Runner up: Coventry University
The university developed a partnership with Unipart, a UK-based manufacturer operating in the automotive, oil and gas, aerospace and rail sectors, to address the UK’s manufacturing skills shortage and to accelerate the commercialisation of innovation and R&D.
Together the university and Unipart created the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) – the UK’s first faculty on the factory floor. The idea is to enable undergraduates to apply theory learned in the classroom to live projects on the Unipart shop floor. The experience that students would normally gain from a placement year in industry is embedded throughout a new three-year BEng course in manufacturing engineering, making graduates immediately more employable.
The first cohort of 23 undergraduates arrived in September 2014. They are developing the skills required by the manufacturing sector, such as project management, lean manufacturing, product verification and costing. Students also learn robotics and automation using production scale robots installed in AME.