Partnership boosts engineering research and training

Published: 2 October 2007

A joint graduate school for engineers is to be created as part of a £50 million partnership to boost world-class research in the West of Scotland.

A joint graduate school for engineers is to be created as part of a £50 million partnership to boost world-class research in the West of Scotland.

The Glasgow Research Partnership in Engineering (GRPE), a major collaboration between the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian and Paisley and the Scottish Funding Council is to develop three Joint Institutes to focus on key areas of engineering research. In addition, the Graduate School will provide at least 31 research scholarships for training and development across the partner universities.

Peter Hughes, Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, Jim McColl, Chairman and Chief Executive of Clyde Blowers, and Lord Provost Bob Winter will officially launch the GRPE tomorrow morning (Wednesday 3 October) at a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.

Professor Jim McDonald, Director of the GRPE and Deputy Principal at the University of Strathclyde, said: "The investment that will be made under the Partnership marks a significant moment for research development in Scotland.

"By working together and attracting the very best of resources in terms of people, equipment and facilities, this Partnership will ensure that the West of Scotland remains at the forefront of Engineering discovery and innovation. Thirty new staff appointments have been created under the partnership to attract high calibre research talent to Scotland. The partnership will design, and deliver, the key technologies needed by industry and society."

The GRPE is one of three major engineering research collaborations created and supported through the Scottish Funding Council. The Northern Research Partnership, Edinburgh Research Partnership and the GRPE collectively form the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering. Together the regional partnerships will drive up the research competitiveness of Scotland as a whole.

Glasgow's three Joint Research Institutes will focus on:

• Electronic, Communications and Power Systems
• Environmental, Infrastructure and Transportation Engineering
• Mechanics of Materials, Structures and Bioengineering

The research scholarships will be divided between the institutes.

Dean of Engineering at the University of Glasgow, Professor Frank Coton, said: "The GRPE will provide a unique environment for graduate students to develop their research skills and to become involved in world-leading research projects that cross institutional boundaries.

"They will contribute to an integrated research base that will ensure Scotland's future as a world player in key technology areas ranging from environmental sustainability to the consumer electronics industry."

David Wann, Deputy Chief Executive at the Scottish Funding Council, added: "This collaborative engineering development among the universities in the West of Scotland is a major contribution to achieving the Council's aim of a high quality and internationally competitive research base.

"We are delighted to be supporting partnership working in areas of engineering endeavour which have the potential to help grow the economy and enrich our society."

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Kate Richardson in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3683 or email

First published: 2 October 2007

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