Friday, September 6, 2013

News: AMRC highlights University's entrepreneurialism

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The University of Sheffield has been shortlisted for the Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) awards.

Highlighted in the University's award nomination is the world-renowned Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing. Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, 250 technical apprentices work alongside 70 companies and 180 University staff to translate research into new designs and manufacturing processes. This willingness to rethink traditional approaches to partnership with business and developing skills motivates the work of the award-winning AMRC.

A desire to approach manufacturing problems in new ways will also be demonstrated by the construction of Factory 2050 – the world's most advanced factory – working hand in hand in business in partnership with the UK Government, Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce.

The AMRC announced in June that it had secured funding for a £43m state-of-the-art research factory to meet the future needs of aerospace and other high-value manufacturing industries.

The location is yet to be decided but initial concept design images drawn up by leading architects, Bond Bryan, show the building on land adjacent to the AMRC Training centre that is currently under construction on the AMP.

With manufacturers including Boeing, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Spirit AeroSystems committed to supporting the project, the AMRC Factory 2050 will combine technologies including advanced robotics, flexible automation, unmanned workspace, off-line programming in virtual environments linked to plug-and-play robotics, 3D printing from flexible automated systems, man-machine interfaces, and new programming and training tools.

The nomination also referenced the fact that the University of Sheffield also has by far the largest number of Students in Free Enterprise (Enactus) in the UK. There are currently 290 students working on over 30 life changing projects.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor at the University of Sheffield, said: "Enterprise is all about taking up a challenge, and working in a focused way to create real benefits. This quality is highly valued by employers as they look at graduate CVs for evidence of initiative and entrepreneurship. But it is also crucial for society.

"Enterprise can also transform a town or a city. It can make a difference to a group of people who are in real need. It is about taking up the challenge and making change happen."

AMRC website

Images: AMRC

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