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Former Head of Dyson Joins Artemis to Build Electric Hydrofoiling Propulsion System

31st May 2021
Simon Locke, the former Head of Manufacturing at Dyson, has been appointed by Artemis Technologies as the company’s new Director of Manufacturing
Simon Locke, the former Head of Manufacturing at Dyson, has been appointed by Artemis Technologies as the company’s new Director of Manufacturing

Artemis Technologies, based in Belfast Harbour, has appointed Simon Locke, the former Head of Manufacturing at Dyson, as the company’s new Director of Manufacturing.

Simon was a founding member of the team that created Dyson’s revolutionary digital motor and will be responsible for the manufacturing of the Artemis eFoilerᵀᴹ, a unique electric hydrofoiling propulsion system that will power the green vessels of the future. A disruptive innovation that will make high-speed zero-emission maritime transport commercially viable for the first time.

Simon commented: “I am proud to be joining the Artemis Technologies team as it works towards the decarbonisation of maritime and playing its part in helping the UK achieve net-zero.

“I’m looking forward to facing new challenges, utilising the knowledge of developing and industrialising a wide variety of products and pioneering technologies, to create incredible new solutions that will change the face of maritime.

“What really excites me, and what attracted me to make the move to Artemis Technologies was the opportunity to really push forward the boundaries of new technologies, be part of the electric revolution and play a role in a project that will make a huge impact on sustainability and climate change.

“Having started at Dyson over 20 years ago, I was privileged to experience its rise to global recognition. That same energy is here at Artemis Technologies – there’s nowhere else in the world this close to the leading edge of advancing marine technology.”

Simon’s appointment is the latest high-profile arrival at Artemis Technologies as the company continues a major recruitment drive.

As the lead partner in the Belfast Maritime Consortium’s bid to deliver transformative new marine technology, Artemis Technologies anticipates staff numbers to more than treble to 100 by early 2022 as the project gains momentum.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO, Artemis Technologies, said:

“As we continue to strive to deliver real innovation through unique solutions and products, Simon’s arrival is a true reflection of the calibre of work we wish to achieve here at Artemis Technologies. “Having worked across a plethora of projects and products Simon’s wealth of knowledge, expertise, aptitude and reputability will assist our programme to develop a new class of zero-emission high speed vessels of the future while aiding the creation of a high-tech maritime innovation hub right here in Northern Ireland.”

Dyson, founded by tech tycoon Sir James Dyson in 1991 designs and manufactures various household appliances such as vacuums, air purifiers, heaters, hand dryers, bladeless fans, hair dryers, and lights. The firm centred around invention and improvement sells in over 30 countries employing more than 12,000 people worldwide.

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About Electric outboard engines

The direct-drive component in electric outboard engines means that the electric motors are incredibly efficient compared to conventional marine combustion motors, operating with considerably higher torque whilst using less power.

Without any need for gears, cooling systems and moving parts the motors are maintenance free, highly efficient and economic to run.

As a result, electric boat engines are becoming more popular on Irish waters as the world transitions from fossil fuels to green energy.

To date, popular electric engine sizes have been trolling engines typically used by fishermen on lakes.

These marine engines are available in models that can be used in fresh water and sea water, for your boat or kayak.

Electric motors are Ideal for fishermen because they are quiet and create little in the way of disturbance 

Popular electric trolling models range from 30lb thrust to 55lb thrust in a range of shaft lengths.

But use is becoming broader now in 2021 and electric outboard engines are being used on small runabouts and RIBS where electric outboard engine sizes are getting bigger.

Outboard electric engines are economical and environmentally friendly. Battery technology is also improving at a rapid rate meaning they are becoming smaller and lighter and run for longer.

Built in hydro-generation provides alternative recharging options whilst under sail are also options meaning the electric outboard now has a home on the stern on small yachts and dayboats too.

As far back as 2014, Torqeedo owner Jack O'Keefe from Cork Harbour told Afloat readers of his sailing adventures in a Drascombe Coaster dinghy and how after swapping from a petrol version the rewards from his new electric outboard engine are less noise, no smells, more stowage, better sailing performance and a motor that can be started by a small child. But it's still not silent, there's a whine he says here 

Popular brands in Ireland are Torqeedo, ePropulsion, Pulsar and Minn Kota but there are more arriving all the time as the technology advances

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