Coventry University and Unipart have appointed a director for the recently established Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), located at Unipart’s Foleshill site in Coventry.
Carl Perrin will head up the new institute, which will be welcoming its first cohort of undergraduate and postgraduate students in September this year.
The £32 million initiative is set to pioneer a new higher education model for manufacturing engineering degrees, offering a blend of innovative activity-led teaching, product development and research to create a unique learning environment.
Its aim is to develop the next generation of highly skilled, specialist engineers and operational leaders by providing up to 40 students every year with direct access to Unipart’s operations, allowing them to work on ‘live’ issues in a real world manufacturing production environment.
Research and testing carried out in partnership between the University and Unipart is intended to stimulate new product and process development, boosting innovation in both the regional and national economy.
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Mr Perrin, who is a chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, has previously worked for Rolls-Royce on a joint venture in Nottingham.
Here he was instrumental in the introduction of new coating technology and manufacturing processes for the latest generation of Trent engines.
Previously, the former graduate of Sheffield University was R&D director at Dana Glacier Vandervell and responsible for delivering several powertrain projects for Formula 1 teams.
It is expected that his experience of engineering and manufacturing across both automotive and aerospace sectors will fuel the innovative approach to teaching on the frontline of industry and in delivering new business opportunities for the advanced research centre.
Mr Perrin, who will take up his role as institute director in late-April, expressed his delight at being appointed.
“I am delighted to be joining this innovative new institute at an exciting time as we bring in our first group of students and prepare for our first commercial research projects,” he said.
“Coventry and the surrounding area has a history of leading edge manufacturing and engineering and we will look to build on that heritage by providing highly skilled engineers who are industry ready, both for Unipart and for businesses in the Midlands and beyond.”
Carol Burke, Managing Director of Unipart Manufacturing Group, added she is looking forward to Mr Perrin driving the Institute in areas of research and development.
“He will provide the necessary leadership to drive a learning facility that will develop young people at a faster rate, using a hands-on approach in a challenging technical environment,” she said.
“Not only will the new institute address the national skills shortage, but by placing the best and brightest young engineers with Unipart’s skilled industry specialists, we will also accelerate the development of new technologies across a range of industrial sectors.”
John Latham, acting vice-chancellor of Coventry University, believes Mr Perrin’s experience in the sector will provide a great benefit to both students and R&D activities.
“It will be a different model for developing engineering talent and we are confident that bringing the teaching and research environment on to the factory floor will generate a unique experience for students and fresh thinking for industry,” he said.