BCU seeks next gen tech experts

Birmingham City University is at the heart of a global push to create a new generation of tech savvy manual workers

The institution is the only UK member of a global alliance of eight higher education establishments taking engineering and business teaching into a new era.

The aim is to equip the smart factories of the future with a leaner, more efficient workforce of production line workers skilled in IT, software and data handling.

As industry chiefs continue to urge the government to invest more in the national skills base, Birmingham City University is taking a lead in equipping the next generation with input from global technology partner SAP.

Ardavan Amini, senior academic and director of the Centre for Enterprise Systems at Birmingham City University, said: “It’s fantastic to be at the forefront of development with SAP, enabling students to gain industry knowledge with the latest technology.

“We are equipping a new generation of workers in manufacturing and engineering for the next industrial revolution. It’s about giving people the skills to run end-to-end processes, using technology and people concepts to become a leaner and more efficient workforce.”

The Industry 4.0 curriculum offers teaching materials for universities to train young talent for the production world of tomorrow, targeting engineering, business and executive MBA students.

Member universities can integrate parts of the curriculum into existing seminars and create entirely new courses. The eight global universities have developed the curriculum, which includes practical units, visualisation software and a simulator.

Partners include Tongji University Shanghai, the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Mosbach.

Professor Mel Lees, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University, said: “Our Centre for Enterprise Systems is building a significant reputation as a leader of innovation. SAP is an important global partner for us and this announcement demonstrates their recognition of the work we do and the value they place on our partnership.”

After completion of the pilot phase, the Industry 4.0 curriculum will be available to more than 2,000 member universities, beginning in August 2015.

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