BorgWarner is a global technology leader in automotive powertrain and turbo systems. For over twenty years the School for Computing and Engineering has been providing the Bradford based, UK site with placement students from all engineering disciplines.

Many of these students have subsequently returned to the company as graduates and now make a valuable contribution to it growing success.

Placements are a required part of all MEng courses at the school and are strongly encouraged and supported for BEng students. As a result, the School has an excellent graduate employability record and an award winning Placement Unit.

As one of the UK’s top 10 providers of sandwich courses, the University of Huddersfield has a strong focus on working with businesses and a reputation for consistently providing enthusiastic, highly qualified graduates with appropriate skills and experience.

The School of Computing and Engineering at the University of Huddersfield is recognised as being one of foremost providers of sandwich course degrees in the UK. Its award winning Placement Unit has a strong focus on working with industry to ensure graduates have the right skills and experience. Companies are rewarded with enthusiastic, knowledgeable individuals keen to learn and develop their skills.

This commitment to providing a professional learning experience is exemplified in the twenty year relationship between the School and the automotive systems specialist, BorgWarner. The Bradford based company has been taking engineering students on placement since the early 1990s, with many returning to the company as graduates, bringing fresh insight and helping the business grow. The current Heads of Logistics and Manufacture Engineering at BorgWarner both came through the Huddersfield placement system.

Steve Birnie, Head of Engineering at BorgWarner, describes the placement scheme as a resounding success.  “The students from Huddersfield are essentially undergoing a one year interview process,” he says. ”Most students also return to us after graduation, so it is a great way to recruit as we know they have ability and they also have a sense of loyalty to the company.”

Nurturing these links to industry is vitally important to the University’s overall mission. Each year, the School of Computing and Engineering places up to 225 students with companies such as Microsoft, Nestle, Cameron Engineering and Mercedes Benz as well as a large number of smaller regional businesses.

“Many young students think they should be working in Formula 1 engineering so manufacturing companies can be overlooked,” says Dr Simon Barrans, Subject Area Leader at the School. “But we find that organisations like BorgWarner equip our students with a good balance of knowledge, skills and experience and make an enormous difference to the quality of their education and their ultimate employability.”

Dr Barrans makes particular mention of the team effort at BorgWarner.  “Students are involved in every department, from research to design and manufacturing. All the team leaders are extremely enthusiastic about engineering education and totally committed to making the placement work. They know how to challenge our students without overwhelming them.”

Recognising and nurturing the next generation of engineers is part of BorgWarner’s ethos. In addition to its relationship with the University, the company runs an apprenticeship scheme with Kirklees College and sponsors the engineering education scheme at Greenhead College in Huddersfield.

“It makes sense to us,” says Mr Birnie.”We are running a business and want the best staff. Through our relationship with Huddersfield we get to work with some of the brightest students in the country who then return to become some of our highest calibre employees.”

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