The UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’ is celebrating today after it secured a prestigious award for its pioneering work.
Backed by Coventry University – one of the three West Midlands Combined Universities (WMCU) – and Unipart Manufacturing Group, the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) beat off a host of high profile organisations to secure the ‘Technology Innovation’ title at the Cotswold Life Engineering Manufacturing Innovation (EMI) Awards.
Judges praised AME’s ability to rewrite the rule book when it comes to commercialising new technology and ensuring the economic value and jobs remain in the UK.
They were impressed with the way Unipart had tapped into the R&D facilities and knowledge of professors in Coventry to develop a new exhaust system for a luxury car manufacturer that is half the weight of traditional alternatives.
“We know we have been creating a lot of headlines with our approach to bringing technology to life, but to receive external validation in such prestigious company is fantastic,” explained Carl Perrin, Director of AME.
“It proves to us and the rest of the sector that our approach is working and we will use the exposure of winning the EMI Awards to secure new R&D work and to secure international partnerships, such as the one in Indiana that our graduates are already benefitting from.”
Over the last two years, AME has become one of the UK’s leading centres for developing new technologies and has either completed or is working towards over £5m of funded projects for bringing new powertrain solutions to market.
It has been equally successful in its approach to tackling the skills shortage by creating a new approach to generating the graduate engineers of the future, with its third intake achieving a record number of 35 students – all enrolled to study towards their BEng and MEng Degrees.
They will be based at the state-of-the-art £3m manufacturing hub and have access to some of the best lecturers, professors and engineers in UK industry as they learn on live Unipart Manufacturing ‘shopfloor’ projects.
Better still, all of the graduates have extensive exposure to the latest robotic technology, metrology equipment and CNC tube bending machinery, not to mention the opportunity to embark on international placements to broaden their experience of different manufacturing cultures.
Alongside Birmingham City University and Wolverhampton University, Coventry is part of WMCU, which will focus on addressing skills gaps and contributing to regional prosperity by helping to create jobs and employability opportunities as well as improve productivity and economic development in the West Midlands.