Sir James Dyson, the vacuum cleaner king, is planning to battle Britain’s huge shortfall of engineers.
The dust-fighting hero has pledged £12 million to Imperial College London, to form the new Dyson School for Design Engineering.
Training the Next Generation of Engineers
This will be the first engineering department established at Imperial in over two decades, and will deliver a four-year MEng course in design and engineering.
The school opens its doors for the first time later this year, with 40 undergraduate students expected to enrol on the course in October.
For the first two years, students will use Imperial's existing facilities, before moving to new premises in 2017, at which point the course's annual intake will rise to 90.
The curriculum has been collated with the help of Dyson's own engineers. But don’t worry, it won’t just feature vacuum cleaners. Modules will focus on industry-relevant skills, and offer a blend of technical and creative disciplines.
In an announcement delivered on Monday, Dyson stated: We want to create engineers who are bold and commercially astute. They will use their skills, nurtured in the Dyson School, to develop future technology that will catalyse Britain's economic growth.
Engineers in Demand
The Dyson School for Design Engineering is the latest in a string of new initiatives designed to tackle Britain’s dearth of engineers.
Demand for engineers here in the UK remains higher than ever, as the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s most recent survey has demonstrated. More than half of the companies who were interviewed stated that they were looking to recruit engineers, with many reporting difficulties in finding the right recruits.
New Model in Technology and Engineering
Earlier this month, plans were also unveiled for a new British university – the first in 30 years – known as the New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMITE). This new academy, earmarked for Hereford, will specialise in manufacturing, defence, engineering and agri-technology.
NMITE is being backed by other universities, engineers and the Government, and is expected to open in September 2017.
The university plans to radically change the way engineering is taught here in the UK. And the courses will combine traditional degree curriculums, with a range of additional applied analytical thinking, innovation and leadership skills, designed to ensure graduates are ready for the work environment.
NMITE aspires to take on the gender gap in engineering too, aiming for women to comprise half of all its students and teaching staff. Though as yet, few clear answers have been provided with regards to how they'll go about this.
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