A £20 million engineering centre is to be built at a Preston university campus.Advertisement
The University of Central Lancashire has unveiled plans for a new Engineering Innovation Centre in the city.
On Thursday the university unveiled its proposals for the centre to North West businesses in the engineering sector.
Architects drawing have already been produced showing how the new state-of-the-art building could look on the Preston campus.
Rob Wallace, dean of the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, said: “The UCLan Engineering Innovation Centre is an ambitious and exciting project that will enable us to provide a long-term economic asset for the area by supporting the industries that are the foundations of Lancashire’s economy and play an important role in the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
“We also aim to inspire and create the next generation of highly-skilled engineering leaders, ready to take on the challenges and opportunities within the UK and global economies. For instance, by 2020 one in one in five young people in the UK will need to become an engineer if we are to close the skills gap. The EIC will help to address this demand and work with local schools and colleges to encourage more students to take up engineering as an attractive career option. We are particularly targeting women who are vastly under-represented in this field.
“Through our expanded engineering school we will also offer degrees in emerging engineering disciplines such as oil and gas safety engineering and aerospace engineering.”
The university said they had earmarked a 2018 opening for the centre.
A UCLan spokeswoman said the new building is due to be located on the current Foster building car park near the Adelphi roundabout. Additional visitors car parking is due to be located elsewhere on the Preston campus to compensate for the loss of the visitors car park.
Andrew Lewis, an aerodynamicist for Williams F1 and UCLan graduate, said: “In the relatively short time since I graduated from UCLan I have come to learn and experience first-hand how valuable the transfer of knowledge is in industry. Motorsport is highly competitive and teams are very protective over their intellectual property. However in recent years we have seen the transfer of this knowledge in to other areas such as power, transportation and automotive markets.
“What is also clear is that diversity helps to deliver creativity. The lack of women in engineering can be considered as just one aspect of this, having a more diverse workforce in my opinion is only a good thing.
“The North West has a rich heritage in engineering and manufacturing; the EIC will locate itself perfectly in order to drive innovation and the all-important transfer of knowledge. I look forward to seeing it develop and what opportunities it brings.”
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