Founder and Chairman of WMG, Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, has been presented with a Coventry Award of Merit, an honour established in order to highlight the efforts of local people in raising the profile and reputation of the City.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya was chosen as a recipient of the prestigious award for his outstanding personal achievement as the founder of WMG, raising the status of engineering and manufacturing in the UK and for his service to the promotion of the University and the City of Coventry.
The Coventry Award of Merit ceremony was held on Saturday 11 January at St Mary’s Guildhall in Coventry. Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s award was introduced at the ceremony by Professor Nigel Thrift, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, and was presented to him by the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Gary Crookes, in front of an invited audience of distinguished guests.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya said:
I am delighted to have received this distinguished award from the City of Coventry, where WMG was founded in 1980. It is a tremendous honour for me, WMG and the University.”
The Coventry Awards of Merit were first established in the 1960s. Previous recipients of the awards include jet engine inventor Sir Frank Whittle KBE (1966), Sir Basil Spence OBE , Coventry Cathedral architect and designer (1970) and poet Philip Larkin CBE (1978). The Awards were last granted in 2011.
Councillor Phil Townshend, Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council said:
There are so many people in Coventry who have put our City on the map… It is important for the Council to promote this Award. We should publicly acknowledge behaviour reflecting the highest ideals of citizenship or outstanding performance. In doing so it brings our city closer together and inspires our younger generation.”
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has been at the heart of business and championing manufacturing for over 30 years. He has been intensively involved in the British Automotive industry, and recently announced further success through the development of the pioneering National Automotive Innovation Campus (NAIC) which will be located at the University of Warwick. NAIC will provide a national focus and a critical mass of automotive research capability, combining the expertise nationally and internationally from industry, universities, supply chain companies and SMEs.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya established WMG, formerly Warwick Manufacturing Group, in 1980 in order to reinvigorate UK manufacturing through the application of cutting edge research and effective knowledge transfer. The group started small - just an office, the Professor and his secretary - but by working collaboratively with industrial partners, WMG has grown into a global force in a wide range of fields, from automotive research to innovations in healthcare.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has published extensively in the field of manufacturing and is advisor to many companies, governments and organisations around the world. He has been honoured many times. He was honoured with a CBE in 1997, awarded a knighthood in 2003 for services to higher education and industry and was elevated to the House of Lords in 2004.