Students and graduates of Teesside University are reaping the rewards of a partnership with a major engineering firm.
For more than 15 years, Cummins Engines has been collaborating with Teesside University’s School of Science & Engineering on numerous different schemes including student placements, final year projects and shared research.
The partnership has proved extremely beneficial for all parties.
Students have gained valuable on-the-job experience, with many of them going on to be offered full time employment at the company which manufactures diesel engines and components for multiple applications across the world.
In return, the company is able to access a pool of highly skilled graduates as well as support from the University’s academic staff.
Ian Binks, from Billingham, graduated last month with a BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering after spending his third year working at the company.
He was then invited back to work part-time at Cummins where he completed his final year project investigating different ways to improve the reliability of products, under the supervision of Farhad Nabhani, Professor of Biomechanics and Manufacturing at Teesside University.
The company was so impressed with Ian’s work he has been offered a full time job.
Ian said: “Obviously the job market’s quite difficult at the moment so to land a position at a company like this has been fantastic.
“Doing the placement definitely helped me. As well as giving me the contact with the company, I was able to get vital skills which complemented the academic work I did at the University.”
Nuria Manuel joined Cummins last year after completing her BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering at Teesside University.
She said: “Doing an industrial placement definitely helped me, as it gives you real-life industry experience which can help you when you come into the workplace.”
Tony Andrews, product support manager at Cummins, said: “Our relationship with Teesside University is very positive.
“Working with an institution like Teesside University, with close links to the area, is invaluable. It is great to have support nearby. I find that Teesside graduates are of an extremely high calibre and are able to get up to speed with the work we do extremely quickly when they arrive here.”
The University has also collaborated with Cummins on a number of other projects including a recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which saw a graduate carry out research, with the help of a University academic, into ways in which Cummins can improve its engine painting processes.
The graduate is currently doing his PhD study under the supervision of Professor Nabhani, and the work has resulted in a publication in a major international conference.
Professor Nabhani said: “Our relationship with Cummins has gone from strength to strength over the years.
“We are delighted to be able to provide support to Cummins while also being able to offer our students the chance to work on exciting projects within a global company.”
• Pictured (above, left-to-right): Nuria Manuel, Lewis Bowron, Ian Binks, Tony Andrews and Professor Farhad Nabhani.