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University and Thales sign agreement on education and research collaboration

Professor Chris Firth, Chief Scientist for Thales UK [left] with Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Dean of Engineering

Professor Chris Firth, Chief Scientist for Thales UK [left] with Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Dean of Engineering

Press release issued: 16 October 2013

The University of Bristol and Thales UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue collaborating in research and education activity.

The new agreement builds on an already successful relationship, and will see the University’s students engage with Thales UK via mentoring, internships, guest lectures, and industrial research projects. It will also build on previous research collaborations between Thales UK and the University’s Departments of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, and Systems Engineering Centre.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Dean of Engineering at the University of Bristol, said: “We want to engage young engineers with the kind of work that companies like Thales are doing to see how exciting and innovative these areas really are. Thales was a major player in working with the University of Bristol on early wireless communications technology, for example, and continues to be at the leading edge. We hope that this kind of engagement will provide excellent opportunities for current students.”

Professor Chris Firth, Chief Scientist for Thales UK, said, “This is going to be a key relationship for Thales in years to come. We want to engage with the University to keep our research at the cutting edge and also to ensure that we continue to recruit Bristol students, who prove to be outstanding employees, when they graduate.”

Thales UK has worked with the University in research and through PhD/EngD student support since 1997. In the last three years, the company – located in the Bristol Business Park and other locations across the UK – has employed 12 graduates and arranged seven internships.

Stuart Tower is a graduate of the University’s Engineering Mathematics degree course. He joined the Thales Internship Programme in summer 2012, and returned for the Graduate Scheme after completing his degree in July 2013.

“The internship with Thales gave me a good sense of how I could apply what I was learning in real world situations,” said Stuart. “It provided valuable engineering experience, and a better sense of what is needed in a career in engineering. During my time as an intern I got to see what the graduates do, and particularly the variety of the opportunities they are given, and that really excited me. It made it a lot easier to decide what I wanted to do after graduating, and for me that was to join Thales permanently.”

Further information

About the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Engineering

Engineering at the University of Bristol is committed to producing leaders and entrepreneurs of the future and to advancing the knowledge and technological innovations required to address global challenges.

Our academics are internationally recognised research leaders who have led the way in some of the most ground-breaking developments - from establishing the equation for the wing design on the Spitfire in the 1930s, to inventing the technology that led to the first mobile phone in the late 1970s. Today, our world-leading research continues, from the development of wallpaper that will protect buildings from earthquake damage, to developing power efficient technologies that will reduce carbon emissions from mobile phone base stations, reducing the environmental impact of communications systems.

Bristol is proud of its interdisciplinary culture where our academics have established lasting global partnerships with other leading universities and industry. We apply our research through successful technology and knowledge transfer, and our work is always engaged with industry, allowing us to add value to the national and global economy.

About Thales and Thales UK

Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2012, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion (equivalent to £11.5 billion) with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.

Thales UK employs 7,500 staff based at 35 locations. In 2012 Thales UK's revenues were around £1.3 billion.

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