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Historic boost for academic-industrial collaboration in Engineering

Members of the Faculty Industrial Advisory Board visit the Electrical Energy Management Laboratory

Members of the Faculty Industrial Advisory Board visit the Electrical Energy Management Laboratory

16 April 2014

The Faculty of Engineering hosted a meeting of Industrial Advisory Boards from all of its six departments earlier this month to discuss how best to work with industrial partners and further promote engagement opportunities between the Faculty and engineering and technology companies.

The event formed the most comprehensive meeting of its kind in history of the Faculty, which encompasses the Department of Aerospace Engineering, the Department of Civil Engineering, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the Department of Engineering Mathematics, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Dean of Engineering, said: ‘The wide scope of this meeting sends an important message from the Faculty to the world of engineering and technology that we want to work with industry across all areas, and we genuinely value their input. The day was a huge success, and it was enormously helpful to see how much common ground there is between apparently disparate industries, and also to show just how much we have to offer them in terms of our research and students.’

The format of the day was innovative, and focused on getting the most detailed possible advice from industrial partners. After a short session of updates from key members of staff in the Faculty, the meeting broke out into specialist groups to discuss how particular industrial sectors can best engage with their respective academic disciplines. The meeting then reconvened to a session chaired by the Dean to compare practices and thinking across sectors and draw out common conclusions.

Dr Andrew Clarke, VP Engineering at GKN Aerospace and a member of the Aerospace Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, said: ‘The Faculty Industrial Advisory Board is an excellent forum for discussing wider academic and industrial needs. Working together across sectors enables us to identify what’s important to support the future engineering requirements of the UK and allows Bristol to respond in a positive and proactive manner.’

The day finished with tours of three major refurbishments the Faculty has recently undertaken of the Student Teaching Laboratory, the Hydraulics Laboratory and the Electrical Energy Management Laboratory, followed by a networking session during which industrial partners were invited to engage with research presentations by prize-winning undergraduate students from the Faculty.

Further information

The Faculty of Engineering Industrial Liaison Office manages and develops relationships with the Faculty's many industrial partners across a range of activities. For more information, please contact the Industrial Liaison Manager on

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