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Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering to launch on 28 November

14 November 2013

The UK’s only Centre for Excellence in Food Engineering will be officially launched on Thursday 28 November 2013.

Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) has been awarded nearly £7million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England to develop a National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, creating world leading capability and delivering R&D and skills solutions for the UK food and drink manufacturing industry.

Speakers will include Sheffield Hallam University vice chancellor, Professor Philip Jones, pro-vice chancellor, Professor Roger Eccleston and Nestlé UK CEO, Fiona Kendrick.

Dr Martin Howarth, head of department for engineering and maths at Sheffield Hallam, said: "The centre will support the food and drink industry to develop and implement new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment, to keep the UK at the forefront of capability and efficiency in a very competitive sector.

"It will also enhance the development of a highly educated and knowledgeable workforce, through staff development and supporting employees with experience of leading engineering systems and processes.

"This project builds on our existing strong track record of providing excellent research and knowledge transfer, and of working in partnership with industry to develop education programmes that are designed to support companies by creating highly skilled and employable graduates, ready for the world of work."

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is inviting food and drink manufacturers of all sizes to attend the launch.

Angela Coleshill, director of Employment and Skills at the Food and Drink Federation said:
“Although the Centre of Excellence has received strong industry backing from food and drink manufacturers and machinery suppliers, wider industry engagement is vital to the success of this project. That’s why we’re inviting all food and drink manufacturers to this event to help us to shape the Centre’s vision and future strategy.

“The Centre's strong focus on mechanical engineering will be vital in helping industry improve manufacturing processes for the future and address the current skills gap by providing continuous professional development for existing engineers and exposing future engineers studying the MEng Food Engineering degree to the latest technology.

“There’s no doubt that the industry at large will benefit from having such a world class facility as it’s work will focus on providing solutions to the many sector specific challenges that we have. Whether seeking to reduce the environmental impact of our production or improving the productivity of our factories, the Centre collaborating with industry partners will help us to find the answers. This important project will not just help us to develop and equip the food industry engineers of future but will also help us to realise the sector’s growth potential.”

The launch will be held from 10.00am until 2.30pm at Cutlers' Hall, Church Street, Sheffield, S1 1HG. 

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