Wolverhampton University in £500k revamp

The University of Wolverhampton is to spend almost £500,000 to upgrade laboratories and equipment at one of its campus as part of a plan to improve engineering courses.

In the first phase of plans to transform its engineering facilities and courses in Telford, the university hopes to have the upgrades complete by the start of the new academic year in October.

The campus already has rooms for 400 students and a lecture theatre that can hold 300.

Now existing laboratories and workshops will be transformed and refurbished, and new engineering laboratories will be created, to support engineering courses and to enable students to take part in extra-curricular activities.

See also: New Wolverhampton University centre at Stafford's Shire Hall opens to the public.

The new workshops will include two car bays, benches and professional tools to support the Formula Student competition and to set-up a racing car for which students will be the pit-crew at racing events. There will also be a large new computer suite.

Dr Paul Lister, head of engineering in the faculty of science and engineering, said: “The new courses and improved facilities are to meet increasing demand for skilled engineering graduates.

"The region’s economy is experiencing a resurgence, exemplified by the Jaguar Land Rover and i54 developments, and we want to ensure our graduates are equipped with the right skills and experience to meet the needs of industry.

"We are also providing progression to higher education for students in schools, academies and University Technical Colleges (UTCs) in the region that specialise in engineering."

He added: "Our vision and long term aim is to work with high value manufacturing businesses in shared space at the campus and ensure we maintain and further develop our links with the chemical, aerospace and automotive companies working collaboratively with our stakeholders and partners.

"With its strong industrial heritage, Telford is the perfect location for our plans to enhance our engineering courses and facilities."

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The university is also developing a range of new undergraduate courses in automotive engineering, motorsports, mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, mechatronics, aeronautics, chemical engineering, and electrical, electronics and telecommunications.

The new courses will be available for the 2015/16 academic year, and have been identified as areas of growing demand among students and industry.

Future plans at the Telford Innovation Campus include building expansion with further investment in facilities and equipment, and providing shared space for work with businesses, workspaces for students, new exhibition and display areas and revamped communal and refreshment areas.

The specialist engineering equipment will be commissioned and installed by Christmas.

See also: West Midlands universities hike tuition fees to maximum £9k per year.