrishikesh Venkataraman (PI) and Dr Raja Vara Prasad (CI). Other partners are the technology firms Siemens and Festo and the India based industrial partner, Sri City Private Limited (SPL).

Find out more about studying Design Engineering at Middlesex

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