90th Anniversary event triumph

25 May 2023 | David Young

If you missed the IAEA 90th Anniversary event you missed a treat!

IAEA 90th Anniversary event a triumph

Dr James Carton, David Punter, Andrew Marsh, Chris Weeks and Darren Power played a big part in the IAEA 90th Anniversary event

Held at the Manor Hotel just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, attendees to the event were treated to a day filled with an overview of automotive history and insights into the highs and lows of new technology and industry practices.

The conference was moderated impeccably by IAEA Honorary Fellow Andrew Marsh. To kick off Andrew challenged attendees with the question, "What do you want from the IAEA to benefit themselves and the organisation?", a theme he returned to later in the day.

The core of Andrew's presentation was a review of the automotive industry from 1932 – the year the Institute was founded – to the current day. Andrew covered the vehicles themselves, the challenges and conflicts that have shaped the industry today. He covered materials, vehicle construction and technology, powertrain development including conventional powertrains as well as alternative options and the implications of their implementation.

Andrew also covered ADAS as well as the different level of autonomous vehicles.

The second speaker Dr James Carton, a professor at Dublin City University, who gave insights into the differences and challenges between the different types of electric vehicles. He went on to discuss his core research work which focusses on hydrogen fuel cells considering the different types of hydrogen – green, blue etc production and in-vehicle and storage in-vehicle and bulk storage. Dr James looked forward to 2050 and the likely journey for hydrogen and mass transit systems.

Mirai – a real hydrogen car

Phil Briggs and Andrew used a real Toyota Mirai as well showed images of a cutaway Mirai, as an example of external simplicity covering considerable complexity under the skin. The fuel cell was located at the front, ahead of the passenger cell, and there were three hydrogen tanks – one underneath the central tunnel, one underneath the rear seat and one in the boot – which can hold a total of 5kg, at a pressure of 70 bar. The 1.24 kWh Li-Ion battery which weighs 44kg located above the rear subframe and electric drive motor. The vehicle starts from rest on the battery, progresses to fuel cell only for stead cruise, then combined battery plus fuel cell for acceleration and regenerative braking to charge the battery.

NBRA, reduction of friction and voice in the trade

Chris Weeks, CEO of NBRA, took the podium next to describe the organisation and function of the NBRA as part of the RMIF, and the types of services it provides to the collision repair sector. Chris started in the motor insurance business in 1993, and reflected what he could see as cyclical behaviour between insurers as well as bodyshops.

It is the heart of what Chris wanted to discuss – how damage estimation and vehicle damage assessors such as the IAEA membership, could work together for a better overall outcome. The NBRA has an impressively large number of connections to suppliers and to other parties involved in the collision repair business.

Panel discussion

Andrew Marsh then introduced a distinguished panel comprising – Dr James Carton, Chris Weeks, Jeff Mack (representing RWC Training and Park Lodge International), Kirsty McKno (CEO of Cogent Hire) and David Punter, IAEA President elect.

Andrew reminded the members of three overall questions for them to consider throughout the discussion:

1. What does the membership want?

2. Should the IAEA branch out to include functional integrity of BEV conversions, since nobody is doing this formally?

3. Should IAEA assessor be independent of insurers and repairers to arbitrate on repair viability, on engineering only grounds?

The session was a lively debate on may subjects – more of which will be seen in the July/August issue of the Assessor.