From nanotube heat exchangers to ultra-strong marine cables - teaching and cutting-edge research making the grade in Bradford

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Engineering departments at the University of Bradford have won plaudits from two recent independent national surveys, with some programme features ranked best in the country.

Following the release of The Guardian League Tables earlier this month, Bradford was ranked first for students ‘satisfied with course’ in Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. This follows promising National Student Survey (NSS) results in July, which saw satisfaction levels for engineering subjects all at or above 90 per cent, including BEng Chemical Engineering (with placement) at 100 per cent.

In the Guardian results, Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering were ranked 1st for students ‘satisfied with course’.

The outcomes represent huge improvements for Civil Engineering (moving from 28th place in 2019 to 7th this year) and Mechanical Engineering (to 18th from 44th). Chemical Engineering maintained its top-5 position and Bioengineering (now classified under Electronic and Electrical Engineering) gained a very respectable position in its first entry to the guide, being ranked 29th of 60.

In August, a student team from the University of Bradford’s Faculty of Engineering and Informatics scooped first prize in a global competition for its innovative analysis of the 2005 Texas City Refinery disaster.

Professor Alastair Wood, Associate Dean for External Relations, said: “These statistics are mirrored in fantastic student experience and the evidence is that our students can compete and succeed in global settings, demonstrating many of the success factors and attributes highlighted in the NSS and Guardian surveys.

“Couple this with strong industrial (and research) links across all engineering departments that support highly professional industrial placements for students, and smaller class sizes that facilitate hands-on lab/experimental experience for students, then professional, employability, and technical attributes required by industry are built into our graduating cohorts.

"Mechanical Engineering is 18th (of 69) overall but first for students ‘satisfied with course’. We came top in two categories, which is staggeringly good. When you link that to the NSS results from July, where Mechanical Engineering’s overall satisfaction was 92 per cent, here we have two independent student-focussed surveys both saying really good things about our programmes.”

Carbon nanotube heat exchangers for computer circuit boards, bioresorbable polymer stents, hurricane resistant building materials, antimicrobial surfaces, transparent food containers and polyoxymethylene high strength marine cables are just some of the pioneering research areas linked to Mechanical Engineering activity and being supported by the University.

In addition, the Faculty collaborates with over 100 companies, small to big, including Astra Zeneca, BASF and Kimberley Clark. The University adopted the internationally recognised Conceive Design Implement Operate (CDIO) teaching framework in 2017, combining necessary professional and technical attributes with transferable and team-based skills development, to prepare students for the multi-disciplinary career environment that is professional and modern engineering.

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