The Integrated Knowledge Centre: A Partnership between UK Higher Education and the Engineering Industry

By Christopher Sansom and Paul Shore.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We discuss the creation of an Integrated Knowledge Centre, a unique collaboration between academia and industry, which is delivering to UK industry 'disruptive' technologies based on ultra precision engineering. The partners include Cranfield University, the University of Cambridge, University College London, and the OpTIC Technium. This paper concentrates on the development of Knowledge Transfer systems and the successful implementation of processes for the delivery of postgraduate taught courses, short courses for industry, and distance learning packages.
In order to retain competitive advantage, UK precision engineering industry requires a regular supply of technically proficient and organizationally prepared graduates. This paper explains the approach taken by Cranfield University and its partners to increase the size of the pool of postgraduate precision engineers and to enhance the skills of industrially based engineers. The approach involves the design of a multi-level system, which draws on increased connectivity between the University, UK Engineering companies, and the student. The main vehicle for providing the technical training is the postgraduate Masters degree in “Ultra Precision Technologies”. We explain how this course has been designed for broad appeal, whilst incorporating world class technical teaching and an external focus on the needs of participating companies.

Keywords: Knowledge Transfer, Engineering, Postgraduate, UK Higher Education

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.85-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.375MB).

Dr. Christopher Sansom

Senior Lecturer, Course Director, and and Knowledge Transfer Manager, Precision Engineering Centre, School of Applied Sciences, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK

Dr. Chris Sansom is the Course Director of the MSc/PGDip/PGCert/MTech in “Ultra Precision Technologies” and Knowledge Transfer Manager of the UPS2 Integrated Knowledge Centre. The UPS2 Knowledge Transfer portfolio includes a suite of Industrial short courses which are led by Cranfield University, in partnership with the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) of the University of Cambridge and the Optical Design Department of University College London, and benefiting from expertise within the Opto-electronics Technology and Incubation Centre (OpTIC), based in North Wales. Dr Sansom has over 25 years experience in blue-chip engineering and manufacturing companies and UK Higher Education institutions. He is married to Ruqia and lives in Northampton, England.

Paul Shore

Head of the Cranfield University Precision Engineering Centre, Professor, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK

Professor Paul Shore is the Head of the Cranfield University Precision Engineering Centre which is an internationally leading precision engineering research facility. Paul is also the Director of the UK's Integrated Knowledge Centre for Ultra Precision and Structured Surfaces (UPS2) and an elected Director of the European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (euspen).


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