£760k investment in high-spec university equipment

“The high-spec equipment will ensure our students and apprentices leave with industry leading skills that they will use in their workplace.”

Professor David Hawkins, Dean of the School of Createive Arts and Engineering

Staffordshire University is investing £760k in state-of-the-art equipment to support economic growth in the region.

The University successfully bid for £380k from the Stoke and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and is match-funding the sum to introduce new facilities at its Stoke-on-Trent campus.

The LEP's Skills Equipment Fund (SEF) helps local employers and training institutions purchase equipment to support growth in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s priority economic sectors.

The funding will help Staffordshire University meet employer needs for apprenticeship and skills development in advanced manufacturing, engineering, healthcare and digital sectors.

Part of the money will be used to support Apprenticeships and Digital Skills Delivery. It will also help fund a Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab for nurse and healthcare training, and a ‘Digital Shed’ for prototyping and manufacture.

Inspired by Maker-spaces and 'Fab-Labs', the new Digital Shed will house a range of digitally-enabled design and engineering equipment. These facilities will enable apprentices, designers, engineering students and businesses to develop prototypes for products ranging from mechatronic and robotic devices, decorative and functional products, structures and sub-assemblies, models and test-rigs.

Professor David Hawkins, Dean of the School of Creative Arts and Engineering, said: “The Digital Shed is an exciting project that will enable us to connect with local and regional employers and enhance student success through practice-based learning. The space will create a culture of collaboration and knowledge exchange will be encouraged both in the facility and via linked media.

“The high-spec equipment will ensure our students and apprentices leave with industry leading skills that they will use in their workplace.”

The £95k Digital Shed will also support the delivery of new courses focused on advanced manufacturing and materials technology. Staffordshire University is working with the British Ceramics Confederation (BCC) in the design of its curriculum together with a range of industry partners.

Professor Hawkins added: “There is an impending skills gap within traditional ceramics due to an ageing workforce and an emerging shortage of trained workers. At the same, ceramic materials are developing and the way people use products is advancing.

“Both this new curriculum and the Digital Shed will allow our students to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies and help to fill skills gaps across key industries in our region.”

Contact

Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
College Road
Stoke-on-Trent
ST4 2DE
t: +44(0) 1782 292702
m: 07799341911
e: amy.platts@staffs.ac.uk