About the Faculty
The Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering: a high-technology, industrially relevant learning experience, with employability at its heart
The Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering is a multidisciplinary faculty, covering architecture, automotive and motorsport engineering, built environment, computing, electronics, environmental conservation, logistics and mechanical and manufacturing engineering.
The aim is to generate work that is mainly student-driven, individual, reflective and vocationally-orientated. Feedback to students will occur early in the study period and continue over the whole study session thereby allowing for greater value added to the student’s learning.
Students actively participate in community projects, and we are active participants in the Engineering Excellence Scheme in Wales, where we assist local schools in project work.
It is Faculty policy to achieve professional recognition of all our programmes. This ranges from the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and the British Computer Society.
The Faculty has focussed research in every school and has participated in the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) that measures the quality of research against international standards. In the last exercise in 2008, 75% of the Faculty’s General Engineering research was recognised as being internationally recognised or better, including 10% at ‘World-Class’ grade. Much of our research is industrially focussed and often ‘near-to-market’. This provides a real-world environment that often requires tight timescales.
We participate in national research collaborations, including the Low Carbon Research Institute(LCRI), High Performance Computing (HPC) and the ASTUTE project in Manufacturing Engineering.
Our computing expertise is currently being exploited in a partnership with the School of Counselling & Psychology, in a collaborative project using computer games technology.
We have a particular strength in computational modelling and we regularly recruit undergraduate students to work with PhD project groups, especially for final year students the University Journal of Undergraduate Research, and participate in national student competitions.
All academic staff are expected to demonstrate a specialist area of research and participate in scientific conferences. A particular strength is the strong industrial experience of many staff and this brings a real-world context for much of the student project work.
The Faculty has a principle of purchasing industry standard facilities. Examples include our 5 axis CNC machining centre, Composites Autoclave, Engine dynamometers, Thermographic cameras, GIS mapping systems, and leading software from Solidworks, Siemens NX, ANSYS Fluent, Mapinfo, MATLAB, AutoCad and many other specialist applications.
It is a principle of the Faculty that students have access to all facilities. This principle often generates exciting cross-disciplinary project work.
Our Automotive and Motorsport students have the added benefit of access to our own dedicated facility at the Pembrey Racing Circuit, which allows us to test suspension systems, undertake data acquisition measurements, and test our two-wheel and four-wheel performance vehicles.
The Built and Natural environment students take full advantage of our coastal location for field work, reflecting a particular research strength in that school.
Our computing students have access to state of the art High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities, as well as leading edge development systems for computer games and mobile application development.
Sustainability is firmly embedded in all our programmes. For example, our engineering degrees require students to apply lean manufacturing principles and the use of light weight high strength materials. Our programmes in the School of Built & Natural Environment lead the debate on sustainability, which embraces cultural and social aspects as well as economic factors.
The structure and content of our courses is designed with employability at the forefront.
Staff have excellent industrial contacts generated over many years through their personal research and also through part-time students undertaking their project work at their sponsoring company. These links are exploited by our full-time students who can then undertake their project work linked to collaborating companies.
Currently the Faculty has over 50 full-time Masters students undertaking dissertation work with local companies as part of an EU funded initiative. This industrial collaboration diffuses across all our programmes and the applied nature of our student work is a defining characteristic of this Faculty.
Combining creativity and innovation with technical excellence is the driving philosophy of this Faculty. This ethos explains why the University has one of the best reported statistics for start-up companies surviving after three years.
The Faculty has an excellent reputation for industrial collaboration. Over £3M of research and development grants from EPSRC, EU and the private sector have been won in recent years to provide a Knowledge Transfer Centre that supports industry in Composites Manufacturing and Non-Destructive Test, especially in thermography and ultrasonics.
We have a particularly good relationship with TWI Ltd, the UK’s leading engineering research organisation, with whom we undertake collaborative research through our MSc and PhD student projects. Our motorsport engineering expertise is internationally recognized, and many of our students obtain work experience through our long-established network of contacts in the automotive sector, where we are active members of the Welsh Automotive Forum. Our Applied Computing students benefit from strong links from local employers such as the DVLA and numerous smaller companies that often require student project work.
We firmly believe that the full range of Faculty resources are there to be exploited by our students. The only limits are personal enthusiasm and commitment to the learning experience. Our strategy is to transform students through education, practical experience and the instilling of professional values, so that they can in turn make a difference to society.