NAAME recently met with UEA Professor of Engineering, Lawrence Coates and the newly appointed Relationship Manager for Engineering, Andrew Whilding.  The discussions centered around the developments of the UEA Engineering courses and the opportunity for industry relations. Let hear what they had to say…

UEA with support from EEEGR Skills for Energy has been delivering postgraduate and undergraduate degrees in Energy Engineering with Environmental Management since 2011, producing much sought after graduates for the regional energy industry.

As part of a plan for sustained growth to support local manufacturing and engineering companies, with links to the Greater Norwich Manufacturing Group and the Hethel Engineering Centre we will this September admit our first students to an integrated engineering programme that includes pathways to mechanical, electronic & electrical and the well-established energy engineering.  The full suite is:

  • BEng Energy Engineering with Environmental Management
  • BEng/MEng Energy Engineering
  • BEng/MEng Engineering (Mechanical)
  • BEng/MEng Engineering (Electronic and Electrical)
  • BEng/MEng Engineering
  • BEng Engineering (Mechanical) with a Year in Industry
  • BEng Engineering (Electronic & Electrical) with a Year in Industry
  • BEng Engineering (Energy) with a Year in Industry
  • BEng Engineering with a Year in Industry

A feature of our energy degrees has always been the willing industry support that has enabled us to expose our students to practising engineers from the start of their degrees to develop their commercial awareness.  In addition to site visits, case studies, guest lectures and industry-linked projects the various summer placements offer companies a prolonged interview with no formal commitment.  Several SMEs have already recruited 3 or more of our MSc graduates this way.

With the new degrees we are keen to broaden this industry support to include mechanical and manufacturing, materials and composites, control and automation systems etc, and to facilitate this we have appointed a dedicated Business Relationship Manager, Andy Whilding, with a remit to roam the region talking to companies large and small about how collaborations can be of mutual benefit.

We are growing our SELECT Partnership Scheme by identifying a wider pool of companies that wish to actively relate to our students by offering summer placements or a complete year in industry.  The SELECT scheme also provides access to the research skills of our staff.

The common first year also allows us to expose students to a number of sectors of industry so that they can make an informed choice of career path later in their degree.  There are opportunities for engineers to deliver day-in-the-life talks to our students to assist with this.

A recent development is the industry-sponsored module.  We have piloted a version of this with the autumn term Oil & Gas Engineering module that is delivered to MEng and MSc students by four practising engineers, exposing students to the real world of oil and gas, drilling, asset integrity and risk offshore.  We are keen to use this model for other modules such as Control Systems and Mechanical and Manufacturing Processes thereby allowing companies to help steer the syllabus to produce the type of graduates that they would value.

In addition to our well-established MSc dissertation placements, every undergraduate student completes an individual project in their third year and a number of these are linked to industry.  Typically a student can spend one day a week from September to March focused on a project that is of direct interest to the company, occasionally working at their offices.

For further information and to discuss ways to get involved either get in contact with

Philip Mickleborough, Innovation Facilitator at Hethel Innovation,

+44(0)1953 859106 | pmickleborough@hethelinnovation.com

Andrew Whilding, Relationship Manager for Engineering

+44 (0) 1603 591488 | +44 (0) 7809 252523 | a.whilding@uea.ac.uk