Dyson donates £12m to create engineering school

The James Dyson Foundation has donated £12 million to Imperial College London, to create the Dyson School of Design Engineering

The new School will develop the next generation of much-needed graduate engineers and technology leaders. James Dyson said: ‘We want to create engineers who are bold and commercially astute. They will use their skills, nurtured in the Dyson School, to develop future technology that will catalyse Britain’s economic growth.’ 

The Dyson School will be housed on the iconic Exhibition Road in a building purchased by Imperial from the Science Museum. This was made possible by the £12 million donation from the James Dyson Foundation. The purchase will help catalyse the biggest transformation in the Museum’s history.

The first new engineering department established at Imperial in the last two decades, the Dyson School will teach a four year MEng course in Design Engineering from October 2015. The curriculum, developed in partnership with Dyson engineers to give industry relevance, blends technical discipline with creativity. Industry standard equipment and studio space will enable 400 students to design, prototype and test new product ideas. 

Lending his support to the announcement the Chancellor Rt Hon George Osborne MP said: ‘Backing Britain’s world leading science, research and innovation is a key part of our long term economic plan. It is fantastic to hear about the new partnership between the Dyson Foundation and Imperial College to open the new Dyson School of Design Engineering that will play a key role in training the next generation of design engineers.’ 

Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London, said: ‘Design combines the best of technical expertise with creativity and the Dyson School of Design Engineering is uniquely placed to bring these together in its student experience and research. Imperial and Dyson passionately share a vision for educating engineers to elicit innovative thinking and problem solving. The James Dyson Foundation’s generous donation, along with Dyson’s industrial expertise, gives us the opportunity to create a world-leading School for a new kind of engineer to design the future.’ 

The reinvestment of proceeds, approved by the Chancellor, will allow the Science Museum to invest more than £20 million in transforming around a third of the museum over the next five years, including several new permanent galleries. 

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, said: ‘Alongside the significant support we receive from our funders and DCMS, this investment will support bold plans for our museum to fire up the imagination of our million young visitors annually, inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers. We hope many of them will aspire to study at the Dyson School. This is a win, win, win announcement for young people, our institutions and the UK economy which urgently needs more engineers to fuel growth.’

The James Dyson Foundation has donated £50m to engineering education and medical research. This includes £8m to create a technology hub at the University of Cambridge and £5m to London’s Royal College of Art to build business incubator units for graduate students.