The UK’s ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’ has recorded its fifth full cohort, proving that students are still determined to be industry-ready when they go in search of employment.
More than 30 young people have signed up to The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME)’s pioneering BEng and MEng courses, which gives them access to the latest teaching expertise and access to a host of shopfloor projects and technologies.
The joint collaboration between Coventry University and Unipart Manufacturing has pivoted the content of the learning to ensure it can deliver the same depth of knowledge through a mixture of online classes and 5 hours per week face-to-face study in laboratories, workshops and at the organisation’s 1700 sq ft facility in Beresford Avenue.
Industrial projects, which require students to be on site, have been moved to semester two when hopefully the challenges of Covid-19 have lessened and they are safe to host.
Dr David Waugh, Course Director at AME, explained: “There is still a desperate need for skilled engineers from all sectors of industry, so we are delighted that, for the third successive year, we have a full cohort of students.
“It demonstrates that we have a good pipeline of young talent coming through the ranks and, importantly, they want to learn and apply what they’re being taught on live manufacturing projects that gives them essential practical and softer skills.”
He continued: “This year’s students will still have access to the latest technology, the best experts and, in time, will be able to complete industrial projects that they can use when applying for jobs after they’ve graduated.
“We’ve currently got 111 individuals across our four years and this is the highest number we’ve ever taught at one stage. The unique vision we had to create the UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’ has been an overwhelming success, so much so that we were awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize last year.”
The latest AME graduates have all been offered employment after completing their degrees, including Ian Merchant, who is starting his training to be a Software Engineer at Capgemini.
He initially looked at a mechanical engineering degree when he found out about AME and was inspired to go down the more practical route, as he believed it would put him ahead of his peers completing conventional courses.
“Working on factory floor projects is not just about applying the theory, it’s about understanding how to work with different personalities and how you must meet deadlines in order to achieve the desired outcomes,” explained Ian, who received an IET Manufacturing Prize during his time at AME.
“I worked on increasing the efficiency and quality of the fuel filler lines and explored how we could more effectively use cobots when brazing fuel rails for Unipart Manufacturing. These live manufacturing projects played a big role in my first interview after graduating and proved I could work in a demanding and commercial environment.”
The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, which received 100% Student Satisfaction rating for its BEng/MEng Manufacturing Engineering Degree in the 2020 National Student Survey, is finalising a £6m expansion project that will double shop floor footprint and create a hub for digital manufacturing innovation.
In addition to creating industry-ready graduates, AME also boasts a team of technology specialists and professors who work with industrial partners to research and develop new manufacturing technologies and solutions for automotive, aerospace and renewables.