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13 January 2011 | PR 11/04

Minister announces new Industrial Doctorate Centre at visit to Loughborough University

Loughborough University’s Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering is set to support one of five new Industrial Doctorate Centres that are being launched across the UK to train the next wave of engineers for the automotive and aerospace industries.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts made the announcement today during a visit to Loughborough University. The Industrial Doctorate Centre is linked to the Manufacturing Technology Centre at Ansty Park near Coventry and is a joint project between Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Birmingham universities as well as TWI Ltd, the operating division of The Welding Institute.

Professor Rob Parkin heads up the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and he is looking forward to welcoming the first students to use it this coming autumn. “It is an exciting project and one that will further strengthen our ties with industry. The Centre will mean that we can work with our industrial partners on core research that they have identified could be of benefit to their business. Some of the projects may be mutually beneficial to a number of these partners while others will specifically help just the one organisation.

“Loughborough University is well-placed to support the Industrial Doctorate Centre with its strong track record of working in partnership with industry. It highlights our commitment to ensuring students are well equipped and trained for industry.”

The project is being jointly funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) with 50 per cent of funding coming from industrial partners to provide £1.2 million per centre.

Launching the new centres at the Loughborough University visit, the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said: “These new centres will generate a new wave of engineers with the knowledge and skills 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.”

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Debbie Hughes
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: D.L.Hughes@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

  1. The UK Industrial Doctorate Centres are as follows:

    Delivering rapid manufacturing performance improvements
    Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham

    New ways of manufacturing metal with very little waste
    University of Strathclyde, Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

    Clever new machine technology to make huge time and cost savings
    Sheffield University, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

    High value. Low environmental impact manufacturing.
    Warwick University (Warwick Manufacturing Group).

    New techniques for improving manufacturing processes
    Swansea University (College of Engineering).

    Each centre will support up to 100 doctorate students over four years.

  2. 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 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.

  3. About the Manufacturing Technology Centre
    The MTC received a combined capital contribution of £40 million from Advantage West Midlands and East Midlands Development Agency (emda) – one of the largest public sector investments in manufacturing for many years. The project also has the backing of some of the UK’s major global manufacturers and will support UK manufacturing companies, and their supply chains, to bring about major improvements in their manufacturing competitiveness.

    Founder industrial members of the MTC are Rolls-Royce, Aero Engine Controls and Airbus UK. In total £130 million of public and private sector investments will be made in the centre over the next 10 years.

  4. About Loughborough University
    Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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