Meet the Partners | BCU - accelerating training development in next generation EDU manufacture

Q: Please can you provide a short description of Birmingham City University and what you do?

A: Birmingham City University (BCU) has an enviable reputation for providing quality, student-focused education in a professional and friendly environment, underpinned by a portfolio of high quality applied research.

BCU’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) is located within their City Centre Campus. It comprises of two schools that together are able to respond dynamically to the multiple modern technological challenges posed by fast-paced industries. Their shared vision is to create a powerful centre of technological excellence and innovation, to educate to the highest quality in digital technologies and engineering and equip students with the technical skills to contribute to the workplace as well as to the wider industry. Our close links to industry allow students to become involved in the latest research or make a real contribution to business.

We also offer international links that allow us to explore further the emerging technologies, which are crucial for knowledge-sharing. We also offer opportunities for overseas exchange. The Faculty is keen on developing effective partnerships with industry partners to allow students to gain industry-relevant skills and to provide industry access to the latest engineering and computing technologies.

Through a vast choice of accredited courses supported by more than 300 staff, plus vigorous research activities, CEBE has gained a reputation as a leading West Midlands hub for knowledge, technology and skills-transfer into industry.

Q: How did your relationship begin with the other members of the consortium and what encouraged you to join the project?

A: BCU and HSSMI have a strong collaborative relationship, previously HSSMI’s Birmingham office was co-located in the BCU engineering faculty. As a result of the co-location in faculty, BCU academics and HSSMI participated in collaborative events to showcase their respective capabilities, these resulted in HSSMI focusing on specific BCU research where it was felt it would add value in an automotive perspective. Discussions with JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) were positive and after the kick-off meeting, other industry partners approached BCU to discuss their specific requirements for the courses.

Q: Tell us what BCU brings to a project like Perseus and why you think it’s important for you to be part of the consortium.

A: Within the Perseus consortium BCU will accelerate the training developments needed for future next generation skills required in the automotive sector and the technological excellence to support the UK EDU manufacturing cluster, specifically skills development in Industry 4.0 with a focus on applications of AI and Immersive Technologies. These courses will train the current workforce in the consortium organisations to enable efficient deployment of flexible manufacturing and also help set the agenda for upskilling the next set of graduates at BCU.

Q: Throughout the duration of Perseus, what does BCU hope to achieve for themselves, the wider consortium and for UK industry?

A: Direct employment gains, including R&D for the UK industry. Develop and disseminate BCU expertise in cutting-edge courses designed in advanced digital manufacturing. The training modules will be developed to support reskilling of the workforce across the automotive sector and beyond.

Q: Explain to us what being a part of a project like Perseus means to you.

A: This project has direct intrinsic value to BCU academic researchers to develop and showcase their technical expertise and develop courses relevant to industry and inform the next generation graduates at BCU. The project is high profile to BCU and aligned to BCU strategy of developing cutting edge industry aligned courses which will drive an increase of student intake in the BCU faculty by showcasing added value of this project and outcomes. The project is strategically important to the faculty in terms of directly defining the technological training requirements of the UK manufacturing heartland.

Q: If you could use one word to describe Perseus what would it be and why?

A: Strategic in terms of the next EV manufacturing capabilities in the UK & strategic to BCU in terms of course development to train the next generation graduates for this evolving EV and digital market.

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