19th January 2012, 3:05pm
HRH The Princess Royal opens Lincoln School of Engineering

 
HRH The Princess Royal formally opened the Lincoln Engineering Hub today (Thursday 19 January 2012).

Her Royal Highness toured the cutting edge facilities on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Campus and met students and staff before unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion.

The School has been supported with over £1.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and match funding from Lincolnshire County Council Single Programme Funding, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Siemens and the University.

Accompanied by The Lord-Lieutenant for Lincolnshire, The Princess met the University’s Vice Chancellor, the Head of the School Dr Jill Stewart and the engineering academics and professionals from the University and Siemens who have helped found the new School of Engineering – the first to be built in the UK for more than 20 years.

Vice Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart said: “We were honoured that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal opened the Lincoln School of Engineering. At the heart of the University’s mission is to make a difference to society through our research and development activity, our business support services and through the contribution of our graduates and students.

“The School of Engineering has since its inception followed in this tradition, but also taken this work to new heights.  We have attracted excellent staff who have developed the partnership with Siemens to meet their business needs through research. Siemens helped to design the curriculum for our students and students working in Siemens during their summer break have already provided support to some of the challenges the company faces. The School has also established links with a wide range of other engineering companies, small and medium sized enterprises across Lincolnshire, nationally and internationally to provide support for this important industry both for the county and city and for the wider economy.”

Roland Aurich, CEO, Siemens plc and North West Europe said the future of the UK’s manufacturing and engineering industries relied on there being many more highly skilled engineering graduates, and he was looking forward to employing many more Lincoln students at Siemens.

He said: "Siemens' collaboration with the University of Lincoln to establish the UK's first purpose-built engineering school for 20 years is a great example of successful partnership between industry and academia. The Engineering School will help ensure Lincoln's strength as a source of industry-ready engineering skills continues through the next generation."

The Princess visited the impressive turbine room where she saw the turbines in use and was shown by students and staff how they can be tested and dismantled.

She was then escorted to the Laser Laboratory where Professor Jonathan Lawrence and Dr Colin Dowding explained what the laser machine is capable of and its healthcare applications, and demonstrated it in use.

Princess Anne is patron of Women into Science, Engineering and Construction (WISE), an organisation that works with industry and education to inspire young women to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers.

Before officially declaring the Engineering School open The Princess made a speech in which she observed that there is a shortage of young people of both genders going into these fields.

Second year student on the BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering course Carl Hockley proposed a vote of thanks and presented a posy to The Princess. Last year 19-year-old Carl, who has been described by his tutors as a talented and creative young engineer, was awarded the first ever Sir Frank Whittle Bursary – an award set up by Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire, in memory of Sir Frank Whittle.
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