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Professor Lord Bhattacharyya honoured with a lifetime achievement award

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya In a prestigious ceremony on 28 January the Director of WMG Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya was presented with the award for Lifetime Contribution to Midlands Business.

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 that Jaguar Land Rover will be establishing an Advanced Technology Centre at WMG co-locating 160 R&D people to work on the development of new technology, with a special focus on low carbon vehicle technology, digital technology and materials technology to name but a few.

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 Lords in 2004.

The Midlands Business Awards is an annual event that celebrates the success and innovation from across the region.  On hearing that he had been given this accolade Professor Lord Bhattacharyya said “I am delighted to receive this award, we started in the Midlands, this is our base and our support is here.  It is a tremendous honour for me, WMG and the University of Warwick”.

Professor Nigel Thrift, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick added:

“Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has been a pioneer of partnership between manufacturing and University research and teaching. Many jobs have been created, and the boundaries of scientific knowledge have been pushed back, by the strength of his advocacy of such partnerships and his effectiveness in actually delivering such partnerships. His leadership in this field has benefited our region and continues to have a global impact.”

Today WMG holds a unique position between academic and industry, with an annual programme of over £120 million per year; it operates across four buildings at Warwick, with a further building to be completed in 2012, has education centres in six countries and employs over 450 people. Over the last 30 years WMG’s reach has expanded as the strategic need for industrial research & development and innovation has grown, with WMG academics leading projects beyond traditional applied engineering and manufacturing design into new sectors such as health, banking, the built environment, aerospace, energy and utilities to name a few. The research capabilities of the group include ceramics, polymers and composites, sustainable materials, digital innovation, cyber security, digital healthcare, experiential engineering, hybrids, supply chain, simulation and modelling.  Internationally, many governments including the United States, India, Germany and China have come to the group to study how WMG operates in order to develop similar centres in their own countries.

WMG's success has been founded on both academic research and industrial relevance, an approach that has benefits for students who want successful careers in industry and for businesses that wish to develop the next generation of skilled leaders. Last week the group announced a new Industrial Doctoral Centre in High Value, Low Environmental Impact Manufacturing.

In February 2010, the Queen formally presented WMG with a Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher and Further Education. The Award is a national honour recognising world-class excellence - in any aspect of an institution’s work - which demonstrates evidence of originality, innovation and benefit for the wider community. 

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications, Communications Office,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom     
Tel: (+44) (0)24 7652 3708  Mobile: (+44) (0)7767 655860

PR11 30th January 2011