And we definitely need one. This is why…
The UK is world-renowned for its engineering prowess, yet we face an economically damaging shortage of engineers.
As Andrew Reynolds Smith, CEO, Automotive and Powder Metallurgy, GKN, wrote for us in Securing Britain’s Future, the UK is desperately short of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) graduates.
He cited research from the Royal Academy of Engineering showing that the UK needs 100,000 STEM grads “just to maintain the status quo” until 2020.
At that time (2013), we were producing 90,000 such graduates – but one in four of them abandoned STEM fields upon leaving university to pursue non-science careers.
Our economy would be significantly boosted if we could just produce the engineering talent we need.
Research from Engineering UK in January showed that engineering employers “have the potential to generate an additional £27bn per year from 2022”.
But to fulfill that potential we need to be able to fill an expected 257,000 roles within engineering enterprises by that time.
Which means we need to nurture and train up young talent.
Cue James Dyson…
James Dyson is, of course, our country’s most famous living engineer.
The king of innovative hoovers and hand-dryers is passionate about supporting young engineers and supporting the next generation of STEM talent.
He’s just announced that he’ll invest £12m through his James Dyson Foundation to launch a new school for engineering in South Kensington, London.
The Dyson School of Design Engineering will be set up by Imperial College London and will teach a four-year MEng course (a masters in engineering).
The first lessons will be taught this October and modules have been created with the help of Dyson engineers.
“We want to create engineers who are bold and commercially astute,” said James Dyson.
“They will use their skills, nurtured in the Dyson School, to develop future technology that will catalyse Britain’s economic growth.”
The course will include subjects such as patent application and intellectual copyright as well as technical and creative aspects.
The James Dyson Foundation has donated a total of £48m to research and education causes.