Embedding soft skills and business awareness

“Embedding soft skills and
business awareness –
Mechanical Engineering at UU”
Dr Margaret Morgan
 BEng Hons Mechanical Engineering
 Embedding business skills within the
 Industry collaboration and support
BEng Hons Mechanical Engineering
 CEng accreditation by the Institution of
Mechanical Engineers
 85% employment record
 Compulsory industrial Placement
 Strong university/industry partnership
What industry wants?
Technical excellence
Problem-solving skills
Innovation and creativity
Commercial awareness
Excellent communicators
Matching programme delivery to industry needs
 Communication / team-working skills
 Practical management skills e.g. selfdiscipline, independent study-skills, time
management, etc.
 Visits to manufacturing organisations
 Placement in industry
 Formal industrial management module
Industry visits
Industrially relevant projects
 Real-life design brief given
 Students and company engineers
 Industry prizes for winning designs
Practical Application
Practical Application
 Huge logistical task coordinating industrial visits
and timetables
 Need commitment from the companies – use
past graduates as facilitators
 Financial incentive required for companies to be
 Grant aid scheme to encourage companies to
employ Placement students?
Practical issues
 Need continuity on industrially sponsored
 Lack of commitment/maturity from the
 Need buy-in from lecturing staff
Financial implications
 Cost of bus hire – relatively small
 Hospitality for industrial visitors – insignificant
 Travel costs for industrial Placement visits
Thank you