With industry perspectives and new knowledge inviting fresh thinking, the special relationship between the two have long been showcased as the blueprint for success; producing transformative ways of working through advanced research and development. 
Dr Paul Needham One such special relationship in West Yorkshire, is that between BAE Systems and the University of Huddersfield. It's also one which is very special and personal too for for Paul, Head of Engineering for Air & Space Products and Chief Engineer for Historic Aircraft at BAE Systems Air.
Paul went on to build strong links with the University after he started his degree, part-time in the 1990s. He returned again in the early 2000s to gain a PhD and today, he is proud to be a Visiting Professor at the University's School of Computing and Engineering. 
Amongst many other tasks, the position allows Paul to mentor students, supervise PhDs, collaborate on academic papers and chair the school's industrial advisory panel; providing valuable industry perspective and context to the University's work in the engineering field. 
The relationship with the university and its staff led to a collaboration between Paul and Dr Andrew Longstaff, Professor of Machine Tool Metrology and Research Director in the Centre for Precision Technologies. 
Combining forces serves much more than just academic purposes. It helps to secure a pipeline of talent here in the North of England, with a future workforce primed and ready to support industry and drive efficiencies. 
Paul's input from an industry point of view assists the university with its curriculum development and helps ensure that its advanced research can provide real-world benefits. 
The challenges that he brings to us from the business often spark research projects for our students. It starts hares running and we can begin to solve questions that otherwise would lie buried. These projects help us to create the engineers that the industry needs for the future. Dr Andrew Longstaff, Professor of Machine Tool Metrology and Research Director in the Centre for Precision Technologies, University of Huddersfield
Paul adds: "When it comes to lectures, I take an industrial view, to show how we use what the students are learning in industry. 
Much of the university work Paul carries out is done in his own time and through his work and links with Huddersfield, he aims to help inspire the next generation of engineers on their career paths. 
"I give an insight into how we work together as an integrated team to collaborate and design state-of-the-art products. I take them through that journey and the challenges that go with that, bringing them into my exciting world of engineering and hopefully inspiring them to have a career in the fascinating world of engineering themselves. "
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