The University of Sheffield, Liverpool John Moores, Middlesex University, Newcastle University and Manchester Metropolitan University have all already signed-up to the initiative. As a result, each institution will work closely with Siemens to bring advanced industrial tools, data and approaches into their respective apprenticeship, undergraduate and masters courses.
Festo, the global supplier of automation technology and provider of industrial training and education programs is a key delivery partner for the new curriculum.
At the heart of the Connected Curriculum is Siemens Digital Industries world-leading industrial software portfolio and cloud-based IoT platform MindSphere.
MindSphere is a highly secure operating system which connects industrial machines and devices via IoT protocols. It allows data from multiple sources to be captured and analysed simultaneously, creating a real-time picture of the whole production process via a single, powerful and intuitive interface.
The Connected Curriculum announcement was made by Brian Holliday, Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries, at the 2019 MindSphere Innovation Network (MINe) Symposium earlier this week.
Hosted at the University of Sheffield, the two-day event saw 15 academic institutions explore the potential for collaborating with Siemens, each other, and other companies, across Industry 4.0 projects and technologies including Industrial IoT.
Since launching in 2017, the MINe program has engaged with over 50 businesses on more than 20 projects. Common feedback from all the collaborations has been the need to build the skill base in companies and universities alike.
Brian Holliday, Siemens Digital Industries Managing Director, said: “Collaboration is central to delivering successful, robust and secure industrial IoT projects. Universities can be key partners in this process, often having expertise industry doesn’t such as data science, visualisation and insights into human behaviour including how people engage with technology.
“This is why Siemens developed the MindSphere Innovation Network in partnership with several universities two years ago, which in turn has informed the Connected Curriculum we have announced this week. I am now looking forward to working with Sheffield, John Moores, Middlesex and Manchester Metropolitan universities to help explore the full potential of Industrial IoT with our MindSphere platform at the heart of the process.”
Professor Mike Hounslow, Vice-President and Head of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: “Following a longstanding strategic partnership with Siemens, the University of Sheffield was the first institution to adopt Siemens MINe programme with the launch of the MindSphere Lounge in 2017. We have worked closely with them over the last two years to maximise the incredible benefits of closer industry and academic collaboration.
“I am therefore delighted that Siemens chose to launch their Connected Curriculum at Sheffield, and we are proud to be one of the first UK universities to embed the programme into our teaching.”
Manchester Metropolitan University will be the partner university in the Connected Curriculum that will focus on delivery to postgraduate students – embedding the programme in its new Industry 4.0 Masters courses in the Faculty of Science and Engineering that are launching in September to bridge the Industry 4.0 skills gap.
Professor Andy Gibson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University said: “Manchester Metropolitan is focused on bridging the Industry 4.0 skills gap by equipping students with the skills for the new digital economy.
"We are delighted to be collaborating with Siemens on the Connected Curriculum as our students and academic colleagues will benefit immensely from working with such a pioneering and transformational technology company. Our partnership will ensure that we remain at the cutting edge of the digital revolution and continue to lead the way in innovation in postgraduate education, such as with the suite of six new Industry 4.0 masters degree courses launching in September.”
Professor Sean Wellington, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology at Middlesex University, said: “Middlesex University has long established roots in practice-based learning and close partnership with industry leaders such as Siemens and Festo. I am delighted that we are taking part in this exciting and much needed pilot project, Connected Curriculum, where we will help shape and embrace it along with other partner universities to benefit our students and the wider industry sector as a whole.”
Babak Jahanbani from Didactic Services at Festo said: “Festo is firmly committed to inspiring and developing young engineers for the future which encompasses support for schools, colleges and universities through a variety of programs and events. We have a track record helping institutions bring industry grade learning in to their programmes. By combining our innovative hardware packages with Siemens expertise through Connected Curriculum we have created a unique off-the-shelf package for Industry 4.0”
Other participants at the Symposium included Dr David Pugh from the Digital Catapult, who gave the keynote speech, Rab Scott, Head of Digital at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), and Andy Gilchrist, Business Development Manager at the Science Division, University of Oxford.
Further information can be found at https://new.siemens.com/uk/en/company/education/connected-curriculum.html