Ricardo's Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Professor Neville Jackson says: "We invited proposals from several universities. Most came back with a range of interests from their own agendas, and then added that, for a charge, they could also look specifically at particular issues on our behalf.
"This is where the University of Brighton's approach was so radically different. Their proposal talked about what we wanted to achieve from the outset, and included immediately looking for funding opportunities to help us succeed. They offered to work with us to develop tests that would be of joint benefit to both parties. It really was chalk and cheese compared to the response we had from the others."
The company chose to place its test equipment at the University of Brighton in 1995 and then went on to develop the working relationship through creation of the Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories in 2006, and part-funding of Morgan Heikal's Professorial post.
The research team have been working on many projects which include development of the 2/4 engine which switches between 4 stroke and 2 stroke mode dependent on torque requirements. This is just one of the projects that aim to reduce environmental impact from engines, by enabling a small gasoline engine to perform like the large 4 litre ones found in premium cars.