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20th September 2011, 4:14pm
Lincoln Engineering collaboration celebrated in national report
UA Growing the future The University of Lincoln’s collaboration with industry heavyweight, Siemens, has been profiled in a new publication illustrating the central role universities have to play in realising the government’s plans for growth.

The School of Engineering is featured in Growing the Future: universities leading, changing and creating the regional economy, published by University Alliance this week. University Alliance represents 23 major UK universities who work closely with business to deliver world-class research and a high quality student experience.

The publication argues that the government needs to take steps to ensure that universities are central to its growth strategy as they encourage investment, exports and a more balanced economy; create an educated, flexible workforce; and are key to making the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.

Professor Andrew Atherton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise) at the University of Lincoln, said: “The UK, in common with many of its European partners, can’t get enough engineering graduates from engineering degrees. It is estimated that the power industry sector alone will need up to 34,000 new graduates, and ‘green engineering’ sectors, including wind power, between 50,000 and 70,000. This helps explain the rationale behind the new engineering school; it will create the engineers of the future.”

The University worked with Siemens to develop a framework that would attract students to study engineering at Lincoln and provide a means of selecting the strongest for employment in Siemens. Generous scholarships to cover tuition fees, along with a bursary based on academic excellence, paid work during vacations, and work experience as part of the degree were agreed, forming the basis of recruitment of the first full-time cohort of undergraduate students in September 2010.

“The effects are being felt further afield,” added Professor Atherton. “As well as the close collaboration between the University and Siemens, the School has developed close ties with local engineering businesses – undertaking commissioned research, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and access to part-time degrees. This has enhanced Siemens’ supplier network locally, and builds greater capacity within the engineering, power and energy cluster of businesses located in and around Lincoln.

“The collaboration is firmly established but with so much activity underway we can only glimpse at the potential impact for our regional economy.”

Steve Middlebrough, Director of Engineering for Siemens in Lincoln, said: "Siemens has a long standing commitment to skills and training in the UK. As a major manufacturer and engineering firm with 16,000 employees in the UK we have a keen interest in ensuring we have the right engineering skills to meet future business needs. Our relationship with the University of Lincoln is a key part of higher education strategy and work with universities and other educational establishments to develop the next generation of engineers.

“The new Engineering School, the first of its kind in the UK for 20 years is a major achievement and unique as an academic/business collaboration. Together we are focused in creating ‘industry ready’ graduates with the skills needed to meet the needs of today's economy. The School will also deliver first class research and development for the industry."

Libby Hackett, Director of University Alliance, said: “The evidence is clear: universities are no longer just part of the education system. They are central to the economic and social prosperity of our nation.”

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