Professor Lord Kumar BHATTACHARYYA, CBE, FREng, FRS

Chairman and Founder
Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), United Kingdom

Topic: Creating STEM power

Date: 17 June 2017

Time: 09:35 – 10:10


In his presentation Lord Bhattacharyya will draw on his personal experience as a graduate apprentice and founder of Warwick Manufacturing Group, where for almost 40 years he has bought together academic rigour with industrial relevance.

Lord Bhattacharyya will argue that despite the huge variety of challenges different countries and sectors face, the need for vocational STEM skills is near universal.

From his experience and knowledge Lord Bhattacharyya will suggest that at the heart of any successful response to this challenge lies a simple principle - that vocational STEM education needs to put real work experience, opportunity and knowledge first.

Such a "Work First" approach is essential both to delivering the higher status that vocational STEM education deserves and to ending the cultural barriers that often prevent success.

While no one single mantra can be applied for universal success, because local knowledge and specialised sectoral experience are vital to any programme of policy, one key principle that all responses must share is that to achieve ‘work first' STEM education requires industry to contribute both financially and culturally. Vocational education systems need to encourage and demand such contributions, and where this does not happen, Industry and Educational groups must take responsibility for leadership.


Professor Lord Bhattacharyya was born in Dhaka, and studied Engineering at IIT Kharagpur. After graduation, he came to the UK as a graduate apprentice at Lucas Industries. While working there, he gained his Doctorate.

Lord Bhattacharyya founded Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) in 1980. Since then, he has made WMG a global force in applied engineering by building long term partnerships between leading manufacturers and academic researchers.

A recent example of this partnership approach is the National Automotive Innovation Centre, a £150 million investment giving the UK automotive sector a critical mass of research capability and commercially valuable innovation.

Alongside this, WMG builds workforce capability through modular engineering courses from day-release to doctorates. Former students include CEOs of global businesses, entrepreneurs, and government leaders.

Lord Bhattacharyya was knighted in 2003 and entered the House of Lords in 2004. He has published extensively in the field of manufacturing and is an advisor to many governments and global businesses.