We engage with businesses in a variety of ways. These can start with simple and fast mechanisms; individual staff provide consultancy on a per diem basis or students on taught modules can be used to rapidly solve specific live problems. At the other end of the spectrum are long-term research partnerships to bring early research challenges to pre-production state.

Short engagements include company staff presenting their expertise to our students, as well as setting problems at the beginning of the week of a taught module by web conference and receiving a presentation at the end of the week of outcomes from their analysis of the problem. We also run short courses which may be bespoke or more general.

Medium-term engagements include contracting four month individual student projects and three month team projects to address significant strategic challenges. Our students develop significantly during these periods and our collaborating companies gain rapid development of projects using our students, supported by our academic expertise.

Longer-term, we regularly partner with industry on the development of processes, technology and people. We work with companies to gain funding through UK and EU governments to address changes on production system design through to process technology development.

Examples are six month to 36 month Knowledge Transfer Partnership programmes (KTPs), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) fundamental research and Innovate UK technology transfer programmes or fully industry-funded research fellows. The agenda is set in partnership between ourselves and the company/companies and will be determined by the financial commitment and the technology readiness level. Many of our research students are registered part-time whilst maintaining the employment in the partner companies. This enables long-term development of staff as well as embedding new capabilities within our partner companies.