Canterbury Christ Church University EDGE Hub newsletter.

November 13, 2019

Canterbury Christ Church University EDGE Hub newsletter.

Welcome to the latest edition of the Canterbury Christ Church University Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub newsletter. We want to keep you informed about the many opportunities available for you to work with us in creating a dynamic new engineering offer for the region.

Significant developments since our last newsletter include the appointment of key engineering staff to work with industry, over 50 new students joining our engineering and technology degree courses and an inspiring Industry 4.0 EDGE Hub breakfast where we were joined by more than 30 businesses alongside excellent speakers who shared their expertise on Industry 4.0 related topics.

We are excited to introduce our new Director of Engineering, Dr. Rihana Ishaq. Rihana is passionate about widening access to engineering with a particular focus on attracting more women and BAME students into education and employment in the engineering and technology sectors. Rihana joins an expanding team of industry experts at the University, who are actively building links with businesses in the region.

The University has successfully become a member of the CDIO (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate) Initiative, an educational framework pioneered by the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Embedding CDIO in our engineering courses enables students to work on real-world incubator projects for businesses in Kent and Medway.

If you would like more information about anything that is included in this newsletter, either visit or email us directly at

Industry 4.0 Business Breakfast


In September, the University welcomed business representatives from over 30 companies and organisations to network and listen to guest speakers at the EDGE Hub Industry 4.0 Business to Business Breakfast on 5 September.

Christ Church’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, opened the Business to Business Breakfast by welcoming attendees and spoke about the University’s innovative and inspiring plans to drive economic growth in the region.

Three industry leaders then shared their expertise on embedding Industry 4.0 into SMEs while reflecting on government policy and the efficiencies that can be realised through SMART manufacturing and supply chains. The guest speakers were:

  • Scott Pepper, Sector Head, Process Instrumentation and Control, GAMBICA,
  • Mark Knowlton, Manufacturing Specialist, Locate in Kent,
  • Graham Cleland, Director at Berkeley Modular Ltd.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Designate), Professor Helen James, closed the Business Breakfast by providing details of the University’s aspirations for the EDGE Hub and its commitment to working with, and for, regional employers and providing skills, talent and innovation for business.

The range of CPD/ short course networking opportunities for the 2019/20 academic year was also announced at the breakfast. Sessions can now be booked online.

This event was part of our Workforce Development offer. Contact us by emailing or visit our website at to see how we can add value to your organisation.

New STEM Facility Topping Out Ceremony

A new multi-million pound building on the University’s city campus reached an important milestone at the start of October.

A topping out ceremony marked the completion of the STEM building roof. The building, which is due to open in September 2020, will house the EDGE Hub, which is also supported through spoke facilities across Kent and Medway.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, was joined at the roof top ceremony by project partners, colleagues and representatives of key funders, including the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), who signed their names on a wall which will be built into the fabric of the facility.

The facility will provide an inspiring and professional environment where researchers, academics, and students will collaborate to create innovations in engineering and the medical sciences, leading to fresh graduates who will help fill skills gaps in the South East.

The new building will offer students, staff and businesses exceptional facilities in a stunning setting that connects the city’s three World Heritage Sites – Canterbury Cathedral, St Martin’s Church and St Augustine’s Abbey.

EDGE Hub building progress is regularly updated on the estate master plan web pages and the engineering blog.

CDIO Membership

Christ Church is breaking away from traditional models of engineering education, becoming one of only a few UK universities to be accepted to the international CDIO (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate) Initiative – a community pioneered by the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The University’s newly-created School of Engineering, Technology and Design successfully presented to the CDIO council in Denmark in the summer.

The CDIO model focuses on creativity and problem-solving in engineering and technology education, and recognises the growing importance of close collaboration with businesses and industry.

The University’s engineering degrees, already underway and to be fully launched in September 2020 are incorporating the CDIO framework into all engineering and computing courses.

All of our engineering degrees are co-designed with industry and we invite businesses to engage with us on future course development, industry projects, student placements or to become guest speakers. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, email

Success in EDGE Hub Student Recruitment

In September, we welcomed 52 new students onto EDGE Hub related engineering courses, of which 33% are female and 29% BAME.

The Engineering Foundation Year included 40 students, which reflects our commitment to widening participation in higher education.

The University recognises its responsibility to ensure a fair and rewarding education for all and the need to provide real opportunities to enable graduates to enter the workplace as professionals. Central to delivering this is collaboration with local industry which is currently facing skills shortages in engineering.

If you are interested in supporting our students through identifying an industry project, providing a placement opportunity or being a guest speaker please email

Skills and CPD for Industry

The diverse expertise of our EDGE Hub team is being harnessed to promote skills development in industry, particularly in the context of Industry 4.0 and the wider digital transformation agenda.

Degree courses span biomedical, chemical, mechanical, product design and software engineering, alongside technology degrees in business information systems, computer forensics and security, computer science and computing.

We have a comprehensive programme of Industry 4.0-focused continuing professional development (CPD) sessions available. In addition, bespoke CPD, delivered on location in businesses and in our new EDGE Hub facilities, is available and provides a responsive approach to business and industry needs.

If you are interested in our CPD offer, visit for more details.

Inspiring Minds Encourages Students to Study STEM Subjects

EDGE Hub recognises the importance of introducing young people to STEM and higher education. The Inspiring Minds project promotes this by empowering school-aged students to make informed decisions about their future education and employment while furthering their interest in STEM and science-based subjects.

Inspiring Minds is delivered in Kent and Medway schools and has effected positive change on how students view their future, especially those who hadn’t previously considered going to university or entering a STEM based profession. Over 75 students have taken part in Inspiring Minds activities and more sessions are planned throughout 2020.

The outreach sessions are run by Christ Church academics and PhD students, and supported by university ambassadors, representing our commitment to encouraging students to engage with STEM subjects with the aim of becoming fully qualified engineers.

For more information, and to find out when the next Inspiring Minds event is taking place, email

Primary and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards 2019/2020

The Port of Dover has formally joined Canterbury Christ Church University’s partnership with Primary Engineer to become the Industry Lead from 2019/20. The University enters its second year as University Lead for the South East Region Primary and Secondary Engineer Leaders Award.

The Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards ask children, ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’, and last year’s competition captured the imagination of an impressive 3,361 school student participants, from 39 schools with a 50:50 gender balance. The competition celebrates the ingenuity of children from three to 19-years-old and links the schools to the University and engineering firms.

The 23 winning designs included a litter picking drone, a connective scooter, a moulded arm cradle to give carers a break from new born babies, a hair styling machine, a plastic crusher and assistive glasses for the elderly.

Registration is now open for primary and secondary schools at We are also looking for engineers to support the competition by participating in grading days and online interviews.

Launch of a new Christ Church B2B website in November

The University is launching a new B2B website this month to support the our relationships with businesses in the region by illustrating the range of engagement routes available.

The website will make it easier for businesses to connect with the University and collaborate with our academics, commission research, support the development and training of their employees, and access the talent of Canterbury Christ Church University students.

EDGE Hub provides an amazing opportunity, providing a new approach to working with businesses to ensure University graduates are equipped to enter the workplace with real-world project-based experiences. The new website will include details of how businesses can engage with the University, to improve how courses are structured and delivered, while providing opportunities to showcase their work to potential future employees.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to be notified when the new website launches.

Keep up to date

There are many ways for you to keep up to date with the latest developments in engineering, technology, design, and the EDGE Hub at Canterbury Christ Church University, including through social media, the EDGE Hub newsletter, and the engineering blog.

Engineering blog:
Engineering Twitter account:
University website: