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New £10 million Warwick Centre in High Value, Low Environmental Impact Manufacturing

WMG at the University of Warwick has been awarded one of five new Industrial Doctorate Centres announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). EPSRC are funding five new Industrial Doctorate Centres to address fundamental engineering challenges in advanced manufacturing engineering. The WMG centre will focus on High Value, Low Environmental Impact Manufacturing.

The new Centres will train Engineering Doctorate (EngD) students. These four-year postgraduate awards are intended for the UK’s leading researchers pursuing a career in industry. It provides postgraduate engineers with an intensive, broad-based research programme incorporating a taught component relevant to the needs of, and undertaken in partnership with, industry. It is a radical alternative to the traditional PhD, being better suited to the needs of industry and providing a more vocationally orientated doctorate degree, with the student spending a significant proportion of their time working in a company.

Each centre will support a cohort of at least 6 to 10 doctorate students per year for 4 years. The centres will provide an experience that will ensure these students are very well placed to become the industrial research leaders of tomorrow. In the case of WMG at the University of Warwick its core support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council combined with  industry, totals £10m, enabling initial cohorts of 10 participants an annum that will rapidly expand to a level of 30 new participants an annum.  

WMG Director Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya  said :

“Our vision is to produce a new generation of manufacturing leaders with the high-level know-how and research experience essential to compete in a global manufacturing environment defined by high impact and low carbon. They will be adept at working in multidisciplinary teams and exceptionally well networked internationally, and with demonstrable entrepreneurial flair. The WMG based Centre will address industrially challenging issues that enable companies to develop and implement effective low-environmental impact technology and policies that also benefit the ‘bottom line’. 

WMG will provide students with unrivalled access to industrial, international, academic, policy maker and political networks. At the core of WMG the Centre will be individual doctoral research projects based on real opportunities and problems in industry, which will deliver research excellence and innovations in industry. Multidisciplinary team working is built in to the WMG programme. Entrepreneurship will also be stressed as the Warwick research students will work together in a group project to take a “product” to market, part of a programme which will see them concurrently  gaining a Masters degree in Technology Entrepreneurship.  Participants will also benefit from time spent at one of WMG's international partners."

The five industrially-led research centres announced at the University of Warwick, Strathclyde, Swansea, Sheffield, and Nottingham, will address topical advanced manufacturing technologies, and are based in university departments with a strong track record of working in partnership with industry. EPSRC provides part of the costs for each training centre  with the remainder coming from a mix of university and industry funding.

The companies involved in these centres include JLR, Rolls-Royce, Corus, Timet, Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing and a wide range of other partners. In Warwick’s case its major partner is Jaguar Land Rover, but many other leading organisations are involved in the WMG Centre  including: IBM, the Motorsport Industry Association, Nikon, Oleo, PTC, RDM, Siemens and Tata Steel.

 Jaguar Land Rover Head of Research Dr Tony Harper said:

“I look forward to the new Centre developing high quality graduates who, as future manufacturing leaders, are fully conversant with the global business environment and the importance of low carbon, from an economic as well as an environmental standpoint.”

Speaking about the new centres, the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said:

“These new centres will generate a new wave of engineers with the knowledge and skills needed to become future business leaders and create new innovation and economic growth for the UK.

“They focus on key areas of advanced manufacturing, which are vital to the UK’s major industrial sectors including the aerospace and automotive industry. These talented young innovators will help fuel future economic growth for the UK.”

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
University of Warwick 024 76 523708 
or  mobile  07767 655860
p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

Breea Keenan / Emma Griffiths, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Press Office,
Tel: 0207 215 5361, E-mail: emma.griffiths@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Notes for Editors

  • The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) is a well established four- year postgraduate award intended for the UK’s leading researchers aiming for a career in industry. It provides postgraduate engineers with an intensive, broad-based research programme incorporating a taught component relevant to the needs of, and undertaken in partnership with, industry. It is a radical alternative to the traditional PhD, being better suited to the needs of industry and providing a more vocationally orientated doctorate degree, with the student spending a significant proportion of their time working in industry.

  • The Engineering and Physical Sciences research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC also actively promotes public awareness of science and engineering. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via research Councils UK.

PR4   PJD  13th January 2011

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