Farnell element14 and Leeds Beckett University

Farnell element14 and Leeds Beckett University

Partnership between local electronics distribution company and Leed Beckett provides lab access for students and a training module for engineers with a real industry focus.

"We see this as a fantastic opportunity for our students  to work in a business environment and to be encouraged and inspired by the Farnell element14 personnel they will interact with." 
Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Leeds Beckett University

Leeds based electronics distribution company, Farnell element14, works with Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan University) to provide new lab facilities at its premises and an accredited course module on important legislation relating to electronic and electrical products. 

Farnell element14 is part of Premier Farnell plc, the global, FTSE 250 provider of products and services to the electronics industry.  The business has been strengthening its links with Leeds Beckett University for the last two years and now has a number of partnerships in place.  The latest of these is in the form of joint facilities, with a new electronics laboratory for use by students and the Company officially opening in October 2014.

Farnell element14 has created an electronics laboratory at its headquarters site in Leeds for students of Leeds Beckett University to use in its Electronic and Electrical Engineering degree course which launches this term.

The lab will be used by the students for the project work that forms a key part of their studies, with experts from Farnell element14 providing ideas and input on the latest technology that the students should use.

The first 25 students will be involved in a project on robotics using the ASURO robot. As well as core skills such as soldering and circuit board assembly, the project-based learning will include activities such as testing of circuits and sections of boards.  Students will be given the opportunity to post their work and findings on the Company’s element14 engineering community website. This will provide the students with valuable exposure for their work and be of benefit to the community.

The element14 community became the first of its type when launched by Premier Farnell in 2009 and has a world-leading position, with over 220,000 registered users and over 5,000 new registered users being added each month.

Locating the lab at Farnell element14 will also provide the students the opportunity to work in an industry setting, supporting the University’s commitment to employability of the graduates it produces.

Steven Webb, Company Secretary, Premier Farnell, said:

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Leeds Beckett University by offering our facilities to the students. Supporting the education of engineers is vital to ensure the next generation has the talent to drive our industry forward. Our expertise can add to that of the University to create a unique learning experience for the students.”

Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Principal Lecturer in the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering, Leeds Beckett University, said:

“We welcome this additional link with a major local and international business as we want to ensure all of our courses are relevant to industry and that our students achieve employment. We see this as a fantastic opportunity for our students  to work in a business environment and to be encouraged and inspired by the Farnell element14 personnel they will interact with. Using the element14 community will enhance their learning and develop their ability to think creatively as they work in industry-relevant projects.”

A feature of the element14 Community is the first to market guidance provided on industry relevant legislation.

"Supporting the education of engineers is vital to ensure the next generation has the talent to drive our industry forward." 
Steven Webb, Premier Farnell

A second collaboration between the Company and Leeds Beckett University has been the creation of an accredited module covering the latest update of the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) legislation that requires environmentally harmful substances to be removed from electronic products.

The RoHS module, which is an elective on the University’s MSc in Advanced Engineering Management requires completion of general background reading, review of specific guidance notes provided by Farnell element14 and a report explaining how knowledge of the legislation provided by the module has been applied by the student in a design project.  Students have the opportunity to have their reports published on the element14 Community.

The Company has also just entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University on another exciting and innovative development that will be of great benefit to electronic design engineers.

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