Dyson to open new Technology Institute
We are all happy to consume innovative technology – but how many of us are interested in doing all the hard thinking and sums required to create it?
Not enough of us, says Sir James Dyson, the British inventor and entrepreneur whose vacuum cleaners are now world-famous after his rugs-to-riches story. The chronic shortage of engineers in developed countries needs to be addressed, and Sir James has put his money where his mouth is by funding a new technology university in Wiltshire, England.
Dyson has been an ambassador for innovation for a long time already. He has funded technology design awards and the School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London, as well as investing heavily in his own company’s engineering capacity by encouraging training & education. He was inspired to invest in the new institute after a meeting with Universities Minister Jo Johnson at which he stressed the shortage of UK engineers, and it was suggested he take action himself to bolster the numbers.
The new Dyson Institute of Technology will open in 2017 at Malmesbury and operate in partnership with Warwick University. It will offer 4-year engineering degrees taught by Warwick professors and Dyson engineers.
Speaking of the UK’s capacity to innovate, Sir James said, “We are competing globally with Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. It’s all the major technology nations and we have got to be better than them. It is a problem in America and Europe and has started to become a problem in Japan. It seems that the fast-growing economies or emerging nations really recognise the value of engineering, but when you reach security there is less interest in what makes you successful.”
The degree course will have no tuition fees, and participants will be paid a ‘competitive’ salary over the four years, increasing each year. Those who enroll will be classes as full-time employees, not students, and will be eligible for the staff bonus scheme and staff discount.
Clearly Dyson’s aim is to fill his own company with skilled engineers. But working for Dyson, one of the most successful and forward-thinking design and technology companies in the world, is an attractive prospect.