10 top stories of the week

Rolls-Royce ‘smashes’ electric flight speed record

Professional Engineering Rolls-Royce has applied for three new world records after reportedly ‘smashing’ top speed records for all-electric flight. The Spirit of Innovation aeroplane hit a top speed of 623km/h (387.4mph) during flights on Tuesday (16 November), the UK company said.

RAF makes flight powered by 100% synthetic fuel

The Engineer

The RAF also claimed a world-first this week, as it announced a successful flight powered entirely by synthetic fuel. The Ikarus C42 microlight was powered by UL91 fuel from Zero Petroleum, which is made from hydrogen extracted from water and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Scrapping of HS2 Leeds leg ‘a blow to low-carbon recovery’

Professional Engineering The axing of a planned HS2 line between the East Midlands and Leeds is a blow to a low-carbon post-pandemic ‘recovery’, a rail expert has said.

Extra capacity from the high-speed leg would have eased pressure on existing lines and enabled a shift from road to rail, said Rail Engineer editor David Shirres to Professional Engineering.

‘Career deflection’ leads some women and ethnic minorities to leave engineering

E&T Some women and ethnic minorities are leaving the engineering profession prematurely because of ‘career deflections’, according to a new report commissioned by engineering consultancy Atkins. Barriers include stereotyping, isolation and bias.

British public supports autonomous vehicles


Almost three-quarters (70%) of UK adults see the benefits of connected and automated vehicles, according to a new survey by the British Standards Institution.

59% said they would feel more confident in an autonomous vehicle if a safety operator was able to take control if needed.

Inflating device to save lives of stab victims wins global James Dyson Award

Professional Engineering An automated inflating device aimed at stopping bleeding in stab wounds has won a global James Dyson Award. Joseph Bentley’s React device (Rapid Emergency Actuating Tamponade) is aimed at reducing catastrophic blood loss from knife wounds by applying internal pressure to the wound site, while filling the cavity and preventing internal bleeding.

New design could create clearer, safer X-ray images

The Engineer

Researchers at Surrey University have identified a new design approach that could create clearer, safer X-ray images. The approach uses curved detectors for high-resolution imaging.

New process improves lithium-ion battery recycling

E&T Researchers led by Xiao Su from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a new method for efficient separation and recovery of metals from used batteries.

The process could provide a sustainable source of cobalt and nickel.

Oxford Brookes plans underground heat storage

Energy Live News Oxford Brookes University has announced plans to store heat underground in deep boreholes. The system, which could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from one campus by nearly 20%, will capture waste energy from cooling systems for later use as heat.

Renewable energy and hydrogen could decarbonise vehicles at Sussex ‘eco-port’

Professional Engineering

Thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions could be prevented each year thanks to plans for a clean energy ‘hub’ at Shoreham Port in Sussex. Aimed at cutting emissions from forklift trucks and larger goods vehicles, the plans from Edinburgh firm H2 Green include wind and solar power generation and ‘green’ hydrogen production.

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