Dr Stuart Barnes’ background means he is able to ‘talk the same language’ as people from industry.
Since 2002 Dr Barnes has been Director of Professional Programmes at WMG.
He has responsibility for all the part-time education programmes which the Group runs with industrial partners in the UK.
The programmes give an opportunity for everyone from the shop floor to senior management level to develop new skills to improve their business and gain a qualification for themselves.
Participants can either join a post-experience programme, for instance if they have never studied for a degree, or enter at Masters level – and there is the chance for people to move up from one level to another.
Companies can either register their employees on the established ‘open’ programmes which WMG has to offer, or take advantage of a more ‘bespoke’ approach, by which WMG can adapt a series of modules specifically for their needs.
Dr Barnes is a metallurgist by profession and spent 13 years in industry with NEI Thompson and GKN Technology, studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham in between.
He joined WMG in 1992 to research the conventional and laser machining of composite materials, then became increasingly involved in the MSc and doctorate programmes in the UK and abroad.
In his current role he is responsible for marketing, operation and development, building and maintaining relationships with companies, improving efficiency and overseeing a 12-strong team of programme managers and administrative support staff.
Dr Barnes says: “The Professional Programmes were started by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya in the early days of WMG with three founding partner companies and we have retained this partnership ethos in everything we do.
“This was quite ground-breaking at the time because the companies themselves were involved in the design and development of the programmes which were created specifically to improve the performance of their businesses while maintaining the academic rigour required for a University of Warwick qualification.
“There is also more incentive for employees to fully commit to the programmes if they can gain a qualification for themselves.”
WMG now engages with a wide range of companies including our traditional partners in the automotive and aerospace sectors as well as more recent partners in other sectors such as railways, pharmaceutical, defence logistics, banking, nuclear power and construction.
Dr Barnes says: “My background in industry, research & development and education helps me to communicate effectively with industrialists so that we can work together to develop educational programmes which produce real business benefit for their organisation.”
Dr Barnes also spent four years on the Engineering Doctorate Executive and maintains an active research and teaching interest with doctorate and MSc students in the UK and abroad.
He is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Scientist, a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.