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Our Timeline

In 1980 Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya had a vision to improve the competitiveness of organisations through the application of value adding innovation, new technologies and skills deployment, bringing academic rigour to industrial and organisational practice.

Four decades later, we continue to drive innovation through our pioneering research and education programmes, in partnership with organisations, in both the private and public sectors, both nationally and globally in applied science, technology and engineering, to deliver real impact to economic growth, society and the environment.

We have grown into an international role model for how universities and business can successfully work together.

Here are some of our highlights.



1980: WMG founded by the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Kt, CBE, FREng, FRS, Regius Professor of Manufacturing

1980: Started working with the Automotive sector

1981: Launch of the first Integrated Graduate Development Scheme – a modular Master’s Degree

1981: £3m CAD centre opened

1981: Launch of first Master’s Degree – MSc in Manufacturing Systems Engineering

1981: Collaboration with British Leyland Cars aimed at improving manufacturing operations at their midlands plants under the nationwide 'company teaching' scheme set up by Science and Engineering Research Council

1982: Arden House opens – the first centre of its kind at a UK university, used for executive training as companies send their staff on professional short courses

1985: Started working with the Aerospace sector

1987: Awarded 1st prize from a Department of Trade and Industry competition for successful collaboration between industry and higher education

1988: Rolls Royce formed hi-tech research unit in the Advanced Technology Centre focusing on advanced ceramic technology for the aerospace industry


1990: First overseas programmes offered with Hong Kong Polytechnic University

1990: Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opens the Advanced Technology Centre

1992: Pioneers of the first Engineering Doctorate Programme (EngD) launched with EPSRC support

1992: Engineering Management Building opens

1994: First programmes offered in Thailand with Chulalongkorn University

1995: Started working with the Pharmaceutical / IT sectors

1995: Started working with the Construction sector

1995: International Manufacturing Centre opens and becomes WMG HQ

1995: Launch of programmes with the Confederation of Indian Industry

1995: Launch of programmes in Malaysia with the University Teknologi Malaysia

1995: Improving quality of new homes with a £1m collaboration project with Westbury Homes

1997: Partnership with BAE Systems on the Procurement Developing You (PDY) SEiB Programme

1998: Launch of programmes with the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Affairs Experts


2002: National B2B centre established to support SMEs with digital and IT training

2002: Launch of EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre

2003: Started working with the Rail sector

2003: Network Rail Stepping Stones Programme launches

2003: £72m Premium Automotive Research and Development programme launches

2006: Partnership with SIM and SIMTech in Singapore begins

2006: Started working with the Financial Services sector

2006: Started working with the Heritage sector

2008: Institute of Digital Healthcare launched with the NHS and Warwick Medical School

2008: International Digital Laboratory opensWorld F3rst Racing

2009: Start of collaboration with Hong Kong Vocational Training Council

2009: World’s First F3 car hits the headlines

2009: WMG Awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education


2010: £19M Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project launches

2010: World's First racing car powered by chocolate and vegetable oil which can hit speeds of 145 mph following the researchers developing the first biodegradable Formula One car 'Eco One' in 2007

2010: Custom Programme delivered for Lloyds Bank which became the standard for other banks to follow

2011: The High Value Manufacturing Catapult launches with WMG being a founding member

2011: New EPSRC Doctoral Centre in High Value Low Environmental Impact Manufacturing launches

2011: New unique Vehicle Energy Facility opens which is the UK's only purpose built hybrid powertrain testing facility

2011: Collaboration with Premier Group to design a lightweight Olympic Torch

2012: Jaguar Land Rover Technical Accreditation Scheme programme begins

2012: International Institute for Product and Service Innovation opens

2013: Launch of the Applied Engineering Programme our first part-time degree for apprentices

2013: Automotive Composites Research Centre funding announced

2014: First WMG Academy for Young Engineers opens in Coventry

2014: Energy Innovation Centre opens

2014: International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing opens

2014: New EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing launches

2014: Government/Industry Advanced Propulsion Centre opens their hub in the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation

2015: Announcement of WMG as the Electrical Energy Storage Spoke for the APC

2015: First of many successful projects with West Midlands Police using 3D scanning technology to detect crimes

sol_44.jpg2016: Second WMG Academy for Young Engineers opens in Solihull

2016: Development of new bespoke engineering degree with Dyson

2016: WMG granted Regius Professorship in Manufacturing from the Queen

2017: The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Centre opens which contains the Advanced Steels Research Centre and the Make-Like Production Facility

2017: WMG invited to be part of the consortium to develop the new UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, the £80m scale up stage of the Faraday Battery Challenge which is part of the UK Industrial Strategy

2018: Announcement of plans for new £20 million UK Mobility Data Institute in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority

2018: £25M Midlands Future Mobility connected and autonomous vehicle testbed project - consortium led by WMG

2018: Materials Engineering Centre opens

2018: The WMG HVM Catapult secures a further £100m funding for the next five years

2019: Degree Apprenticeship Centre opens dedicated to students in industry studying for their degree whilst working

2019: The National Automotive Innovation Centre opens in the Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building