The Provost and President of UCL, Professor Michael Arthur, was joined by Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor of the University of South Australia, and Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Dean of UCL Engineering, yesterday evening to sign a partnership agreement between UniSA and UCL Engineering. The partnership has been enabled by a $2M (AUS) award from Santos, the Australian natural resources company as part of a South Australia government education investment.
The partnership will comprise a number of elements. In research: a programme of women-only fellowships sponsored by Santos and directed jointly between UniSA and UCL Engineering; a series of joint PhDs between the partners; and a set of postgraduate taught dual degrees. The intention is to launch the fellowships over the next six months and to attract internationally outstanding candidates wishing to build their research careers in one of the areas covered by the Future Industries Institute (FII) at UniSA. PhDs between the partners will likewise reflect the broad range of mutual expertise between the partners and offer significant opportunities for researchers to access the skills, expertise, and renowned experimental infrastructure across the partnership.
Taught programmes will commence in January 2018 with the launch of an ambitious dual degree MSc in Data Science. Delivered between the UCL and UniSA Departments of Computer Science, it will offer graduates a unique set of perspectives in this fast-moving field. The second MSc, in Energy Systems, is scheduled for September 2018 start and will draw on the experience of partnership already gained under the operation of UCL Australia, which will close in December 2017.
The partnership provides a formal framework that recognises the highly complementary skills and vision of UniSA and UCL Engineering. Discussions are well-advanced in the area of defence systems engineering and of naval design and architecture, which offer significant additional growth paths for the future of the partnership.
Speaking at today’s signing, Professor Michael Arthur stated: “This is an exciting development that underscores UCL’s commitment to global engagement. We recognise the exceptional research quality of UniSA, who will be a vigorous partner with our own Faculty of Engineering Sciences.”
Professor David Lloyd commented, “Today officially marks the start of a partnership that has been crafted over the past year. It cements, through our Santos Fellowship programme and a growing set of postgraduate courses, a union of excellence. I am particularly struck by the vision and the high levels of enthusiasm shown by all parties.”
Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker said, “The partnership plays to the particular strengths of the two. I expect the breadth and depth of the linkages to grow significantly over time. It is a wonderful opportunity for new research ideas to be explored and for taught students to experience something truly unique. The close attention paid by industry and government alike in establishing the partnership speaks to the relevance of the venture and to its potential for impact.”