Coventry’s AME institute receives highest UK education honour

Coventry University’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) has been presented with a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize at Buckingham Palace for its pioneering work in creating industry-ready graduates.

AME graduate Alicia Prior

The awards were presented at a ceremony with His Royal Highness Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, which celebrated achievements in higher and further education.

Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are granted by Her Majesty the Queen every two years and recognise excellence, innovation and education in the work carried out by UK colleges and universities. They are the highest national honour to be awarded to further and higher education institutions.

Q & A Interview: producing a pipeline of industry-ready graduates

AME, a unique partnership between Coventry University and Unipart Manufacturing Group, has rewritten the rule book when it comes to developing engineering and manufacturing graduates that are industry ready.

Known as the UK’s first ‘faculty on the factory floor’, it gives students direct access to live manufacturing projects and access to state-of-the-art technologies in a bid to future-proof and accelerate their careers.

Over 200 students have completed or are working towards their degrees, utilising the latest robotics, automation and welding technology.

In addition to taking a new approach to education, AME also boasts a team of technology specialists and professors who are working together to help develop new powertrain and energy transfer solutions for automotive aerospace and renewables.

Projects have included lightweight exhaust systems, fuel tanks for hybrid vehicles and battery energy storage systems, working with a number of leading automotive companies in the process.

Professor Carl Perrin, Director of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, said: “The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is a proud moment for both Coventry University and Unipart Manufacturing Group – we took an ambitious approach to pitching industry and academia together and it has paid off.

“AME thrives on the fact that the engineering experience starts the minute a student begins their course, not at the end of it and this ‘hands-on’ approach creates graduates that have an immediate positive impact when they join a company. This is reflected in excellent employability and extremely high student satisfaction.”

He continued: “This is just the start. We have a lot of exciting things planned for the AME model and this includes a new expansion in 2020, more global partnerships and the launch of Manufacturing Apprenticeships.”

AME develops skilled graduate engineers to address the growing skills shortage in the engineering and manufacturing sector. There is a need for an additional 1.8 million engineers by 2025 and 67% of UK manufacturers say they are worried about the future of skilled staff for their business.