WAE and Imperial College London supporting Faraday Institution funded BESAFE project

Jun 1, 2022

WAE and Imperial College London supporting Faraday Institution funded BESAFE project to advance the understanding of the initiation and propagation of thermal runaway. 

  • WAE and Imperial College London are collaborating to advance the understanding of the initiation and propagation of thermal runaway
  • The project aims to bridge the gap between thermofluid science and battery electrochemistry, developing a multiphase, multiphysics model of battery failure via thermal runaway
  • The programme complements the Faraday Institution’s Multi-Scale Modelling and SafeBatt projects


Imperial College London and WAE are working on a project to bridge the gap between thermofluid science and battery electrochemistry; developing a first-of-a-kind multiphase multiphysics model of battery failure via thermal runaway (a self-sustaining cascade of exothermic reactions that produce large volumes of gas).  The model will consider gas dynamics and its interactions with electrochemical and thermal behaviours, with the goal of advancing the understanding of initiation and propagation of the thermal runaway processes and accelerate the design of countermeasures.

The work that the Electrochemical Science and Engineering research group at Imperial College London has achieved in the battery field aligns with WAE’s interest in offering greater battery safety and longevity. Achieving this will deliver cost-effective electrification solutions to benefit both WAE and our global client base.

Applying the multiphase multiphysics modelling toolsets will enable the design of safer battery packs with fewer iterations and physical tests; saving time, costs and materials.

As part of this programme, WAE will provide thermal runaway/propagation test data which has been developed as a result of numerous Research and Development programmes whilst the battery team will provide technical knowledge and industrial experience on battery safety designs helping steer the project to success.

Rob Millar, Head of Electrification, WAE commented “We are confident that the proposed study will bring tangible economic and environmental benefits and look forward to building on our long term partnership with the team at Imperial College London.”

Dr Huizhi Wang of Imperial College London who is leading the project said “Understanding and modelling thermal runaway plays a crucial role in guiding the development of safer batteries but remains challenging due to the complexity of the process. We are excited to be working with WAE on this research project to address the key knowledge gaps in battery safety modelling.”


About WAE (“WAE”)

WAE is a world-leading technology and engineering services business delivering pioneering innovation to improve performance, efficiency and sustainability to a global customer base. Combining cutting-edge technological advances and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from the ultra-competitive environment of motorsport, WAE’s capabilities cover a wide range of disciplines.

The company provides ground-breaking innovation covering advanced battery and electrification technologies and product development; aided by advanced simulation, testing, rapid prototyping and volume manufacturing. Working in close collaboration with our customers, WAE remains committed to meeting the continued sustainability challenges of the 21st Century.

The company can trace its foundations back to 2010 when Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations; a division which later became WAE. In December 2019, Williams Grand Prix Engineering (owned by private investment firm Dorilton Capital) sold a majority equity stake in WAE to EMK Capital.

WAE has grown from an embryonic business in 2010 to a company which employs approximately 400+ people engaged in leading-edge and transformative technologies for a growing list of Tier 1 clients.

Following the acquisition by Fortescue Metals Group, which completed in March 2022, WAE will continue to service its existing customers and commercialise new technology opportunities, in addition to playing a key role in supporting Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy.

The Company was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2018.

For more information see www.wae.com, follow on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.


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About the Faraday Institution

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis, and early-stage commercialisation. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research and development of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors.

The Faraday Institution is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation. Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is a registered charity with an independent board of trustees.

The Faraday Battery Challenge aim is to develop and manufacture batteries for the electrification of vehicles to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the move to a low carbon economy. The challenge is split into three elements: research, innovation, and scale-up. www.faraday.ac.uk/news-seed-projects

BESAFE is one of 16 fast-paced, focused projects recently instigated by the Faraday Institution that widen its research scope in an initiative that will inform priorities for its research programme beyond March 2023.



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