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HARPER ADAMS: GATEWAY TO THE ENGINEERING INDUSTRY

Posted 28 July 2003

The Engineering Industry is diverse and dynamic, with a worldwide demand for practical, well-educated engineers. It is made up of a wide variety of companies, from Small and Medium-sized Enterprises employing just a couple of people to global organisations with a turnover in excess of several billion pounds.

If you are considering a career within this industry, you might like to consider specialising in Rough Terrain Engineering, which provides vehicles and equipment for a variety of roles including construction, leisure, increasing the efficiency of agriculture and improving the nation’s infrastructure.

Harper Adams University College Harper Adams University College is based in a Shropshire estate of more than 700 acres including a mixed enterprise commercial farm, woodland and recreational land. As the UK’s largest specialist provider of Higher Education for the diverse industries, professions and communities associated with the countryside, the University College has an international reputation for the quality of its courses and graduates.

This is particularly true of Harper Adams’ Engineering Department, which is held in high regard by the diverse industries to which it supplies graduates. The University College has been forging close links with industry leaders such as JCB, John Deere and Caterpillar for many years and has developed a range of facilities and equipment that matches, as closely as possible, those which students and graduates are likely to encounter in their employment.

The 200+ engineering students on campus have access to all college facilities but will make particular use of the on-site engineering facilities including two large project/demonstration halls and workshops, which include a separate welding area (equipped for arc, gas etc), a machine shop (including lathes, saw bench etc) and an electronics laboratory.

Harper Adams also has a purpose-built Soil Hall. At 60m long by 30m wide it is one of the largest covered facilities of this kind and is climate neutral so it can be used all year round, replicating a variety of outdoor conditions. This facility is used to demonstrate field operations and equipment as well as for teaching, research and short courses and by engineering companies conducting commercial testing.

Attached to the Soil Hall is a large Machinery Hall (48m long by 30m wide) that has an asphalt floor surface and is used for teaching and the secure storage of our equipment. This hall was built with an internal drainage system, which means we are able to demonstrate and test the use of sprayer equipment all year round.

Students are given access to the College Estate where they can gain experience in operational techniques. Adjacent to the Engineering buildings is an 80 metre-long concrete driving and test track, a clear 100-metre diameter field test area and a fairly arduous off-road vehicle driving course. These facilities are used for both teaching and research and as a demonstration area for open days and short courses etc.

We maintain a wide ranging fleet of machines, equipment and vehicles through loan agreements with a number of prominent engineering companies to ensure that our students have access to and are familiar with the latest technological developments. Many of our engineering company contacts also support us by sponsoring student project work and some, such as JCB and CLAAS, have also set up individual student sponsorship schemes, which students are encouraged to enter.

Harper Adams’ is fortunate to benefit from close links and an excellent working relationship with JCB, which led to JCB’s substantial donation towards the cost of developing a specialist Engineering Design Centre (EDC) on campus. Centrally located within the development housing the new Learning Resources Centre (LRC), the EDC houses much improved and enlarged teaching and study rooms complete with the latest computer equipment running Computer Aided Engineering and Computer Aided Design software.

Courses Harper Adams offers a range of three-year HND and Foundation Degrees, four-year BSc and BEng level Degrees and five-year MEng level degrees accredited by The Engineering Council through the Institution of Agricultural Engineers.

Harper Adams believes in equipping graduates with a combination of education and experience, providing them with an understanding of the day-to-day practicalities of working as an engineer. For this reason, all of Harper Adams courses include either a single 12-month placement, or two six-month placements, of paid work experience in industry. Courses at Harper Adams fall into three main areas – Agricultural Engineering, Off Road Vehicle Design and Engineering Design & Development.

· Agricultural Engineers will find themselves working round the world and will be responsible for the design and testing of tractors, self propelled harvesters, loaders and dump trucks as well as ploughs and cultivators and even fighting vehicles. To support these products, engineers with marketing skills will provide the customer support in areas such as sales and demonstration and in-field trouble shooting. There is a growing shortage of service engineers and dealership personnel to keep the machines moving in the field.

· Off Road Vehicles covers all sorts of unusual vehicles from JCB’s, road rollers and other construction plant, through professional size lawnmowers and other specialist agricultural equipment, to armoured fighting vehicles. Any engineer working in these fields needs the basic knowledge common to all engineer’s training and he or she will certainly receive that on Harper Adams’ courses but in addition will receive the specialist education on traction and suspensions etc that are peculiar to off road vehicles.

· The Engineering Designer is concerned with both the design of new machines and also the refinement and improvement of existing products. Although CAD and other engineering software now play a large part in technical design the success of an engineering enterprise still depends on the innovative ability of its designers. Engineering Design and Development involves the study of the core subjects of engineering along with specialist design studies involving concept design, product realisation including rapid prototyping, aesthetics, anthropometrics and ergonomics.

Contacts For further information about Engineering at Harper Adams University College, please contact the Admissions Office by telephone on +44 (0) 1952 815 000 or E-mail: admissions@harper-adams.ac.uk

Further information is also available on http://www.offroadmachines.com or on Harper Adams web site at: http://www.harper-adams.ac.uk

For specific information on Engineering at Harper Adams, please contact the Principal Lecturer Bill Rowley by telephone on +44 (0) 1952 815 247 or E-mail: browley@harper-adams.ac.uk

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