Unipart Manufacturing partnership wins highest national honour in UK higher education

26 November 2019

The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), a joint collaboration between Unipart Manufacturing and Coventry University, has been awarded a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize.

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Celebrating excellence, innovation and public benefit in work carried out by colleges and universities, the accolade is the highest national honour awarded in UK further and higher education and is granted by Her Majesty the Queen every two years.

AME, which is commonly known as the UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’, is located on the international manufacturer’s site in Coventry and is committed to developing industry-ready graduates by giving them direct access to real-life engineering projects.

Based in a purpose-built 1,700 sq metre hub, more than 200 students have completed or are working towards their degrees, utilising the latest robotics, automation and welding technology.

In addition to taking a new approach to education, AME also boasts a team of technology specialists and professors who are working together to develop new powertrain and energy transfer solutions for automotive, aerospace and renewables.

This has included over £10m of funded projects and already led to Unipart completing a new fuel rail project for the Ford Fox engine and production on a lightweight exhaust system for Aston Martin.

Professor Carl Perrin, Director of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, said: “Unipart Manufacturing Group and Coventry University share the same passion for developing young people so they can have an immediate positive impact in industry.

“When we came up with the concept of AME it was unproven and something completely different. We have proved academia and manufacturing can work together by understanding each other’s strengths and the mutual benefits that can be achieved by combining the best of both worlds.

“The Queen’s Anniversary Prize underlines that our innovative approach is working and we are successfully producing a greater number of engineers that have the experience and the skills required to be successful in 21st century manufacturing.”

Carol Burke, Managing Director of Unipart Manufacturing Group, said: “We are honoured to receive a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. AME has created a significant step change in the way we develop an ‘industry ready’ pipeline of graduates who can make immediate contributions to business.

“We play a large part in ensuring the course is always evolving and constantly adapting in response to future industry challenges. With the digital skills required to equip businesses ready for Industry 4.0, this collaboration has underpinned Unipart’s strategy to develop the next generation of specialist skilled engineers.  This strategy has proven a great success and we are currently undergoing developments at scaling up this model with current plans for expansion.”