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Uni conference builds confidence in manufacturing growth

Wolverhampton University hosted the Manufacturing Conference to mark the completion of a £10m investment in engineering facilities

Posted by Hannah Vickers | April 05, 2017 | Technology

To mark the completion of a £10 million investment in engineering facilities at its Telford Innovation Campus, the University of Wolverhampton has hosted a manufacturing engineering conference.

 “Manufacturing Conference 17”, offered businesses in the Midlands an opportunity to contribute to the national agenda for growth in manufacturing engineering.

Leading manufacturing and engineering business figures from JLR, Virgin Rail and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) discussed issues that impact on the region’s industry. Discussion groups and workshop topics included skills, globalisation and innovation as well as research and development.

Key speakers David Danger and Ninder Johal

Attendees were given a first glimpse of the £10 million investment in engineering facilities at the Campus when the refurbished building was officially opened by the Chancellor of the University, Lord Paul Swraj, following the conference.  The newly designed Formula 3 race car was also unveiled by University’s Race Team students ahead of the race season which starts on 1st April 2017.

Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “As one of the region’s largest institutions for Higher Education and a key partner of the Midlands Engine, the University’s newly refurbished Telford Innovation Campus, home to our School of Engineering, is uniquely placed to provide a platform for producing the generation of highly skilled engineering graduates who will help drive the growth the region is experiencing in high value manufacturing.

Telford Innovation Centre's new facilities

 “Telford is our youngest campus and a beacon of innovation in one of our greenest counties, where technology is pushed to new limits. By investing £10 million in advanced new engineering facilities and courses, we’re providing our students with everything they need to make their mark in industry whilst at the same time helping to strengthen the region’s engineering infrastructure.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Chancellor of University of Wolverhampton, Lord Paul of Marylebone, said: “I never thought that I would see the start of any new engineering school in this country.

When I came to this country in the 60s and started work, British manufacturing was 40% of the total growth. It is now less than 10%, so it gives me great pleasure to see the establishment of engineering with an enthusiastic team behind it - Lord Paul of Marylebone

"When I came to this country in the 60s and started work, British manufacturing was 40% of the total growth. It is now less than 10%, so it gives me great pleasure to see the establishment of engineering with an enthusiastic team behind it.

"We have the ability in this country to be leaders of the world. Let us now leaders of manufacturing in Europe and prove to the world that we in Britain can lead the way."

Speakers and workshop leaders at the conference included Dr Clive Hickman (MTC) who has over 35 years engineering experience in the automotive industry including Head of Engineering for Tata Motors in India,  David Danger (UTC Aerospace), Rachel Eade (Red Ltd), Graham Jones (JLR), Ninder Johal (Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership), Tony Collins (former CEO of Virgin Rail), Dr Russell Bromley (The Way Ahead Business Centre Ltd), John Yates (Engineering Integrity Society) and Jake Godfrey (Institute of Engineering and Technology).

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