Posted 28 October 2016
As a country there's a massive shortage of skilled expertise in engineering. I’d like to build closer links with local educational institutions to see how we can get more engineers trained-up in the country and have Harper Adams at the centre of that."
Harper Adams University welcomes Parmjit Chima as the new Head of the Engineering Department.
His previous role was Head of the School of Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Systems at Birmingham City University.
On what attracted him to the role, Mr Chima said: “I knew that Harper Adams has an innovative engineering department. It’s looking at traditional engineering subjects like mechanical, automotive engineering, but moreover, at autonomous systems. This is an emerging topic area for engineering in the 21st century, especially around autonomous vehicles, but in particular in the case of Harper Adams, it’s around autonomous tractors and autonomous robots. That’s what really interested me and that’s why I applied for the position.
“There’s a good team of people from technicians to researchers, to academics and professors in the engineering department and there's a good portfolio of courses which I hope to develop on.
“As a country there's a massive shortage of skilled expertise in engineering. I’d like to build closer links with local educational institutions to see how we can get more engineers trained-up in the country and have Harper Adams at the centre of that.
“I want to see more female engineers. There are a few now; when I first started out at university there were probably only two girls studying engineering. Now you get a few more but it’s still not an equal split. I want to do what I can to make engineering a subject that’s accessible to girls from all different background and abilities. There’s a lot that engineering can offer them."
On how his fascination and career started, Mr Chima said: “My passion for electronics started at a very young age; about five or six years old. I started experimenting with electrical circuits, developing simple things.
“While still at school, I attended a local college to study electronics further because it was a subject that interested me immensely. At the age of 16 I came away with my school qualifications and a City of Guilds in electrical and electronic engineering.
“I then continued to pursue my interest through college and university, studying a degree in electronics engineering. I got into a role within a university, undertaking research projects in electronics and control.
“That led me to becoming an academic. I spent many years as an academic where I developed new course programmes. I then went into telecommunications, control engineering and then eventually moving on to becoming a manager. I looked after a department initially in software, e-business and IT and then later, and more recently, engineering which encompassed mechanical, automotive, motorsports engineering.
“When I’m not at work, my hobby is still electronics! I enjoy looking at the new processors. Sensors always play a big role and I’m very intrigued and interested in new sensors and sensor developments. In my free time I’ll be at home working on an Arduino or maybe a Raspberry Pi or trying to fix a broken computer.”
Professor Simon Blackmore, the previous Head of Engineering, is now working in the new role of Head of Robotics and Automation.