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Food and Drink Industry to Select UK University to Create First Dedicated Engineering Degree

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Food and Drink Industry to Select UK University to Create First Dedicated Engineering Degree

Food and Drink Industry to Select UK University to Create First Dedicated Engineering Degree
April 13
11:25 2012

Universities are being invited to compete to partner the UK food and drink industry in developing a dedicated new food and drink engineering degree designed to produce a ready flow of graduates with in-demand food and drink engineering skills. The successful university will become the UK’s centre of excellence for food and drink engineering and help promote the discipline as a distinct profession with the same standing and career appeal as advanced aerospace, automotive or energy engineering.

Higher Education representatives from around the country are being invited to a special briefing at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) in London on April 19 where they will hear more detail of the opportunity which is being driven by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) alongside Improve, the skills council for food and drink manufacturing, and its sister organisation, the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink.

Food and drink manufacturing and processing is now the UK’s single largest manufacturing sector with annual turnover of £76 billion and heavy demand for specialist food and drink engineers due to increased use of high-tech automated production techniques and constant marketplace demand for product innovation. Yet with no specialist degree available in food and drink engineering, general engineering graduate recruits currently take a considerable time to learn and adapt to food and drink industry engineering requirements around such things as hygiene, food and drink supply chain integration, sustainability, lean processes and design for maintenance.

The new food and drink engineering degree course will produce a “new breed” of specialist food and drink engineers who are not only conversant with leading edge food and drink manufacturing technology but also the scientific aspects of food and drink production. The project has received wide industry backing – including major names such as Nestle, Mars and Kraft Foods.

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