Wind power research centre opens

PRESS RELEASE - A unique centre developed to look at wind power generation as part of a working partnership between University of Sheffield experts and Siemens Wind Power was opened today (14 December 2009).


The pioneering Sheffield-Siemens Wind Power Research Centre (S_WP), located at the Kroto Innovation Centre, Broad Lane, Sheffield, is expected to employ an estimated 20 people and will focus on developing the most reliable, innovative and efficient wind turbine generators that will be at the forefront of future onshore and offshore wind power systems.  

The University of Sheffield was chosen following Siemens' long-term partnership with the University's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, which includes the Electrical Machines and Drives Group.  Headed-up by Professor Qiang Zhu, the group undertakes world-leading research on technologies that are vital to future developments in electrical power engineering.  

A fundamental element of the collaboration will include access to the group's 70 academic and research personnel, as well as the University's state-of-the-art facilities.

The centre - which is the first of its kind in the UK - was opened in the presence of civic dignitaries by Christoph Ehlers, Managing Director at Siemens Wind Power UK, and visitors were given the opportunity to view the newly refurbished laboratories within the Electrical Machines and Drives Group.

The Siemens Research Centre will specialise in providing the overall technology, architecture and design of onshore and offshore wind turbine generators, devices generating electrical energy from wind power, for the global market. 

From the outset, the Siemens Wind Power project team will be tasked with expanding its core team of generator experts and collaborating closely with the University of Sheffield to develop in-house competencies in generator design that maximises power conversion.

The first endorsement of the collaboration came recently with a £1 million award to undertake joint innovation funded by The Northern Wind Innovation Programme and Siemens Wind Power in Denmark.  An additional £0.55 million has been awarded to the University in direct funding by Siemens Wind Power. 

Professor Qiang Zhu, from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: "We are extremely proud of the strong relationship which our world-leading research in the Electrical Machines and Drives Group at the University of Sheffield has led us to develop with Siemens Wind Power. The University is delighted that its Kroto Innovation Centre has been chosen as the location for Siemens' global wind turbine generator research centre."

Christoph Ehlers, Managing Director for Siemens Wind Power in the UK said: "Partnerships like this are essential to maintain our leading position in producing more efficient and reliable wind turbine technologies.  Our constant dialogue with the University's experts will translate into real world solutions with benefits to both the wind industry and the environment.

"We're delighted to receive the funding in recognition of our partnership to develop next generation wind turbine technologies. The funding will not only help us serve the global market more competitively but also enable wind power to make a major contribution to the UK's energy needs." 

Siemens has already established core competence centers for wind turbine R&D in Keele (UK), Copenhagen (Denmark), Aachen (Germany), Delft (Netherlands) and most recently in Boulder, Colorado (USA). 


Notes for editors:

About Siemens in the UK: Siemens was established in the United Kingdom 166 years ago and now employs 18,402 people in the UK. Last year's revenues were £3.7 billion. As a leading global engineering and technology services company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world's major challenges, across the key sectors of energy, industry and healthcare. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK, with its headquarters in Frimley, Surrey. The company's global headquarters is in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit  

Established in 2007, Siemens' Research Centre in Keele specialises in developing power converter technology, converting and controlling the electrical power from wind turbine generators into a form compatible with the electricity grid.  Siemens was recently awarded funding by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to develop next generation power converters for offshore wind turbines.

For further information please contact: Shemina Davis, Media Relations Officer, on 0114 2225339 or email


Shemina Davis

Media Relations Officer

Department of External Relations

University of Sheffield

Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield. S10 2TN