A major new engineering teaching and research centre for Nottingham Trent University has been given the go-ahead.
Due to be completed in time for the 2019-20 academic year, the £23m facility will include engineering laboratories, workshops and studios, alongside flexible learning spaces with specialist equipment, as well as facilities for commercial R&D. The development will include the creation of a new ‘Institute of Industrial Digitalisation, Robotics and Automation’, designed with the challenges of Industry 4.0 in mind.
“We want to create inspirational, state-of-the-art facilities that inspire staff and students and demonstrate our commitment to being a major player in the STEM education of engineers,” said Professor Mary O’Neill, Dean of Nottingham Trent’s School of Science and Technology. “This development will facilitate a culture of innovation and excellence to support project-based, industry-focused learning and highly-rated research.
“It will enable us to be at the heart of developments in the emerging ‘Industry 4.0’ agenda in terms of education and skills training, as well as knowledge transfer and knowledge development and research. The anticipated skills shortages represent a serious concern for major industries, and we want to play a lead role in training current and future workers with the digitalisation skills required for this arena, which is being called the next industrial revolution.”
In order to help address the skills gap, Nottingham Trent has created new courses in biomedical, electronic, sport and mechanical engineering. The new facility, located at the university’s Clifton Campus, will be home to these new courses.
“The UK needs a new generation of creative engineers to invent the future and that is what we aim to produce,” said Professor Neil Mansfield, head of engineering at Nottingham Trent. “With our new facilities we will give our researchers the tools they need to develop new technologies, and our students everything they need to learn how to engineer a better world.”