Deakin and University of Coventry multiply ties

Research news
12 December 2017

A high-level delegation from the University of Coventry has visited Deakin to extend the partnership.

Establishing the UK’s first “Faculty on the Factory Floor” in 2014 is one of a number of achievements of the University of Coventry that makes its collaboration with Deakin University a perfect match.

The two young universities are focussed on fast upward trajectories – and building a deep, multidimensional relationship, underpinned by complementary strengths for mutual benefit.

Strategic collaboration offers many benefits to staff, students and broader society, noted Coventry Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Richard Dashwood on a recent visit with four colleagues to Deakin.

The two universities share research strengths, with close alignment between Deakin’s Institutes and Strategic Research Centres and Coventry’s Research Centres.

“We’re increasing our research collaboration significantly, which multiplies our pool of researchers, particularly benefiting early career researchers and building our capacity more broadly,” said Professor Dashwood.

“For instance, a cotutelle (jointly-supervised doctoral degree) increases the number of PhD students and supervisors at each university without increasing costs – and allows our early career researchers to move between institutions, doubling their exposure to world-class academics, facilities and research approaches.

“Furthermore, bringing strategic partners into the equation allows us to solve bigger problems. We are now starting to identify partners who work in both regions, so we can look at issues such as future cities or future transport from a broader perspective.”

Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Peter Hodgson said the two universities are committed to internationalisation – understanding that international engagement, effective collaboration and increased global profile will be critical to future success.

“Each institution has strengths from which the other can learn,” Professor Hodgson said.
“Sharing information on best practice approaches and experiences of driving transformational change in university development is underpinning our relationship.

“Deakin is particularly interested in Coventry’s progressive approach to entrepreneurship, innovation and industry engagement. Coventry can learn from the way we have successfully advanced our research output through a clear focus on developing a number of discrete themes. Coventry also wishes to accelerate its online delivery efforts, learning from the success of the Deakin approach.”

The University of Coventry is a UK leader in industry placements. In collaboration with Unipart Manufacturing Group, it established its Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) in 2014 to provide for the development of technical skills for undergraduates, through to postgraduates working to commercialise research on the factory floor.

Part-funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), AME brings together academia, industry and R&D in a “live” manufacturing environment. It aims to develop industry-ready engineering graduates; and foster research and innovation to drive economic growth for automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, power generation and rail sectors.

Deakin and Coventry signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015 and a cotutelle HDR agreement in 2016, which will see 14 cotutelle students enrolled by mid-2018. Cotutelles are being undertaken in dance digitisation, durability of composites, metals processing, activity in children, condition monitoring/wear (engineering), entrepreneurship/social enterprise, and sustainable business.

There are many other connections at individual and institutional levels, with numerous staff visits and several PhD scholarships supporting the cotutelle students.

Prof Dashwood was accompanied by Dr Rebekah Smith-McGloin, Director, Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development; Prof Elena Gaura, Associate Dean Research who worked closely with Deakin to set up the cotutelle program; Prof Sarah Whatley, cotutelle supervisor and long-term collaborator with Deakin Motion Lab; and Prof Carl Perrin, Director, Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering.

By Deakin Research

For all media enquiries please contact Deakin’s media team.

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From left: Professor Carl Perrin, Professor Elena Gaura, Professor Richard Dashwood, Dr Rebekah Smith-McGloin, Professor Sarah Whatley and Dr Georgina Kelly.

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From left: Professor Carl Perrin, Professor Elena Gaura, Professor Richard Dashwood, Dr Rebekah Smith-McGloin, Professor Sarah Whatley and Dr Georgina Kelly.

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