University of Leicester signs partnership agreement with global engineering group

Paul Boughton

The University of Leicester, through its departments of Engineering, Maths and Computer Science, will hold a launch event to celebrate the development of a collaborative framework agreement with international engineering company Alstom on Wednesday 14 May between 9:00am – 1:00pm in the Engineering Building at the University of Leicester.

The agreement will see the University of Leicester and Alstom collaborate in areas of research related to energy hardware and infrastructure using a range of mechanisms, including contract research, consultancy, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), student projects, TSB and Horizon 2020.

Professor Helen Atkinson CBE, head of the University of Leicester’s Department of Engineering, said: “I welcome the development of this strategic relationship between the University of Leicester and Alstom. It will enhance our capacity to jointly bid for technology development funding and skills development for engineers.”

Alstom will develop a branded presence in the University of Leicester’s Department of Engineering and the partnership’s activities will be communicated through a dedicated website and communications. The partnership will actively explore opportunities for broader provision of training within Alstom and recruitment of Leicester graduates.

Professor Sarah Hainsworth, Professor of Materials Engineering at the University of Leicester, said: “We have worked collaboratively with Alstom for a number of years on research that explores the potential use of new materials and technologies in steam turbines which have the capacity to increase power plant efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.  It is exciting to research in areas that have a direct benefit to solving challenging issues affecting our environment and planet.  The partnership formally gives us a platform to explore new opportunities.”

Iain Rutherford, Alstom unit managing director based in Rugby, said: “Although Alstom is primarily concerned with the development of new and innovative technologies, we are also passionate about closing the skills gaps both of today and for the future to service the evolving needs of the power industry.

“Academic partnerships, such as this one with the University of Leicester,  therefore not only support young engineers and scientists with the essential skills and competencies to enter industry but also develop their theoretical knowledge necessary to extend the required technologies of tomorrow.  Additionally, it ensures that the academic staff and the Universities themselves are better prepared to support the future direction and needs of the sector.” 

The University of Leicester has a number of active links with Alstom. The Department of Engineering supports R&D at Alstom Grid through its Power Group and Alstom Power through its Mechanics of Materials Group and Thermo Fluids Group. The Department of Mathematics also works with Alstom Power, providing interns to the methodology for tools group.

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