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Professor Peter Gardner

It’s been an exceptionally busy year for the Department. We successfully launched a new Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering undergraduate degree which runs alongside our Electronic and Electrical Engineering offerings. The programme provides a solid grounding in the underlying physical and mathematical principles of the subject, along with a thorough, connected overview of electronic, mechanical and computer technology and their applications.

We were successful in our Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Accreditation in January 2019, and the new Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering degrees. During this new period of accreditation we will pass the milestone of an unbroken 40 year record of offering IET/IEE accredited degree programmes in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and variants thereof, ever since professional engineering degrees were first recognised in this way. We are excited to continue working as an academic partner with the IET to continuously evolve new content and new ways of delivering it.

In addition to our successful projects on sensors for autonomous road vehicles, we are now also researching into radars for autonomous shipping, thanks to a new EPSRC grant: Sub-THz Radar sensing of the Environment for future Autonomous Marine platforms – STREAM. This builds upon earlier work on THz components and systems that have formed a significant part of our research portfolio over recent years.

Colleagues in the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education announced the UK’s first hydrogen train, HydroFLEX, will be tested on the mainline railway following a successful proof-of-concept, marking an important step in the development of a zero-carbon emission propulsion system that could help to decarbonise Britain’s railways.

We are proud to have launched a new initiative in collaboration with UCB and South & City College Birmingham whereby students can study for a Foundation Degree in an FE environment, with an option for successful students to progress to the final year of our BEng degree in Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering or Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Forging links and creating such pathways is an important part of our work in increasing the diversity of our student intake. The first students to undertake this programme are starting now at South and City, and we hope to see as many of them as possible join our third year programme in two years’ time.

Special mention must go our first cohort of students to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Urban Railway Engineering in Singapore. These students were the first to have completed their studies as part of a unique railway education partnership between the University of Birmingham and Singapore’s public transport services provider SMRT. Congratulations everyone!

And finally, a big thank you to the 22 Electrical Engineering alumni who have kindly volunteered with the Department over the last academic year. This includes 9 mentors, several advisory board members, at least 5 guest speakers at careers events and 5 graduates featuring at Open Days or outreach events. Thank you, you've made a real impact here! If you'd like to get involved too, please get in touch with our Alumni Relations Manager, Grace Surman on eps-community@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Best wishes

Peter Gardner
Head of Department

Read the 2019 EESE Alumni Newsletter here.