The Warwick IMRC is one of several in the country set up in 2001 with sponsorship from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to conduct challenging, or ‘cutting edge,’ research projects. It is now in its second five-year phase, under the direction of Dr Ken Young, and the key areas of research will be lean healthcare and intelligent and eco-friendly vehicles.
Dr Mallinson, a Chartered Electrical Engineer, who took up his post in 2005, is responsible for administration, project monitoring, reporting, strategy and promotion as well as maintaining links with other departments within Warwick, other IMRCs, industry and potential funding organisations.
He explains: “The research we do tends to be more adventurous and risky. We are here to do longer-term multi-disciplinary research in the hope that we can generate new knowledge that WMG can then exploit in its applied research.
"To make Warwick IMRC number one in the UK our projects each need to have a ‘wow’ factor and the outcomes need to be relevant, exploitable and able to make a difference.”
Dr Mallinson’s own experience of industry and academia has convinced him that no organisation can afford to be complacent. Following a PhD at Imperial College he worked for Cambridge Consultants before spending nearly 20 years at GEC Marconi. Working in the semiconductor field he held a number of posts in product development and marketing. In 2002, he embarked on an MBA with the Open University, to maximise future employment prospects and to give a theoretical context to his years of experience.
He says: “Things had changed in that years ago you did so many years at a job and it was recognised that you had experience. In recent years it became expected that you needed academic business qualifications too – the rules had changed so I had to play the game.”
The same challenges are faced by WMG, which he says needs to constantly ‘reinvent’ itself in order to move with the times. “All aspects of life are constantly changing and no-one can rest on their laurels. We all have to appreciate different perspectives, adapt to changing circumstances work with other departments.”
Throughout his career Dr Mallinson has built links with a number of universities, using their expertise to help develop new product ideas and tackle ‘risky stuff’ that wouldn’t be done in-house.
This made him ideally placed for joining Warwick IMRC when he came to the end of his MBA and was made redundant from Dynex Semiconductor Limited where he was vice-president for sales and marketing. He believes his industrial experience has enabled him to take a "helicopter view of the big picture."
”One of the challenges now is to build up relationships with MPs, peers and industrial opinion formers in the region. Our research is directly relevant to the UK economy so we need to lobby government departments on the need to direct more funding towards our activities.”
Dr Nick Mallinson
Tel: +44(0)24 76572696
Fax: +44(0)24 76524307