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8th November 2011, 3:02pm
School of Engineering and Siemens collaboration shortlisted
The Lord Stafford Awards Logo The University of Lincoln’s groundbreaking collaboration with Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery, which is driving innovation in industrial power generation engineering, has been shortlisted for a Lord Stafford Award.

The collaborative nature of the School means that graduates are ‘industry-ready’ and able to immediately contribute when they enter the workplace – whether with Siemens’ manufacturing centre in the city, or other engineering companies.

The collaboration has been shortlisted for the innovation in development category in the Lord Stafford Awards.

The Awards recognise, showcase and reward the best in collaboration between businesses and universities across the Midlands.

The £7m School of Engineering provides specialist courses in industrial power and energy, which are designed to meet the needs of the future of engineering enterprise and innovation. The School is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) from the European Union and Lincolnshire County Council Single Programme Funding, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Siemens and the University.

Academics and Siemens employees are co-located, meaning that students benefit from the real-world, practical experience with gas turbines alongside the delivery of the underpinning theory in an academic environment.

The co-location of a real engineering business within the School also provides an opportunity to extend students’ learning from beyond the lecture room or lab and into a real, professional environment.

Head of the School of Engineering, Dr Jill Stewart, said: “The Lincoln School of Engineering came into being less than two years ago, but has already achieved much.  This is thanks to the staff who were willing to take a risk and join what was a brand new venture, and to students who opted to join the new School. Being shortlisted for this award rewards those people’s leap of faith.

“What sets Lincoln’s School of Engineering apart is that we really did start with a blank piece of paper. Without years of history dictating how the School should be, we were – and still are – able to work with collaborators such as Siemens in a completely new and innovative way.

“We have considered every possibility and  discussed every idea, however unconventional or outlandish it may initially have seemed. The preserves of industry and the preserves of academia have been shared in a truly open collaboration.”

Steve Middlebrough, Director of Engineering at Siemens in Lincoln, said: "Siemens has a very long heritage and commitment to skills and training. Our collaboration with the University of Lincoln, to establish the UK's first engineering school for 20 years is groundbreaking in many ways. It represents a new model of industry/educational collaboration.

“The  co-location of Siemens' world-class gas turbine training facility is unique, enabling students to benefit real-life engineering issues first hand. This is all part of our focus on creating "industry-ready" graduates with the practical engineering skills needed in today's business.

“We have also focused heavily in the school on collaborative research and development - highly innovative research for next generation turbines and other technical engineering issues.

“The Engineering Hub visually speaks volumes for the project, as a state-of-the-art modern, learning facility. We look forward to making this one of the centres of excellence for engineering in the UK."

Lord Stafford, Patron of the Awards, said: “This is an example of a superb link-up between a major employer and the Higher Education provider in a city to create a facility which is beneficial to both parties.

“Not only does the involvement of a major company like Siemens make the offer of the University of Lincoln more attractive to engineering students but the graduates produced benefit Siemens.

“This is collaboration at its very best and really shows what the Lord Stafford Awards is all about.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony being held at the University of Birmingham Great Hall on Thursday November 17.

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