Kevin joined WMG in 1988, and later became Director of Research Degrees:
I joined to help develop the manufacturing side. My experience was in materials and processes, and at the time there was a lot of emphasis on that within the UG programme.
The basic aim of the course was to make things real. If you looked at a lot of engineering programmes, when the graduates go out into engineering firms, you often heard complaints from the companies that they couldn’t really cope with what was happening in the workplace, and they almost needed to be retrained.
What we always tried to do was to bring that element of real life into the classroom.
He and his team conceived the idea of an Engineering Doctorate, a part-time alternative to the traditional PhD containing WMG’s signature emphasis on producing material benefits for its students and their companies – the two-year Engineering Doctorate was backed by SERC and launched in 1992:
When most university departments develop a degree, they look basically at what their skills are and they put a course together so that they can transfer those skills to other people.
What we’ve always tended to do is to look at what is needed and then, with the companies, we work together to produce that.
And, of course, the needs change. But the ability and the willingness to meet those changes – that must never change. Professor Lord Bhattacharyya had a great ability to inspire people.