As a professor of practice, he will provide the leadership required of the University in its national role as lead for the Driving the Electric Revolution Innovation Centre (DER-IC) project.
His experience and connections within the UK PEMD sector will be invaluable in helping to secure academic-industrial relationships which are central to the University’s aims and objectives and a critically important part of securing the success of the DER-IC project.
Professor Boyle brings a wealth of industrial experience from having worked for engineering companies for more than 30 years, most recently as CEO of NASDAQ listed Sevcon which was acquired by Borg Warner in 2017. He currently runs his own company Collingwood Solutions.
He is the executive chair of the Driving the Electric Revolution Innovation Centre (DER-IC) project, of which Newcastle University is the lead partner, overseeing four cutting-edge DER innovation centres.
The centres are collaborating with industry to enable faster joint research and development of power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) for the next generation of carbon neutral cars, planes, trains and ships. The DER-IC project’s aim is to significantly increase growth in the UK supply chain of PEMD components and products.
Professor Boyle said: “I am delighted to be joining Newcastle University to help deliver this nationally important project.
“The University has an enviable reputation in the PEMD community worldwide, gained through its tremendous faculty and work that continues today. We are working now to exploit this research into the manufacture of PEMD in the UK.”
Previously, Professor Boyle was one of the team who developed the Stephenson Challenge, working with industry across the country, Innovate UK, and other partners, to get the project funded – re-branded as Driving the Electric Revolution (DER).
Over the last two years, he has worked closely with Innovate UK, industry and universities to successfully coalesce almost all of the UK’s PEMD community into a network that will help propel UK manufacturing to the forefront of global efforts to tackle climate change and ensure that the UK can become a major contributor to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President of Newcastle University, said: “We are delighted to welcome Matt on board in the position as Professor of Practice in Engineering.
“Having worked on the DER project in partnership with the university, we know that he brings his breadth of regional and international experience in the electric vehicle, engineering and innovation sectors which will benefit both our academic research, and industry partnerships.”
Professor Boyle is also the Chair of the North East Automotive Alliance and The Common Room of the Great North and was previously a Board member of the North East England Chamber of Commerce. He was awarded an OBE in 2018 for his services to Engineering and Skills.
Professor Will Drury, UKRI Challenge Director, Driving the Electric Revolution, said: “It is great news that Matt has joined Newcastle University as a Professor of Practice.
“It is exciting that he will be spending his time overseeing the £33m Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centre (DER-IC) activities within Newcastle and working closely with the delivery team across the four locations and closely with the UKRI ISCF Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge Team.
“With his significant industry background in the Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) space I am sure he will bring a wealth of knowledge to his activities.”
Professor Phil Wright, Pro Vice Chancellor Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering added: “The Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering welcomes Matt Boyle as a Professor of Practice in The School of Engineering.
“This is a new role within the University, to which he will bring both his practical and cutting-edge innovative and industry-informed experience.”
Professor Boyle has started his role this week.