The Laing O’Rourke Centre for Systems Engineering will aim to provide a new generation of M&E specialists as it becomes a focus for innovative research and teaching.
A new two-year part-time Masters course in Systems Engineering will be launched in October 2011 led by Professor David Fisk.
He said: “In designing this course we had in mind an ‘MBA for Engineering’ – a course that would stretch our best young engineers way out of their comfort zone, helping to mould them into the innovators and leaders that will tackle the challenges of tomorrow.”
The course will encompass the full spectrum of systems approaches from data networks in mechanical and electrical engineering through to the latest innovations in low-carbon energy technologies.
Course modules will have a strong focus on sustainability and whole-life performance with topics including energy policy, systems safety and data transmission.
The programme will be multidisciplinary, aiming to embrace a broad range of sectors, taught by experts in their fields drawn from academia, industry and government.
The Centre will also deliver undergraduate education, PhD and post-doctoral research and Executive Education.
O’Rourke chairman and chief executive Ray O’Rourke hopes the centre will raise the profile of construction and attract the brightest talent into the industry.
He said: “There is no doubt that we are facing a serious skills shortage in all aspects of engineering.
“To address this crisis I believe the levels of co-operation between industry and academia must radically increase.
“We must join forces to find productive ways to develop the next generation of engineering pioneers, providing them with the skills to be able to tackle the complex social, economic and environmental challenges facing the planet.
“I’m keen that we imbue this Centre of Excellence with a sense of wonder in engineering, and an understanding within students that it will be engineers that deliver the solutions we need.
“Today’s announcement is another tangible example of the industry-leading role Laing O’Rourke is committed to playing in this regard, and we are excited by the prospect of sharing our vision and forging a mutually beneficial relationship with Imperial College, in line with our other educational partnerships.”
The firm announced a similar partnership with the University of Cambridge in July to create a Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology.