One of Europe's most valued manufacturers has been named to lead the development of the University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan) Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC).
Frank Hayden, Professor of advanced manufacturing, has been appointed as the EIC’s director and has already started work at the Preston Campus.
During his career he has led the strategic and operational transformation of a number of high-technology businesses, including Land Rover, BMW, Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.
Professor Hayden said: “I’m delighted to have joined the university and I’m extremely excited to be involved in such a significant project which will benefit engineering throughout the North West, the UK and internationally.”
UCLan’s EIC is a £30m facility which is due to open in 2018. It will capitalise on the location of the University at the centre of one of the most intensive engineering and manufacturing areas in the UK to create an internationally competitive facility that will bring together the region’s expertise from within academia and industry.
The centre will be equipped to the highest standard with technology demonstration areas and specialist work areas to create an integrated space for teaching, research and knowledge exchange.
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. Since those early days it has grown into one of the UK’s largest universities with a staff and student community approaching 38,000.
The 53-year-old said: “The huge financial investment in the EIC will help transform engineering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. As manufacturing technology is constantly developing we want to ensure our courses stay one and two steps ahead of the game. The University has been in the city under various guises since the 1820s but what we’re creating here over the next three to five years will be facilities which will stand the test of time for the next 100 to 150 years.”
Professor Hayden has led the manufacturing launch of a number of iconic products, including the Land Rover Freelander, BMW Mini, Airbus A380 Superjumbo, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Rolls-Royce Trent aircraft engines. He has spent the past two years travelling the world as a management consultant.
The father-of-two, from Warrington, said: “Engineering is a crucial industry not only to this area but across the world. That’s why we want to double the number of students studying on engineering education programmes, strengthen our industry links even further and offer support to a wide variety of small, medium and large manufacturing businesses.”
The EIC is part of the University’s £200m campus masterplan which will create an environment which blends new facilities with the creation of public, green spaces to encourage people from all over the city to visit and enjoy the Preston Campus.