Earliest known Mariner’s Astrolabe research published today to go in Guinness Book of Records

Guinness World Records have independently certified an astrolabe excavated from the wreck site of a Portuguese Armada Ship that was part of Vasco da Gama’s second voyage to India in 1502-1503 as the oldest in the world, and have separately certified a ship’s bell (dated 1498) recovered from the same wreck site also as the oldest in the world.The astrolabe. Credit: David Mearns

A gunmetal disc excavated from the wreck site of a Portuguese Armada Ship and identified as a mariner’s astrolabe – and the earliest known example - by engineers at WMG, University of Warwick is to be published in the The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology

The astrolabe was discovered by David L. Mearns of Blue Water Recoveries Ltd, who directed the three-year archaeological project in collaboration with Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture

It has been named the Sodré astrolabe after the commander of the ship in which it was found: Vicente Sodré was the maternal uncle of Vasco da Gama and died when his ship, the Esmeralda, wrecked on the remote Omani Island of Al Hallaniyah in 1503.

It will be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest mariner’s astrolabe from as early as 1496

The scientific process of verifying the disc as an astrolabe by laser imaging is described in a paper published today by Mearns and Jason Warnett and Mark Williams of WMG at the University of Warwick in The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.

The Sodré astrolabe which has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records is believed to have been made between 1496 and 1501 and is unique in comparison to all other mariner’s astrolabes.

Mariner’s Astrolabes were used for navigating at sea by early explorers, most notably the Portuguese and Spanish.

They are considered to be the rarest and most prized of artefacts to be found on ancient shipwrecks and only 104 examples are known to exist in the world.

They were first used at sea on a Portuguese voyage down the west coast of Africa in 1481. Thereafter, astrolabes were relied on for navigation during the most important explorations of the late 15th century, including those led by Bartolomeu Dias, Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama.

It is the only solid disk type astrolabe with a verifiable provenance and the only specimen decorated with a national symbol: the royal coat of arms of Portugal. GWR Astrolabe Credit: David Mearns

As the earliest verifiable mariner’s astrolabe it fills a chronological gap in the development of these iconic instruments and is believed to be a transitional instrument between the classic planispheric astrolabe and the open-wheel type astrolabe that came into use sometime before 1517.

The thin 175 mm diameter disk weighing 344 grams was analysed by a team from WMG who travelled to Muscat, Oman in November 2016 to collect laser scans of a selection of the most important artefacts recovered from the wreck site.  

Using a portable 7-axis Nikon laser scanner, capable of collecting over 50,000 points per second at an accuracy of 60 microns, a 3D virtual model of the artefact was created. Analysis of the results revealed a series of 18 scale marks spaced at uniform intervals along the limb of the disk.

Further analysis by WMG engineers showed that the spacing of the scale marks was equivalent to 5-degree intervals. This was critical evidence that allowed independent experts at Texas A&M University to include the disk in their global inventory as the earliest known mariner’s astrolabe discovered to date.

Prof Mark Williams from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

“Using this 3D scanning technology has enabled us to confirm the identity of the earliest known astrolabe, from this historians and scientists can determine more about history and how ships navigated.

Technology like this betters our understanding of how the disc would have worked back in the 15th century. Using technology normally applied within engineering projects to help shed insight into such a valuable artefact was a real privilege”

David Mearns of Blue Water Recoveries Ltd comments:

“Without the laser scanning work performed by WMG we would never have known that the scale marks, which were invisible to the naked eye, existed. Their analysis proved beyond doubt that the disk was a mariner’s astrolabe. This has allowed us to confidently place the Sodré astrolabe in its correct chronological position and propose it to be an important transitional instrument.”


First look at Coventry’s Innovative Light Rail Vehicle

Engineers and researchers at WMG, University of Warwick, are working alongside Transport Design International (TDI), based in Stratford, to develop a battery-powered, lightweight, rail-based vehicle to operate in Coventry.

Coventry VLR ExteriorThe WMG team, including engineers Darren Hughes and Andrew McGordon, are using their automotive engineering and battery expertise to assist TDI with the design of the vehicle for Coventry City Council, and now have a 3D simulation of the vehicle.

The vehicle will be battery-powered with the long term objective that it will become an autonomous vehicle, allowing more vehicles to operate intelligently and efficiently to meet passenger demand.

It will hold 50 passengers, and the longer term aim is that it will work like the London Underground system, where there is no timetable and people can hop on and off.

The vehicle will be a lightweight design using multiple materials including aluminium, steel and composites.

Due to being battery-powered there will be no overhead power supply which is both costly and has a negative impact to the city-scape. This feature provides future flexibility for operating on other non-electrified routes.

The first-of-a-kind design is available to view in 3D via WMG’s visualisation suite and the first test vehicle will be manufactured by mid-2020. TDI have partnered with Coventry-based Company RDM who will manufacture the vehicle once the design is complete.

A team of experts are also working to develop a new track system.

The Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) has contributed £2.46 million towards phase one of the research and design of the prototype and £12.2 million has been secured from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Devolution Deal to undertake the research and development required to prove the VLR concept.

The WMCA has also allocated specialist resource from Transport for West Midlands to provide technical support, advice and guidance to the project team as the scheme develops.

Dr Darren Hughes, WMG, University of Warwick comments:

“The Coventry light-rail system will be innovative in bringing together technologies from a number of sectors to deliver a low-cost environmentally-sustainable public transport solution for the City of Coventry. Seeing the 3D simulation and envisaging how it will look within Coventry makes us look forward to building the first vehicle that will be ready for testing at a test track facility during 2020.”

Very Light RailCouncillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, comments:

“Very Light rail is a fantastic innovation and it has the potential to transform the way people travel. It will be much more affordable to install than traditional trams, take up far less road space, be able to run alongside traffic and our ultimate aim is that it doesn’t require a driver so it can be a frequent service.

“Coventry has a rich traditional of vehicle manufacturing and now we are leading the way in future transport too. This Very Light Rail work, combined with our work on driverless and connected cars puts us right at the forefront of creating new, ground breaking solutions for future transport needs. They will be safer and more environmentally friendly and I hope go on to provide good job opportunities for local people too.”

Jonathan Browning, chair of the CWLEP, comments:

“Coventry and Warwickshire is at the forefront of battery technology and this exciting scheme emphasises our skills at leading the way in innovation.

“This new technology will bring more jobs and investment to Coventry and Warwickshire and it underlines the value of partnership working to boost the area’s economy.

“It is great news that the prototype of the Very Light Rail vehicle will be built ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021 when the area’s profile will be boosted on a global stage.”


WMG researcher takes research to Parliament

WMG Research Fellow, Sid-Ali Amamra, has been selected to present his work at the prestigious STEM for BRITAIN event on Wednesday 13th March.

The event takes place at Westminster with around 100 MPs in attendance to hear more about the current science, engineering and mathematics research by early-stage and early-career researchers in the UK.

Sid-Ali works within WMG’s Intelligent Vehicles research team focusing on the advanced energy management systems for electrical networks and power systems integrating plug-in electric vehicle with Li-ion battery technologies.

Sid-Ali’s poster on research about the Vehicle-To-Grid (V2G) technology supervision using internet of things (IoT) will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind. He was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.

Sid-Ali explains: “I feel happy to present WMG at this event. It is a fantastic opportunity for me to communicate my research to an interesting audience and to present the high impact of my project for helping government to reach the net-zero emissions UK’s target in near future.

“It gives me a chance to go to Parliament and be in the company of MPs, policymakers and key figures, as well as others researchers from around the country. At STEM for BRITAIN, I want to explain the promising results of using V2G technology to help achieve the UK’s zero emission target.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said:

“This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Sid-Ali’s research has been entered into the engineering session of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony.

Judged by leading academics, the gold medalist receives £2,000, while silver and bronze receive £1,250 and £750 respectively.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology, The Physiological Society and the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, with financial support from the Clay Mathematics Institute, United Kingdom Research and Innovation, WMG, Society of Chemical Industry, the Nutrition Society, Institute of Biomedical Science, the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research and the Comino Foundation.

WMG is proud to be sponsoring the Engineering section for the third year.

Find out more about STEM for Britain here.

Fri 08 March 2019, 12:36 | Tags: STEM Homepage Article 1

Obituary of PROFESSOR LORD KUMAR BHATTACHARYYA  Kt, CBE, FRS, FREng, Regius Professor of Manufacturing 6th JUNE 1940 – 1st MARCH 2019

PROFESSOR LORD KUMAR BHATTACHARYYA Kt, CBE, FRS, FREng, Regius Professor of Manufacturing

6th JUNE 1940 – 1st MARCH 2019

Early Years
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s long and highly accomplished career in engineering and manufacturing began with his studies in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur. He was awarded his Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree by Kharagpur in 1960.

In 1961 he came to the UK to serve a six year graduate apprenticeship at Lucas Industries. This was followed by further studies and research at the University of Birmingham earning him a Master of Science (MSc) degree in engineering production and management, followed by a PhD in engineering production in 1970.

Lucas and the University of Birmingham clearly saw something special as he was quickly awarded a Lucas Fellowship at Birmingham. However, his acumen and ability soon became known to a great many other people. This included Lord (then just plain Jack) Butterworth who in 1980 persuaded him to move to the University of Warwick to found and lead what was to become WMG (formerly Warwick Manufacturing Group).

The range of people seeing something special in Kumar was not confined to his professional life, in 1981 he married Brigid Carmel Rabbitt, known to all as Bridie and together they set about restoring their home.

Just a few short years after WMG’s foundation the leadership of the embattled Austin Rover group, at British Leyland, turned to Lord Bhattacharyya and his new team for advice on adapting and innovating automotive design and professional development.

Read more here.

Wed 06 March 2019, 12:39 | Tags: Homepage Article 1 Lord Bhattacharyya

Death of Professor Lord Bhattacharyya

It is with the deepest regret that we report that Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG at the University of Warwick, passed away on Friday 1st March after a short illness. His passing was peaceful and he was with his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sir David Normington, Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor of University of Warwick said:

“Long before I joined the University of Warwick Council, I knew of Professor Lord Bhattacharyya as an adviser to successive Prime Ministers and Secretaries of State and a tireless advocate for UK manufacturing industry. Then, as Chair of Council I had the great good fortune to see close up his extraordinary commitment to University of Warwick, to Coventry and the West Midlands and to UK plc.

“He was a force of nature. He pushed at boundaries, he changed lives, he created jobs, and he set the standard for how universities should work with industry. Most of all, for so many of us, he was also a kind and generous friend. We shall miss him terribly but here at Warwick he will remain our inspiration for many years to come.

“We send our love and deep condolences to Bridie and his family.”

Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart Croft said:

“Professor Lord Bhattacharyya served for four decades at Warwick founding and leading WMG. However his service goes far beyond this University. The achievements of WMG, particularly his own wisdom, passion, and advocacy of the importance of manufacturing, technology, research teaching, and training has helped guide regional, national and international leaders, business figures and policy makers. He has helped preserve and create jobs and transform companies, economies, and individual lives, above all in our region. We mourn the passing of a unique man but we also celebrate all that he has achieved and are thankful that those achievements will have a massive impact for years to come.”

The University will post a longer tribute to his life and achievements in the coming days. Professor Lord Bhattacharyya's life touched so many people who we know will want to show their respects and commemorate his life and achievements. We therefore envisage that there will be a memorial event in due course and we publish the arrangements when they are available.

It was Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s wish that the University ask Professor David Mullins to become the Acting Head of WMG and he has accepted that role. Professor Mullins said:

“It has been a great honour and privilege to have worked so closely with Professor Lord Bhattacharyya for over 20 years. At this sad time, we are all focused on growing the amazing organisation for research, education and impact that he created for national and international benefit.”

Please find his full obituary here...

Fri 01 March 2019, 13:41 | Tags: Homepage Article 1 Lord Bhattacharyya

Universities of Warwick and Birmingham partner to boost West Midlands economy

Ways to reduce social inequality in the West Midlands and boost productivity will be researched thanks to an £800,000 research project, led by Warwick Business School with WMG at the University of Warwick, and City-REDI at the University of Birmingham.

WMG and Warwick Business School from the University of Warwick and City-REDI at the University of Birmingham will examine the factors that constrain firm-level innovation and productivity across the region, with a particular focus on the role of skills shortages, the importance of supply chains and impacts of foreign direct investment.

They will also work in collaboration with regional stakeholders, including the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Midlands Engine, five Local Enterprise Partnerships and private sector firms including Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin. More widely, the project will connect with the CBI - building on their recent productivity work- the Chambers of Commerce, TUC and Unite.

As well as contributing to the local industrial strategy the research team will examine trade-offs between policies and practices which target improvements in productivity against other development goals.

In particular, understanding how productivity improvements and related policies can contribute to inclusive growth which reduces inequalities within and across regions, or heighten such inequalities is a central aim of the research.

Professor Nigel Driffield, the leader of the project from WBS, University of Warwick said:
Driffield
“This is an exciting project that will look to feed into the region’s industrial strategy. The West Midlands is known as the manufacturing hub of the UK, but it needs to build on this reputation, attracting more investment and more jobs to the area, particularly with the threat of Brexit looming.

"This project has three stands: researching regional Differences, skills and inclusive growth, plus investigating investment decisions, foreign investment and trade; and finally evaluating analytics enabled supply chains and operational productivity.”

Professor Janet Godsell of WMG, University of Warwick comments:
Jan Godsell
“For over 25 years it has been recognised that supply chains compete and not individual companies, but the focus has remained on company productivity.

"This project provides an opportunity to create a step change in productivity, by working with end-to-end supply chains supporting the regions automotive and infrastructure sectors, to improve end-to-end supply chain productivity.”

Director of City-REDI and project lead for Birmingham, Professor Simon Collinson, said:

“I am very pleased to be working with our partners at Warwick University on a project that is so critical to the future economic well-being of the region. The UK lags behind other countries in terms of average productivity and the West Midlands lags behind the UK average.

"But we cannot focus on productivity in isolation of other challenges. By contributing to a reduction in social inequality, alongside promoting economic growth, we are continuing the legacy of the University of Birmingham as a long-standing anchor institution in the Birmingham city-region.”

Professor Anne Green from City-REDI said:

“The foci of the research at City-REDI on skills and inclusive growth issues is in line with key concerns with regional policy makers.”

Mon 18 February 2019, 16:19 | Tags: Supply Chain and Operations Homepage Article 1 Jan Godsell

Primary school children build electric racing cars with help from WMG Warwick

Primary school children from three TSSMAT (The Small Schools Multi-Academy Trust) schools from Staffordshire will be building and racing their own Greenpower Formula Goblin electric cars with support from WMG at the University of Warwick. All three schools will compete at a national Greenpower race-day event in June.Children from St Mary's building the car

Children in years 5 and 6 at The Howard Primary School in Elford and St Mary’s CofE Primary in Colton will join pupils at The Richard Crosse School in Kings Bromley in this challenge, building on the successful launch of the initiative at Richard Crosse in 2018.

The children, aged 9-11, began assembling their cars from a kit of parts received back in January. When the kit is complete they will design and construct bespoke bodywork for their cars before moving on to driver training in the school playgrounds to ensure they are fully prepared for race day in the summer term.

The project embodies key practical engineering skills, working together as a team, and writing up their progress in their individual project portfolios to earn Greenpower STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) awards from the AQA examination board.

Each school team also produces regular video diary updates to share their progress online with peers, siblings, parents and the wider community. Their Twitter handles are @StMarysRacing, @TheHowardRacing and @RCrosseRacing.

Formula Goblin is one of a series of age-graded motor-racing challenges set up by the Greenpower Education Trust to address the skills gap that is growing in the UK automotive industry. It is designed to engage students with maths, science and design technology, at early age and promoting equality and team working regardless of economic background or gender. The project aims to raise pupils’ awareness and enjoyment of STEM subjects and inspire them to consider STEM careers in their future.Children at The Howard Primary School

This year TSSMAT wanted to expand the project across more of their schools to create a larger local community of budding young engineers. The project is funded by the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre, a government body established to support and promote the development of next generation automotive technology here in the UK. Direct support for the schools is delivered by WMG at The University of Warwick who are a member of the APC’s higher-education spoke community.

Dr Antony Allen from WMG who will be working closely with the schools comments:

“It’s fantastic to expand this project to two more schools within TSSMAT. One of the best aspects of my role here at WMG is the wonderful experience of working with future engineers of all ages, from my post-graduate Warwick automotive students through to excited year 5 and 6 pupils at our local primary schools. It’s a very rewarding experience for everyone involved”

Executive head teacher of the trust, Mr Paul Lovern, comments:

“I am thrilled that once again, The Small Schools Multi Academy Trust is involved in the Greenpower initiative.

“The children at all three schools have been inspired to take part and develop their engineering skills. This project embraces so many areas of the curriculum and demonstrates a curriculum that is enriching, at its best! I hope that from the ‘green shoots’ that are emerging, the children are inspired to become engineers of the future.

“I look forward to Race Day, however I will have to remain very neutral with regards to who becomes the overall winning school!”

Tue 12 February 2019, 11:52 | Tags: Public engagement Homepage Article 1

Smarter, greener, cleaner steel: £35 million boost for research to transform UK steel industry

A smart, green and clean steel industry will come a giant step closer thanks to a new £35 million research network, announced today, which will see steelmakers and University experts work together on a seven-year research programme to transform the UK steel sector.

The network, called SUSTAIN, is to transform the whole steel supply chain, making it cleaner, greener and smarter, and more responsive to the fast-changing needs of customers. Its work will be concentrated on two areas:

· Zero waste iron and steelmaking, with the aim of making the industry carbon-neutral by 2040: Steel is already the world’s most recycled material, but the network will investigate new ways of making the industry’s processes and products even greener, such as harvesting untapped energy sources, capturing carbon emissions and re-processing societal and industrial waste streams.

· Smart steel processing: like any 21st century industry, steelmaking involves masses of data. SUSTAIN will develop new ways of acquiring and using this data to improve the steels produced as well as in new metallurgical processes, which can deliver bespoke high tech products.

Steel is the most widely-used structural material in the world. If a product isn’t made of steel it’s made using steel. Steel is at the heart of UK manufacturing sectors such as the car industry, construction, packaging and defence. It is an indispensable component of the UK’s future national infrastructure such as transport, communications and energy, and for high-tech 21st century industries, from energy-positive buildings to wind turbines and electric vehicles.

The work of SUSTAIN is projected to:

- Double UK steel manufacturers’ gross value added (GVA) by 2030

- Boost jobs in the industry to 35,000

- Increase productivity by 15%

SUSTAIN involves more than twenty partners across the UK steel industry: companies, trade bodies, research organisations and academic experts including WMG, University of Warwick. The network is being supported by £12.5M investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as one of their Future Manufacturing Research Hubs, along with significant investment from the steel companies within the UK.

The announcement is a landmark as it is the first time that UK steel producers and representatives from the manufacturing sector have lined up behind a co-ordinated programme of research. It is also the largest ever single investment in steel research by a UK research council.

The plan is that SUSTAIN will be a seed from which much wider research and innovation will grow, drawing on expertise across UK academia and beyond.

Professor Claire Davis, from WMG, University of Warwick comments: “The UK has a rich tradition of research excellence and innovation in steel metallurgy. SUSTAIN will bring together leading research groups in this area, as well as introducing new expertise in big data and supply chain innovation, to work collaboratively with the UK industry.

The network will be able to tackle the large issues facing the steel industry, particularly in becoming low energy, carbon neutral, dynamic and responsive to customer needs. It is an exciting time to be working on steel as there are opportunities to contribute to making the planet a greener place.”

Dr Cameron Pleydell-Pearce, steel expert at Swansea University and SUSTAIN’s deputy director, said: “This news is a massive vote of confidence in the steel industry. It will support the industry’s vision for a responsible, innovative and creative future. We are already on the road to clean, green and smart steelmaking, but this is another giant step forward.

Research and innovation are the bedrock of a modern steel industry. This network represents almost the whole UK steel sector, with researchers and companies working together on an unprecedented scale. Here in Swansea we’re proud to lead it.”

Gareth Stace, UK Steel Director General, said: "This new boost of innovation funding into the sector is a vital piece of the puzzle to help deliver our vision of a cutting-edge, vibrant, and sustainable steel industry in the UK.

The future success of our sector rests on our ability to remain at the forefront of product and process innovation, delivering the new steel products demanded by our customers and society. This new hub will enable us to do just that.”

Mon 11 February 2019, 13:35 | Tags: Claire Davis Steels Processing Homepage Article 2 Research

Grad job applications now open for WMG

WMG GradGrad jobs are now being advertised at WMG, University of Warwick. There are 13 jobs available starting September 2019, which will be working on projects such as Automation Systems, Energy Innovation and Smart Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

The closing date to apply is the 15th March 2019.

Following the successful launch of the WMG Graduate Development Programme last year, WMG has launched recruitment for its 2019 graduate programme, with 13 places available to graduates from all Higher Education Institutes.

The programme is designed for aspiring engineers and follows three pathways – Automation Systems, Energy Innovation and Smart Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. The Graduate Trainee’s will be working alongside academics, and industry partners.

Starting in September 2019, the programme will last for two years during which graduates will complete five/six different placements, each offering the opportunity to develop their engineering skills and knowledge in key areas, with the chance to apply these skills to real-world research and development.

On completion of the scheme, the graduates will be equipped with the skills to apply for roles such as a Project Engineer or Project Manager, or pave the way for future studies such as a Master’s or PhD.

Puja UnadkatWMG Graduate Trainee Engineer Puja Unadkat joined the scheme following her graduation from the University of Warwick:

"There is so much support offered here, not just from your peers, but from your mentors and managers too. There are regular discussions on how you can develop and enhance your skills and knowledge to steer your career in your chosen direction. There is such a variety of opportunities offered, such as the chance to attend professional conferences, as well as gaining a project management qualification. Progression and development is at the heart of the organisations culture and it really shows.”

WMG Graduate Trainee Engineer Ben Ayre, also joined the scheme last year following his graduation from the University of Warwick.

Current WMG Grad job recruit Ben Ayre

“My highlights so far have included working on multi mullion pound projects with a variety of organisations to achieve real impact. I’ve also had the opportunity to undertake professional development courses and qualifications. It has also been great to have the support of the other graduates, making the transition between university and work life easier. I would advise anyone who is wants to work in a varied team working on lots of cutting edge projects to apply as it is an excellent scheme.”

Trainees benefit from a training salary of £26,243 a year.

You can find out more about the graduate development programme at our dedicated careers page www.warwick.ac.uk/WMGGraduateScheme

Mon 11 February 2019, 09:33 | Tags: Homepage Article 3, Careers

WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre

Degree Apprenticeship CentreWork is on track for our new WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, at the University of Warwick, to equip young engineers with the high-level skills businesses need in the future.

The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre was awarded £10 million funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

The steel frames for the Centre are now in place in the first phase of creating the complex, which is scheduled to open in September this year.

The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, at the University of Warwick, will provide apprentices with the opportunity to study on degree programmes to develop the skills needed by advanced engineering and manufacturing companies.

The Centre will run training programmes up to Master’s Degree level initially for 1,000 students, who will complete their studies at the University campus in conjunction with their employment at companies throughout Coventry and Warwickshire.

The Centre will feature flexible teaching and lab space, and an environment for technology-enhanced learning as well as provide advice and support to apprentices and organisations.

The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre is the first stage of a future Degree Apprenticeship complex at the campus to train students in a range of Degree Apprenticeships.

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the Midlands Engine and whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.

“The Government’s £10 million investment in the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre will give young people the cutting-edge engineering skills they need to secure high-value jobs and ensure advanced manufacturing companies have the qualified staff required to grow their business and competitiveness.This will help drive up the productivity of businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire and make a valuable contribution to delivering the Government’s Industrial Strategy.”

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, said: “The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre will provide the opportunity for apprentices to study whilst supporting our manufacturing base by learning the skills necessary for the UK to stay competitive.”

Jonathan Browning, chair of the CWLEP, said: “It is great to see the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre taking shape since this will be a valuable resource to train students with the skills which employers need to drive their businesses forward.

“The Local Growth Fund was established by the Government to give LEPs the opportunity to fund projects which will boost the economy, support businesses and create jobs.

“It is vital we equip apprentices with high-level skills and this centre will bring huge benefits to the advanced engineering and manufacturing sector in the area.”

 

Caption: From the left, Professor Steve Maggs (WMG, University of Warwick), Gemma Gathercole (CWLEP) and Marion Plant (CWLEP) at the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.

 

Midlands Engine

Some Midlands Engine key facts:

  • The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses. Its economy is worth £217.7 billion.
  • So far the government has awarded £1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Midlands.

 

WMG, University of Warwick

WMG is a world leading research and education group and an academic department of the University of Warwick, established by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 in order to reinvigorate UK manufacturing through the application of cutting edge research and effective knowledge transfer.

WMG has pioneered an international model for working with industry, commerce and public sectors and holds a unique position between academia and industry. The Group’s strength is to provide companies with the opportunity to gain a competitive edge by understanding a company’s strategy and working in partnership with them to create, through multidisciplinary research, ground-breaking products, processes and services.

Every year WMG provides education and training to schoolchildren through to senior executives. There is a growing part-time undergraduate programme for apprentices, as well as full-time undergraduates. The postgraduate programmes have over 2,000 students, in the UK and through centres in China, India, Thailand, South Africa and Malaysia.

 

 

 

 


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