Birmingham City University


Birmingham City University logo

The Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment

Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment is based at Millennium Point in Birmingham and enjoys a prestigious partnership with the aerospace division of Rolls-Royce. However, the Faculty’s extensive and close links with industry mean that its capabilities extend far beyond aerospace. For example, our Lean Manufacturing Team deliver highly successful training programmes that are designed to embed the fundamental principles, practices and methodologies associated with the lean operation of an organisation. Over the last ten years these in demand courses have been delivered across a range of businesses active in the aerospace, automotive, general engineering, health and public sectors.

CASE STUDY: Rolls Royce

The Faculty enjoys a successful partnership with the aerospace division of Rolls-Royce, based on the specialist knowledge and track record of Professor Craig Chapman, Head of Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) at the University’s School of Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Systems.

Knowledge based engineering

The relationship, dating back to 2008, began with a 12-month Knowledge Based Partnership (KBP) programme focused on modelling Rolls-Royce’s advanced engineering systems. Under the leadership of Professor Craig Chapman, graduate associate Maria Nicastri was able to provide better understanding, knowledge and intelligence of those key systems. Maria is now a permanent member of the development team, having joined a growing number of researchers who have passed through Craig’s KBE lab to join Rolls-Royce’s staff.

Low carbon engine technology

Birmingham City University’s working relationship with Rolls-Royce was further enhanced when it was chosen to collaborate with the company on its £90 million Technology Strategy Board-funded Strategic Investment in Low Carbon Engine Technology (SILOET) project. This continued the initial work of the KBP by investigating further the modelling of key systems and developing potential architectures to enhance Rolls-Royce’s design automation systems for future engine development. To support this project, Steve Suman, a Birmingham City University graduate, was recruited as Research Associate, and investments were made at Millennium Point to develop a dedicated KBE lab in order more fully to support the Rolls-Royce research initiatives.

Bespoke training

In addition to these impressive research-focused activities, the Faculty’s KBE team also embarked on a programme of bespoke training for Rolls-Royce’s senior management and key engineering teams. All participants gained the Birmingham City University award of a CPS (Certificate for Professional Studies) in Knowledge Based Engineering, which acted as an important catalyst for stimulating further discussion. It also resulted in further meetings with the University to identify new research initiatives.

The thriving partnership with Rolls-Royce typifies how the University can engage with companies on a variety of different activities, from applied research to knowledge transfer and consultancy to bespoke training.

Professor Craig Chapman

Contact Us

To obtain further details about the University’s Knowledge Based Engineering expertise, please contact Craig Chapman: craig.chapman@bcu.ac.uk.

To find out more about our wider capabilities and our work with business, call +44 (0)121 331 5400 or visit our website at www.bcu.ac.uk/tee.