First board meeting sets the scene for the future of food engineering

Today, representatives from the food industry and academia will join forces at the inaugural meeting of the Food Engineering Industrial Advisory Board (FEIAB) for the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering.

Chaired by Gavin Darby, Chief Executive of Premier Foods, the Industrial Advisory Board will advise Sheffield Hallam University on its strategy to develop and deliver food engineering research and education. It will also ensure the Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, the MEng Food Engineering master’s degree course and other developments meet the needs of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, by building food engineering capability in the UK for the future.

The Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, based at Sheffield Hallam University, will support the MEng Food Engineering degree. The £6.9m investment from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and significant additional contributions from the industry will create a food engineering facility that will be unparalleled across the UK and will help ensure the UK’s largest manufacturing sector remains competitive and successful.

Gavin Darby, Chair of FEIAB, said:

I’m delighted to be chairing this first meeting of the Industrial Advisory Board. The availability of top class engineering talent is vital to support the innovation upon which the industry’s future competitiveness depends. Having a National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering is a significant step forwards.”

Melanie Leech, Director General at Food and Drink Federation said:

“This meeting marks a significant contribution to improving the future of food engineering. With industry’s key leaders behind this board, the National Centre of Excellence will not only help provide industry with the skilled workers we need to thrive, but also will create a collaborative hub of industry excellence from which the whole of the UK will benefit.”

Professor Roger Eccleston, Pro Vice Chancellor for Sheffield Hallam University said:

“The new advisory board will play a key role in shaping the strategy of the national centre of excellence for food and drink engineering at Sheffield Hallam. The centre has excellent representation from the industry and the University and will provide a forum for collaborative working that will help to develop new facilities, processes and equipment, and engage with research and knowledge transfer to keep the UK at the forefront of innovation in the sector.”

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