The UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’ sealed a memorable eighteen months in operation last night when it was named as one of the main winners in the Guardian University Awards 2016.
The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) – which is a joint collaboration between Unipart Manufacturing and Coventry University – beat off rivals from across the country to secure the ‘Business Partnership’ title.
Judges were impressed with the organisation’s determination to pioneer a step-change in the way engineering graduates are developed, with 60 students currently studying towards their BEng, MEng and MScs.
It was also singled out for its fast growing reputation as a world class R&D centre, with seven projects presently underway to deliver new powertrain solutions for clients involved in automotive; aerospace; rail, and renewables.
Director of AME, Dr Carl Perrin: “This is a fantastic achievement for AME and confirmation that what we are trying to achieve is working, and the rest of the UK is starting to sit up and take notice.
“The accolade is just rewards for Unipart and Coventry University’s commitment to the project and doing more than just talking about a vision to start changing the way we educate the engineers of the future.”
He continued: “It hasn’t always been plain sailing as the two cultures got used to each other, but what we have created will deliver a step-change in manufacturing education and provides the UK with a platform to actually commercialise all of the great innovative work we’ve been doing in this country for years.
“Our promise is now being fulfilled and AME is starting to positively influence the UK’s competitive advantage, starting with new fuel rails for Ford and a lightweight exhaust system for Aston Martin.”
Professor John Latham, vice-chancellor of Coventry University, added his support: “I’d like to offer my personal congratulations to Carl and his team on their success at this year’s Guardian University Awards. These are tremendous achievements for all concerned and add to our outstanding portfolio of accolades.
“We’re committed to bolstering our students’ employability, extending our research capability and boosting our links with industry. The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering is delivering on all these objectives, so it’s great that this partnership is being celebrated within higher education and business circles at a national level.”
The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering was up against the University of Leeds and the University of Nottingham in the finals of the ‘Building Partnership’ Award.
With categories covering everything from student diversity to sustainability, the annual Guardian Awards act as a benchmark for the higher education sector and offer universities a seal of approval for their most outstanding work.
Coventry University also secured a second success on the evening, with Ian Dunn, deputy vice-chancellor (Student Experience) crowned winner in the ‘Inspiring Leader’ category.