17th May 2016, 3:00pm
Industrial partnership puts engineering students at cutting edge of automation technologies
Industrial partnership puts engineering students at cutting edge of automation technologies The University of Lincoln, UK, has launched a pioneering collaboration with one of the world’s largest private industrial automation companies.

The partnership with B&R Automation, which is headquartered in Austria and has more than 180 offices around the globe, enables Engineering students to benefit from access to state-of-the-art technology, industry specific training, and unique research and work placement opportunities.

The University of Lincoln’s School of Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding with the team at B&R’s UK headquarters in Peterborough and the collaboration is already providing undergraduate students with bespoke training in software and machinery which is used throughout businesses worldwide.

Andrew Norcliffe, Regional Manager for B&R Automation, said: “I am immensely proud of the collaboration we have developed with the School of Engineering at the University of Lincoln. The city has a strong engineering heritage and we feel that our collaboration will ensure Lincoln remains at the forefront of technology, while aiming to equip students with the skills required to take advantage of the upcoming ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

“The University is home to state-of-the-art R&D and teaching facilities and we are excited about collaboratively developing new research programmes and curricula, which will help shape the engineers of the future.”

As part of the collaboration, students are building new prototypes that can be tested at the University before moving into industry environments. Second year students involved in the Design Engineering module are using B&R software to imagine new automation machinery, while a final year student is utilising new B&R equipment to design, configure and control a delta robot commonly used in factory environments. This work was presented to an expert panel made up of University and B&R representatives, and marked as part of the academic assessment process.

Dr Andrea Paoli, Senior Lecturer in Robotics and Automation in the School of Engineering, is leading the project for the University of Lincoln. He explained: “We are delighted to be working with B&R Automation. Our aim is to produce industry-ready graduates who are an asset to employers from day one, so this new partnership will help us to ensure that our teaching is informed by the very latest demands of the sector. Our students are tackling important industry issues and the projects that they are working on could have a real impact.”

James Wallis, Education Manager at B&R UK, said: “Working alongside our Applications Team, students will explore real-life challenges and learn how they can be solved using cutting-edge automation solutions. Both B&R and the University of Lincoln have fully embraced the new collaboration and are already actively developing various robotic applications in a variety of industries."
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