The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding strengthens existing links between BAE Systems and the University and will involve reciprocal secondments between the company and University staff, industrial placements for Masters students and long-term collaborative research. Projects are expected to focus on computational fluid dynamics that will model fluid flows around novel ship hull forms, as well as propeller and superstructure designs. The initiative will also give students the opportunity to get involved in research that will be applied to the design and production of next generation warships, such as the Type 26 combat ship being developed for the Royal Navy.
Alan Johnston, Managing Director of BAE Systems Surface Ships, said: “By forming mutually beneficial university partnerships, we can align the needs of both academia and industry and work together to safeguard the vital role of engineering and manufacturing within the UK economy.
“The collaboration will raise the profile of engineering and assist in securing a flow of fresh engineering talent, helping to tackle potential skills shortages. This will ensure that our business has the right skills set for the future to support our continued drive for innovation and engineering excellence.”
Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, says: “This formal partnership marks the culmination of an existing relationship between the University and BAE Systems, which combines excellence in education, research and business.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop our long-established links in exciting new ways, enhancing Southampton’s reputation for world-leading engineering and creating an environment for co-operative research and education in the long-term.”
The collaboration with the University of Southampton is the second of four planned university partnerships to be established by BAE Systems in the field of maritime engineering. The initiative was formally launched at Heriot-Watt University in June with a further two university partners to be named over the next 12 months.
The University of Southampton combines academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, with the university’s School of Engineering Sciences retaining its number one position at the top of the Guardian League Table for Mechanical Engineering for the second year running.
BAE Systems is one of the biggest UK supporters of education and skills, investing £50 million per annum to support its commitment to life-long learning. The company has links with approximately 100 universities globally through its university partnerships programme, with over 30 of these with UK institutions.
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