Non-Rotating Machines: Propulsion, Actuation and Levitation


Feb 8th 2017 - Feb 8th 2017

Loughborough, UK

Updated 31/01/17

Providing propulsion, actuation or levitation requires some unique machines and advanced control techniques.  It also presents its own set of challenges. This seminar brings together experts from industry and academia to share their ideas and experiences on the topic. The event will include presentations on linear machines, actuators and self-bearing machines that levitate the rotor without the need for bearings (mechanical or magnetic). The application scope is wide with opportunities in Aerospace, Automotive, Industry and Medical to name but a few.

A visit to nearby Force Engineering will take place after the technical presentations.



The seminar will be held at Loughborough University. The Wavy Top building is marked on this map:


Details on getting to the University and parking can be found at:


Force Engineering

Force Engineering
4 Old Station Close
LE12 9NJ

A map showing a route between the university and Force Engineering can be found here.


The dress code for the day is business attire / smart casual.


Due to the small amount of hotels in Loughborough area, here are some of the options available, with travel timings from the University :

Premier Inn – 10 Minute Drive

Travelodge  – 11 Minute Drive

Burleigh Court – 4 Minute Drive/ 9 Minute walk

The Link – 3 Minute Drive/ 12 Minute Walk

Hilton East Midlands – 13 Minute Drive

Holiday Inn East Midlands – 11 Minute Drive

Radisson Blu East Midlands – 13 Minute Drive

All the hotels have chargeable parking on site.

Event Sponsored By



Linear Motor Propulsion of Futuristic Transport Systems
by Dr Chris Lines of Linear Motion Technologies

The convergence of road and rail is the latest trend within the transport sector. On one hand, road cars and buses are moving to being electric‐powered and on towards having a means of wireless charging while they travel along. On the other hand, the rail industry is moving away from heavy trains, driven with large discrete locomotives, to lighter rail solutions with electric traction motors distributed along their entire length. Futuristic transport solutions that promise the point‐to‐point flexibility of road travel but with the resource efficiency of rail are thus a new focus. Such transport solutions are enabled with the use of linear motors as the propulsion mechanism. This talk highlights some bulk materials / freight transport, intra‐city and high‐speed inter‐city mass transit solutions being developed and some of the associated linear motor considerations and design challenges.

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Linear Motors in the 21st Century
by Mr Alan Foster of Force Engineering

One might well ask, “Whatever happened to Eric Laithwaite’s linear motor?” Fortunately it’s alive and well although most people would be unaware of this - the 6,000 LIMs powering T5’s baggage handling system are unseen by busy travelers. Applications are wide and varied but not significant in financial terms, hence manufacturers are few. Force Engineering is a small company that has been designing and building linear induction stators for nearly 40 years. Some of the more interesting applications will be described. LIMs are easier to control than LSMs but off-the-shelf VFDs, aimed at the rotary motor market, are rarely suitable due to the widely different operating characteristics of a LIM. The reasons why will be explained. Until recently the construction of a stator hadn’t changed since Laithwaite’s day but a novel winding arrangement has now been patented which allows motors to be built more powerfully, more economically and more reliably. But fashion changes and market forces have obliged the company to start investigating permanent magnet machines, including linear synchronous motors. These are particularly advantageous in the amusement industry for their higher efficiencies.

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Electromagnetic Launch of Civil Aircraft: A Comparison of Induction, Permanent Magnet Synchronous and Superconducting Motor Systems
by Dr Tom Cox of University of Nottingham

The presentation will look at the future application of electromagnetic launch (EML) technology to civil aviation. While EML systems for military aircraft launch have recently been fully developed and proven, there are also vast benefits to the use of EML for civil aircraft launch. This can give significant reductions in runway length, fuel use, engine size and ground level noise and emissions. Three motor topologies for civil EML have been compared: Permanent Magnet Synchronous, Induction and Superconducting Synchronous linear motors. Overall launch systems using these topologies have been designed and modelled, and full comparisons have been made of performance and losses, including the superconducting cryocooler.

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Design Study on Fully Integrated Surface-Mounted Permanent Magnet Self-Bearing Machine
by Dr Chenyu Nie of University of Sheffield

This presentation presents a fully integrated surface-mounted permanent magnet (SMPM) self-bearing machine with the combination of 9 stator teeth and 6 poles. The underlying principles of the model and its limitations are discussed. Its selections of PM thickness and suitable combination of stator phases and rotor poles are identified at the design stage. The force model and the current optimization strategy are comprehensively validated by a series of finite element simulations and experimental test on a reference machine design.

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Multi-rate Simulation of Low Speed Linear Electrical Machines for Wave Energy Applications
by Dr Richard Crozier of Edinburgh University

Due to the nature of wave energy extraction, which tends to operate at low frequencies with large time periods, it can be difficult to model the electrical aspects of the PTO and control system with high fidelity in a reasonable amount of computation time. This is due to the tendency of electrical systems to operate at much higher frequencies and lower time periods between events which must be captured by any transient simulation. This talk will explore a multi-rate method of simulating the system, loosely coupled via forces, positions and velocities where multiple smaller time steps are taken for subsystems in between the larger time steps suitable for the slower dynamics. This allows reduced computation times while retaining high fidelity and reasonable accuracy.

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Project HARAS a novel aerospace actuation system
by Mr Matt Slater & Andrew Gibson of Triumph Actuation

This paper presents an initial design study of a distributed, flight-control, actuation system architecture suitable for a small, slim wing aircraft platform. The paper proposes a distributed, multi-actuator architecture in comparison with a single EMA solution, and provides sizing and selection discussion regarding three main EMA components: motor, ball screw and harmonic drive gearbox.

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Hyperloop - Are Magnets Attractive?
by Mr Christian Zeppetzauer, Mr Emil Hansen of HypED

Hyperloop Edinburgh is a team at the university of Edinburgh that has taken up the challenge to design and build a prototype pod that can be tested in a excavated tube. Hyperloop is essentially a train in an excavated tube, and has been conned as the “fourth method of transportation” by Tech Mogul Elon Musk. But does it really life up to its big hype? What are the limitations? Why on earth would you even want to travel in a windowless tin? Christian Zeppetzauer and Emil Hansen will be presenting their team’s design concept incorporating Halbach Arrays and Linear induction motors for hovering, stability/guidance and breaking. Feel free to contact either Emil or Christian and the Hyperloop team team@hyp-ED.com @HypED Facebook

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TimeSession TitleSession Host
09:00Registration Opens
10:00Linear Motor Propulsion of Futuristic Transport SystemsDr Chris Lines, Linear Motion Technologies
10:30Design Study on Fully Integrated Surface-Mounted Permanent Magnet Self-Bearing MachineDr Chenyu Nie, University of Sheffield
11:30Project HARAS a novel aerospace actuation systemMr Mark Slater, Triumph Actuation
12:00Electromagnetic Launch of Civil Aircraft: A Comparison of Induction, Permanent Magnet Synchronous and Superconducting Motor SystemsDr Tom Cox, University of Nottingham
13:15Hyperloop - Are Magnets Attractive?Mr Christian Zeppetzauer, Mr Emil Hansen, HypED
13:45Multi-rate Simulation of Low Speed Linear Electrical Machines for Wave Energy ApplicationsDr Richard Crozier, Edinburgh University
14:15Linear Motors in the 21st CenturyMr Alan Foster, Force Engineering
14:45Closing Remarks
15:15Tour of Force Engineering
17:00Close of Day


Type Standard Fee Group Discount
(3+ delegates)
Member £115.00 N/A
Non-Member £235.00 N/A
Member Student / Retired £27.50 N/A
Non-Member Student / Retired £55.00 N/A
Exhibiting £65.00 N/A
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