Area of Expertise
Mr Chandrasekaran was very interested to see for himself some of the projects that WMG and Tata companies are collaborating on, and to understand the breadth and depth of WMG’s research, education and technology transfer activities.
To bring these to life, he was given a tour of WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre, which is going through significant expansion, and will see WMG to continue to provide a unique facility for industry and academia to develop innovative energy storage technology. Mr Chandrasekaran also visited the Advanced Steels Research Centre and the International Manufacturing Centre where the focus was on light weighting, metrology and intelligent vehicles. As well as hearing from the Institute of Digital Healthcare.
Mr Chandrasekaran was keen to see the significant investment in automotive research, at WMG, and along with Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, had a tour of the National Automotive Innovation Centre and was delighted to see the progress in its construction. The Centre, which is a long-term commitment between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, WMG and the University of Warwick, is a unique resource and the first of its kind in Europe, providing an environment to foster collaboration, cohesion and sharing knowledge, combining automotive expertise nationally and internationally.
Both the Budget last week and today’s Industrial Strategy White Paper underline the importance of skills and lifelong learning to British economic success. However, the White Paper’s stress on the importance of adult skills and lifelong learning is not new. After all, we are nearing the centenary of the Ministry of Reconstruction’s 1919 report on adult education, which led to local authorities being given responsibility for adult education. Indeed, as Winston Churchill said in 1954:
“There is perhaps no branch of our vast educational system which should more attract within its particular sphere the aid and encouragement of the State than adult education”.
More recently, we have had the Moser report, which led to Skills for Life, and the Leitch report, which led to Train to Gain.
To deliver these strategies, we have had a dazzling array of bodies: the Manpower Services Commission, the training and enterprise councils, the Learning and Skills Council, the Skills Funding Agency, and the Learning and Skills Network. Yet despite the reports, the commissions, the councils, the agencies and the networks, the core issues remain. Work by the LSE’s Centre for Vocational Education Research shows that the percentage of adult employees in learning or training has been falling since the millennium. Of those in learning or training, there is a rise in the numbers doing short courses and a fall in the share working towards a qualification.
The truth is that far too few adults at work are getting a good education or earning a widely recognised qualification that will strengthen their long-term career prospects. At the same time, technological change is transforming the world of work. No one wants their parents’ autonomous car or their internet-enabled medical devices to be insecure or wrongly updated because of poor skills. In autonomous vehicles alone—we design a lot at WMG—the scale of reskilling needed is enormous, whether in car design, highway maintenance, manufacturing, dealers, commercial transport or regulators. Learning new skills and reskilling workers in sectors that are being transformed by new technologies is increasingly essential.
To be fair, recent Governments, whether Labour, coalition or Conservative, have followed Churchill’s advice and recognised that adult skills are a priority. The White Paper on industrial strategy shows the beginnings of a non-partisan approach to the issue, although it might not look that way from the Front Bench. You can always tell when there is a cross-party consensus: the Opposition accuse the Government of recycling old ideas. The industrial strategy deserves a broad, if restrained, welcome for its approach to adult skills. One of the most pleasing signs of this in the White Paper is the recognition that the TUC and the CBI both need to be involved in the national retraining partnership. Similarly, I am happy that Unionlearn was extended. It is an excellent programme.
At WMG we offer levels 1 to 3 only to students up to 18 at our Academy for Young Engineers, which we run under the auspices of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust. The majority of these students either go to university or become apprentices. At WMG itself, we offer courses at levels 4, 5, 6 and above. By the end of the decade we will have more than 1,000 apprentices at any particular time. Skills programmes such as the ones we run today work well for larger employers which can afford to think for the long term—but what about the backbone of the economy, the small and medium-sized firms?
All our 1,000 apprentices are paid for, fully, by the companies. They also pay the university to get their degrees. Only one in 10 SMEs offers apprenticeships. The proportion offering higher and advanced apprenticeships is even lower. Business has to put its hand in its pocket to change this. Big business especially has to do more to help its suppliers and its sector. When I was an apprentice, more apprentices were trained by the company so that some of them could go to the suppliers and the smaller sectors. There is no point in businesses crying about the lack of proper technical education if they are not prepared to invest in their sector’s success.
The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, visited WMG, at the University of Warwick, on Friday 20th January 2017, taking up an invitation to see for himself the work underway to complete the new £150 million National Automotive Innovation Centre on the University Campus. He also saw the work expanding WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre which provides a one-stop-shop for the development of new battery chemistries to create advanced batteries for the automotive sector.
The National Automotive Innovation Centre is a unique automotive research centre, and the largest facility of its kind in Europe. It will provide high technology automotive manufacturing research that will be of significant benefit in the delivery of the key manufacturing component of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
2017 The Chinese Government Friendship AwardThe highest award offered by the Chinese Government to honour foriegn experts was presented by Vice Premier Ma Kai on behalf of the Chinese Government in recognition of participation in China's development by facilitating the modernisation drive and contribution to the economic and social development of China as well as progress of human civilisation2017 The Great Wall Friendship AwardPresented by acting Mayor Mr Chen Jining on behalf of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality in recognition of the enthusiastic support and contribution to Beijing's construction
2016 Regius Professor of ManufacturingReceiving the title of Regius Professor is a rare honour, and WMG has been granted this for its academic research in driving growth and improving productivity
2015 Honorary Freedom of the City of Coventryin recognition of his impact on the City of Coventry2015 Lifetime Business Achievement Awardpresented by the Coventry Telegraph for contribution and the key role he has played in enhancing the region’s long-standing reputation for research and innovation in the automotive sector2015 Honorary DoctorateDoctor of Laws awarded by Monash University in Australia in recognition of his work to reinvigorate global manufacturing and advising industry and international governments2015 National Rainbow Bridge AwardChina's first ever special prize for outstanding contributions to cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology, and culture between China and countries around the world
2014 Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)For his contribution to engineering research and education2014 City of Coventry Award of MeritFor outstanding personal achievement in raising the status of UK engineering and manufacturing and for his service to the promotion of the University of Warwick and the City of Coventry
2013 Honorary Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.)Awarded by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar, presented by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee
2011 Honorary MembershipAwarded by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for his ability and stature, plus contribution of his substantial skills and talent to accomplish the goals of society
2008 Honorary Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.)Awarded by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
2005 IMechEFellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers2005 The Duncan Davies MedalAwarded by The Research and Development Society for outstanding contribution to research and development in the UK
2004 Honorary Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.)Awarded by the University of Birmingham2004 Fellow of the Royal Society of ArtsFellow of the Royal Society of Arts2004 Life peerage, UK House of LordsCreated Baron Bhattacharyya of Moseley in the County of the West Midlands and entered UK House of Lords2004 The Asian Guild AwardFor outstanding contribution to science and technology
2003 Member of the International Academy of Technological CyberneticsMember of the International Academy of Technological Cybernetics2003 Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)Awarded by Hong Kong Polytechnic University2003 Knight Bachelor (KT)Award of Knight Bachelor for services to Higher Education and Industry in the Queen's Birthday Honours
2002 Padma BhushanAwarded by the President of India for services to Science and Technology
1999 Fellow, National Academy of Engineering (India)Fellow, National Academy of Engineering (India)1999 Fellow, World Academy of Productivity SciencesFellow, World Academy of Productivity Sciences1999 Sir Robert Lawrence AwardAwarded by the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport for services to Logistics
1998 Honorary FellowshipAwarded by the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport1998 Mensforth International Gold MedalAwarded by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now Institution of Engineering and Technology) for outstanding international contribution to manufacturing, engineering and management
1997 Honorary Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.)Awarded by University of Technology, Malaysia1997 Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)Awarded CBE for services to Industry and Technology
1996 Founding Honorary Fellow, Institute of LogisticsFounding Honorary Fellow, Institute of Logistics1996 Companion of the Chartered Management InstituteCompanion of the Chartered Management Institute
1994 Honorary ProfessorshipAwarded by the Ministry of Machinery, Beijing, China
1993 Honorary ProfessorshipAwarded by University of Technology, Malaysia
1992 Honorary ProfessorshipAwarded by Hong Kong Polytechnic University1992 Doctor of the University (D.Univ.)Awarded by the University of Surrey
1991 Fellow of the Royal Academy of EngineeringFellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
1975 Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and TechnologyFellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya meeting with Premier Li Keqiang September 29th 2017
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Vice Premier Ma Kai being presented with the Chinese Government Friendship Award, the premier national award September 29th 2017
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya and Rt Hon Greg Clark on a visit to WMG 20th January 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond MP visit WMG
Margot James MP with Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, September 2016
Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR in Singapore receives honorary doctorate from University of Warwick, July 2016
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Theresa May MP, (now UK Prime Minister), June 2016
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Lucy Powell MP, former Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Sajid Javid, former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, officially opens WMG's Energy Innovation Centre
BIS Director General for Science and Business Gareth Davies with Professor Lord Bhattacharyya
His Excellency Diego Gómez Pickering, the Mexican Ambassador to the UK, with Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, March 2016
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Angela Eagle MP (former Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills) and Dr Andy Palmer (CEO, Aston Martin Lagonda)
His Excellency Dr Rizal Sukma, Indonesian Ambassador to the UK, with Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, March 2016
Prof Lord Bhattacharyya with Prof Ravi Kant, Former Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Tata Motors
Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal with Professor Lord Bhattacharyya at WMG, October 2015
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya and Mr Ratan Tata at the Honorary Freemans ceremony, Sept 2015
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya presented with the first National Rainbow Bridge Award Beijing, China – October 2015
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Peter Szabadhegy Hungarian Ambassador UK at WMG, Sept 2015
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Dr Alan Finkel AO (Chancellor) and Professor Margaret Gardner AO (Vice Chancellor) of Monash University
Dame Asha Kemka, Principal & Chief Executive of West Nottinghamshire College, visits WMG with Andrew Martin (Deputy Principal) and Brian Malyan (Head of Engineering)
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Andris Teikmanis, Ambassador of Latvia to the UK
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with the Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr Jovan Donev
Dr Ralf Speth, Mr Cyrus Mistry, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya and Mr Ratan Tata at the NAIC Foundation Stone Ceremony, March 2015
Lord Bhattacharyya is presented with his Coventry Award of Merit by the Lord Mayor, January 2014
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya and Professor Heinz Wolff 17 November 2011
Lord Bhattacharyya with Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, March 2012
Opening of the WMG Academy for Young Engineers - February 2015
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya and Dame Julie Moore, October 24th 2013