Physics-Industry Collaboration: Aligning Student Skills with Local Economic...

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The Institute of Physics

37 Caledonian Rd


N1 9BU

United Kingdom

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Physics-Industry Collaboration: Aligning Student Skills with Local Economic Needs

A SEPnet and WRIPA workshop supported by the Institute of Physics

The Office for Students (OfS) focuses on higher education participation, experience, outcomes and value of money. At the same time, the UK Industrial Strategy identifies ‘Places’ as a key “foundation of productivity” to address poor productivity performance, pronounced regional differences in economic performance and regional disparities in R&D funding.

To address the twin challenges of graduate outcomes and regional economic prosperity, university physics departments need to consider the extent of ‘place-based’ decision making in student graduate career choices and how to engage with regional employers.

This workshop will engage with those who have embedded work-based learning into curriculum design, formed partnerships with regional employers and embedded entrepreneurialism into student skill training. It will provide the opportunity to build a wider network of employability focused academic and professional staff. It will consist of presentations and case studies from the Office for Students, Institute of Physics and physics departments.

The event is for heads of physics departments, academics responsible for employability, programme managers, heads of teaching and learning, employers and representatives with responsibility for developing physics graduates employability skills.


9.30 Arrival and Coffee

10.00 Chairman's Introduction - Professor Sir William Wakeham, Chair of SEPnet


10.20 Keynote: Supply and demand for higher level skills: challenges and opportunties, Dr Brooke Storer-Church, Skills and Industrial Strategy Manager, Office for Students. Topics that will be addressed include - What do we know about existing supply of higher level or 'graduate' skills; What do we know about current and future demands for those skills; Where we think there are opportunities for institutions when exploring issues through a student lens.

10.40 Aligning professional skills of graduates across STEM disciplines to meet employer needs, Robyn Henriegel, Accreditation and Professional Standards Manager & Amy Pearce, Registration Manager, Institute of Physics

11.00 Group discussion and coffee

11.30 Feedback and questions

11.50 Innovative collaborations with local industry - case studies

  • Case Study 1: Engaging with local employers, Professor Manus Hayne, Department of Physics, Lancaster University

  • Case Study 2: Understanding physics graduate mobility to develop a regional employer engagement strategy, Dr Al Buckley, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield

12.30 Group discussion and questions

13.00 Lunch


13.45 Innovative collaborations with local industry - case studies (contiuned)

  • Case Study 3: The benefits of local placements for employers and students, Amy Hearst, Production Engineer, vivaMOS Ltd

  • Case Study 4: Setting up and managing an effective Industry Advisory Board, Danny Atkins, Employer Engagement Fellow, University of Portsmouth

14.25 Group discussion and questions

15:00 “Enterprise for Scientists” – innovative approaches to embedding business and entrepreneurial

skills in the Science curriculum, Trevor Farren, Business Development Manager, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham

15.20 Group discussion and tea

15.40 Feedback

16.00 Wrap-up and closing remarks by Professor Sir William Wakeham


By Train: The nearest mainline stations are St Pancras and King’s Cross

By foot: IOP is 0.2miles from King's Cross St Pancras and takes approx. 5mins

By Tube: King’s Cross St Pancras is the nearest station and has access to the Victoria, Northern, Piccadilly, Circle and Metropolitan and Hammersmith lines. Euston and Angel underground stations are short bus journeys away.

By Car: There are parking meters in the surrounding streets but it’s not always easy to find a space. Judd Street Car Park is approximately 15 minutes' walk from us

By Bus: There are many buses serving the King’s Cross area, but the 10, 17, 59, 91, 259 and 390 all stop across the road from our building

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The Institute of Physics

37 Caledonian Rd


N1 9BU

United Kingdom

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