Cover-up costs Britain a 14 year lead in developing SALi Technology
We Brit’s have a long history of coming up with profitable inventions, and then leaving others to gain from them. Liquid crystals, computers, the jet engine, penicillin, body scanners and radar are some of the many British inventions that have made other nations rich.
If you want to witness how our sad history is repeating itself, please read on.
This only one half of the story. The other half is presented on our PedSALi page.
SALi based suspension units
were invented in Britain by Bill Courtney, but their technical
development is being led by China.
It ignored the MP's questions and created an illusion that the work had
been done correctly by using
legal threats to try and force Bill to pay for the failed
To be fair to the Chinese
(i) Unlike Manchester University, the quality of their research work is excellent.
(ii) Following warning letters from Bill Courtney and a complaint to the publishing house Elsevier, publication of papers has ceased. It is possible that the Chinese were duped into plagiarizing Courtney's work by a rogue employee at Manchester University. We present the evidence below.
Britain vs. China
What Britain is losing:
Has Manchester University tricked the current UK government?
The last coalition government deserves credit for investing heavily in university research. For example, on the strength of its" excellent materials science publications record", it awarded Manchester University £235 million to establish a national materials science research centre.
In order to explain their fraudulent results, the Manchester University authors had to include three violations of the laws of physics in their paper. Anyone who is familiar with Newton's laws of motion and the law of conservation of energy will be able to understand why the "physics" in this paper is nonsense.
That's the outline. Now here are the details.
1. The SALi suspension unit concept
The diagram below illustrates the prototype suspension unit specified in the CrashSALi research contract.
Unlike the SALi filled car bumpers described on the PedSALi page, suspension units must be made from high quality elastic materials that can be subjected to many millions of compression cycles without degrading.
Here is the design
Figure 1. The British prototype suspension unit
lightweight unit does not require any precision made parts, so
manufacturing costs should be low. The design could be used for a wide
range of vibration isolation applications in mechanical and civil
The CrashSALi Project (2002-3) was a 65% British taxpayer funded
feasibility study into
crash protection and vehicle suspension applications of SALi. Cheshire
Innovation paid the balance.
The people working for the business arm at that time acted in good faith and are in no way responsible for the subsequent disgraceful behavior of their research colleagues.
CrashSALi was a profit sharing partnership, because Bill Courtney,
(trading name Cheshire Innovation) was contractually bound to give 50% of his
royalties from all applications of SALi Technology to the University
Copies of the research contract are held by The Small Business Service and Manchester University.
How Britain lost a twelve year technology lead
For some reason that has never been explained, the contractually agreed materials were not used for the Manchester University research. One thing is certain. Bill's research supervisor at the University was uneasy about the media attention he was receiving and the prospect of the fortune he was likely to earn from successful SALi based products. He had been throwing spanners into the SALi development works since Bill first started at the University in 1996.
Figure 2. The materials specified in the contract
were not investigated.
University research results were an embarrassing nonsense. They could not be used to attract
commercial interest in Britain.
The contractual cover-up
This was pretty shocking at the time. But it looks even worse in the light of the government's recent decision to make Manchester the national centre for materials research.
Bill Courtney, a
research fellow of the University, refused to approve payment of taxpayer funds for the Manchester
University research until the work had been done correctly. But the
University was reluctant to admit to bad research. It attempted to
shift the blame by claiming that the contract had been completed and pursuing
Bill for debt recovery.
Chinese are stealing SALi Technology prospects from under out noses. Bill
lost his £140,000 retirement savings working with Manchester University
trying to develop SALi Technology. After spending many thousands of Pounds
on British, French, German and American patents he ran out of funds and
the patents were abandoned. This means that the Chinese can now develop
SALi Technology without breaching patent law.
3. The valid Chinese research on SALi suspension units
July 2009, a diligent Cardiff University student who was working with Bill Courtney made a
disturbing discovery: state funded research into SALi based vibration
isolators is making rapid progress in China. Unlike the Manchester
research, the Chinese work is enviably good!
Bill subsequently discovered that The Chinese
State Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment had also
published research on SALi.
[”Study on an Audible Noise
Reduction Measure for Filter Capacitors Based on Compressible Space
Wu Peng et al, State Key Lab. of Electr.
Insulation & Power Equip., ]
Bill wrote to the Nanjing University authors, but they
were not interested in a British-Chinese collaboration. They have also
refused to sign a licensing agreement to legitimise their work.
The authors published high quality research, similar to what should have been done at Manchester University.
For example, their multiple
compression tests, showed no tailing off in performance.
Figure 3. This Chinese graph, (originally published as Figure 10 in  above.) demonstrates that if the right materials are used, a SALi based suspension system makes a full recovery after each vibration.
A reminder about the bad Manchester research
Instead of subjecting the SALi suspension system to a series of vibrations they simply dropped a heavy weight onto the suspension unit so that it was compressed once. Consequently the deterioration in performance caused by using poor materials did not show up.
After doing the correct research, the Chinese authors were impressed by SALi's car suspension potential. They conclude:
Reference 2 above, page 4.
This promise of “outstanding performance and a good prospect in engineering practice” should be a wakeup call to a sleepy Britain. China is developing know-how that could take engineering jobs from Britain as we move out of recession.
The embarrassing questions about Chinese acquisition of British intellectual property must be answered before more British taxpayers funds are handed over to Manchester University for materials research.
Nanjing papers include plagiarised material from Bill's 1998 MPhil
research thesis. This material is very difficult to get hold of, because
the thesis remains unpublished.
Figure 4. This
is a reproduction of Figure 1 in Teng and. Chen, reference 1 above.
Figure 5. This is a reproduction of Figure 6.4
from "Courtney, W. A.,
Preliminary investigations into the mechanical properties and potential
applications of a novel shock absorbing liquid, MPhil Thesis,
Manchester School of Engineering, University of Manchester (1998)"
Figure 6. A second example of plagiarism by Teng and Chen. But, the "curious facts" below cast doubt on their culpability.
4 Confronting some painful truths
Bill Courtney proudly describes himself as "A Manchester man." He is particularly proud of its science, technology and manufacturing heritage. He acknowledges that the majority of researchers at Manchester University are doing excellent work and fully supports the government decision to establish a national materials science research institute in Manchester. But he strives for a better Manchester future based on honesty, not unsustainable research fraud.
If Britain wants to learn lessons, to protect our manufacturing sector, the following questions require answers:
Q. How did an unpublished British materials science thesis end up in Chinese hands?
Q. Why did the Formal Enquiry at
Manchester University ignore the evidence?
Q. Why did the 2005 UK government remain passive when presented
with evidence that publicly funded research into a British invention was
botched and then covered up?
A note of caution about Teng and
5. A second example of wasted British research on SALi Technology
For their bad bumper
research the Manchester workers used the right filling, but the wrong
6. Some good news
Come on Britain
WE CAN STILL BEAT THE FOREIGN COMPETITION !
Excellent work on SALi Technology has been done at Cardiff University.
Here are two examples of good SALi research at Cardiff University
Here is the reference
Davies, H., Holford, K., Assoune, A., Trioulier, B., Courtney, B. 2009. Pedestrian Protection Using a Shock Absorbing Liquid (SALi) Based Bumper System. 21st International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Stuttgart 2009.
Q. So what is holding the British research back
A. The published Cardiff research was limited in scope because it was
done without the support of public funding.
He needs to clear his name against the false accusations made in a Manchester University formal enquiry report before asking for more public funds for SALi research.
7. A timeline showing the key events as Britain lost its technology lead to China
SALi Technology was invented in Britain in 1986. Since then the inventor has lived frugally and received generous British taxpayer funding to help him develop it. But thanks to the shameful behavior at Manchester University, the Chinese are now in the best position to commercially develop it.
Over the years many British companies have suggested applications for SALi, once the core university research has been done. We outline many of them on our "What is SALi?" page.
Extract from Lord Sainsbury's letter, 2005
The letter was addressed to Braham Brady MP.
Bill Courtney comments, "This letter provides clear evidence that the 2005 government failed to exercise due diligence, to protect British taxpayer funds. As a result, we Brits have lost, and the Chinese have gained."
But the problem is far worse
So, When Courtney provided Lord Sainsbury with evidence that the project had collapsed due to fraud and that the University of Manchester refused to take action, Sainsbury's assertion that, "I am unable to comment or intervene in this matter" amounted to misconduct. When lives were at stake, it was Sainsbury, not Courtney who had the primary responsibility for defending the public purse against fraud.
The British system of governance would collapse in criminal chaos if government ministers really were unable to comment or act act when presented with evidence of public finance fraud.
Lord Sainsbury has long retired from political office but pedestrians continue to be crippled and killed on European roads. In terms of consequences, Sainsbury's act of short term political expediency is far more serious than the highly publicized parliamentary expenses scandal.
Fraudulently claiming for duck houses and second homes does not kill people. But willfully corrupting car safety research does. Manchester University should not have been paid for its PedSALi "research".
Extract from the profit sharing agreement with Manchester University
Why this is important
Bill Courtney is "A proud Manchester
man" by birth and long association with the University.
This contract shows that his pride is no idle boast.
In contrast with the bad SALi research at The Victoria University of Manchester, excellent but unfunded SALi research was being done on a smaller scale at its pre-amalgamation sister university, UMIST. Courtney worked with the good UMIST researchers to win additional SALi research funding for the post-amalgamation University. [Project theme: Reduced cost bullet and stab proof clothing incorporating SALi, for UK civilian services.]
But the Victoria University of Manchester SALi researchers driven by rivalry and self interest trumped over the good UMIST researchers.
Here is an extract from the royalty sharing agreement that should have allowed Cheshire Innovation to make a generous contribution towards the post-amalgamation University:
MIL was the business arm of the Victoria University of Manchester.
The MIL officers Bill dealt with played no part in the subsequent intimidating acts or cover-up.
Unfortunately the good UMIST researchers and the good MIL staff left the University shortly after amalgamation. But the people who had caused all the problems stayed behind.
Manchester University honored or breached this contract, depending on what suited them best. In contrast Bill, who operated on very limited finances and could not afford legal representation, was at their mercy.
Bill lost his £140,000 retirement savings working on SALi. A large fraction of this was was spent on international patent protection. The new University would have shared in the royalty benefits. But when a tiny number of its employees misbehaved, it tried to shift all the costs and blame onto him. That is, Bill was treated and recorded as a dodgy contract breaching client who owed the University money. Not an honest profit sharing partner.
This was convenient for building a new corporate identity in the delicate months after amalgamation. But it could prove disastrous in the long term because a false reputation based on lies and fraud requires the continual addition of more lies to fight Bill's attempts to expose them.
After the royalty sharing agreement ran out the University maintained its grip on Bill's intellectual property by creating false patent evidence that "proved" that SALi Technology was not his invention anyway.
We might expect an aggressive foreign competitor to get up to this sort of illegal trickery, but not a British University. Click to see the evidence.
Why Bill as a proud Manchester man and supporter of his local University has gone public in exposing the unethical Manchester University behaviour
Primarily Bill is motivated by a quest for justice and a desire to clear his name. But he also has a strong financial incentive. (As explained on the "What is SALi?" page, he has lived frugally since 1986 to build up funds to develop SALi Technology. As a result, repairs to his home have been badly neglected. (Witty friends refer to his home as "The favela.")
He found himself locked into a legal agreement where control of his intellectual property shifted to a University where:
(i) The remaining researchers were willfully publishing misleading research that suggested SALi Technology was ineffective.
(ii) There is evidence that his IP was secretly being handed over to the Chinese
(iii) Senior management was prepared to abuse the good name of the highly respected solicitors Eversheds, to create a false claim for payment, to mislead Bill's MP, when he got too close to the truth.
(iv) A later formal enquiry report misled readers by
failing to mention the royalty sharing agreement.
(v) Manchester University was prepared to protect its
reputation at the cost of pedestrian lives.
If the senior management at Manchester University, Lord Sainsbury or the formal enquiry panel had possessed the moral courage required to confront the Manchester fraud, Cardiff University may have received its funding. As a result, many pedestrian deaths and painful injuries on European roads since 2012 might have been avoided.
Bill works as an inventor. So the high financial, health and time wasting cost cost of misbehavour at Manchester University has had serious knock-on effects.
Here is an example of how his work has been slowed down:
Bill has received £180,000 public funding to help Latent Power Turbines Ltd develop a new type of power generator. This work is making good progress and details are published on a linked page. If successful, Latent Power Turbines will reduce UK energy bills and make a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions.
Bill has been working on his power generator designs since he studied
thermodynamics at university in the 1960’s and filed his first related
patent application 22 years ago.
Current research verifies that Latent Power Turbines exhibit counter-intuitive properties that will surprise anyone familiar with the laws of thermodynamics. [The trick is this: By placing a heat engine inside a mechanical engine is is possible to build a mechanical engine that is 100% thermally efficient.]
If these results scale up as predicted, there will be a backlash against academic science when this “ten year” delay in reducing energy bills and defeating climate change becomes public knowledge.
Bill Courtney refused to approve the transfer of public funds to Manchester University until the CrashSALi work was done correctly.
When Graham Brady MP started asking awkward questions about the SALi research at Manchester University, the University tried to discredit Courtney by using Eversheds Solicitors to pursue him for debt recovery.
(ii) Manchester University was a profit and loss sharing partner with Cheshire Innovation. The contract extract in Appendix 2 proves this. The University has no legal right to unilaterally ignore this contract and treat him as a bad debtor client, just to deceive an MP and hide its contractual failings.
(iii) Courtney was acting as a trustee of public money when he refused to hand over public funds until the CrashSALi work was done correctly. Lord Sainsbury should also have acted in the public interest, not for short term political convenience.
Q. Was Eversheds deceived by Manchester University?
Bill pointed out to Eversheds that he was a profit and risk sharing
partner of the University who was trying to defend the public purse,
not a defaulting debtor, their intimidating letters ceased.
The Manchester University Formal Enquiry Panel should have investigated this complaint.
in 2010, as a result of his eyesight problems, he was knocked down by a car while crossing the road. Until that time he had preferred to clear his name discretely, to protect the University reputation. After his accident the issue of pedestrian injuries became personal and he decided to publish his evidence in detail on this web site.
The stress caused by fighting to expose research and formal enquiry fraud is ongoing. In 2015 he is still being treated for high blood pressure.
How a Formal Enquiry whitewashed the Manchester research failings
As discussed on the PedSALi page, the University held a Formal Enquiry into Courtney’s complaints about the failings of the CrashSALi and PedSALi projects.
Courtney submitted evidence to the Enquiry about the intimidating use of Eversheds, but there is no
reference to Courtney's evidence in the Report.
Q. How did the Report explain the failure to carry out research into suspension units using the materials laid down in the contract?
A. The Formal Enquiry Report foes does not offer an explanation or make any reference to the materials used. Instead, as we explain on the PedSALi page, it created false evidence against Courtney, implying that he was an unreliable person who could not be trusted.
Q. Traditionally bad research is exposed when other researchers subsequently do the correct work. In the present case, good CrashSALi type research was done in China. Were the good Chinese research findings submitted to the Enquiry for comparative examination?
Yes the good research was
submitted for examination but it is not mentioned in the Formal Enquiry
Updates December 2014
Two innocent parties have been drawn into the SALi research scandals that threaten to undermine the international reputation of British science. Others are at risk of being drawn in during the coming months.
(i) The chair of the corrupt Manchester University formal enquiry panel has been appointed as Head of the Physics and Astronomy Department at Leeds University. She will be bringing a specialist team of materials researchers from Manchester University with her.
Bill has written to Leeds
University warning about the pending threat to its reputation by secondary
association with the bad behavior at Manchester University.
(ii) The present government has
awarded £235 million to Manchester University for it to become the hub for
UK materials research. Leeds and other North of England Universities will
be linked by electronic spokes to the hub.
Bill has written to his MP requesting that the relevant government departments investigate the anti-British and anti-science behavior of a tiny number of Manchester University employees before the funds are handed over. (9 December 2014.)
Visit the PedSALi page for details about how you can check the University side of this story.
PedSALi web page.