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Virtual University – Free Composite Materials Training Package

05 April 2001

There is an international, ""Virtual University"", EU funded, research project currently in progress to produce high quality training materials ""on-line"". This includes a Module of 10 Units entitled “Innovative Polymer Engineering Composites”. Mechanisms are being explored to accumulate ""credits"" for participants that would count towards recognised training certificates and (ultimately if required) post-graduate qualifications such as an MBA or MSc etc.
The Project Management is negotiating with, or currently involving, over 40 top-flight universities (in varying ways) world-wide including Oxford (UK), Cambridge (UK), Imperial College London (UK) Loughborough (UK), Portsmouth (UK), Leuven (Belgium), Tokyo (Japan), New South Wales (Australia), Naples (Italy), Aachen (Germany), Porto (Portugal), Marseille (France), Moscow State (Russia), MIT (USA), HKUST (Hong Kong), Sichuan (China) etc etc.
The aims of the module are to guide, illuminate, and provide an introduction to the world of innovative polymer composite materials, their properties, design characteristics, structure, manufacture, and applications. In the case of company trainers and/or school teachers it will additionally provide ideas and case studies for use in the work place or classroom as well as provide (negotiable) certificate or degree credits. Key issues to be addressed are structure/property relationships, how new materials differ from the more traditional, how they can be made, and how environmentally friendly composites can be engineered from renewable resources.
To facilitate ""field-trialling"" of modules currently being produced the European Commission are funding free registration and delivery of these modules to a limited number of selected Schools and SME workplaces. SME’s and teachers are being offered free training by virtue of ""trying out"" specific modules. Since any case studies in the package can be centred on “in work” or “in-school” problem solving scenarios this means that companies or institutions effectively get free consultancy advice from on-line tutors. A typical “learners”commitment is about 2-4 hours per week online (negotiable). Normally the package would cost ~£950 but this can be paid for by the EU so it comes FREE to School Teachers and SME's.
To find out more about this, contact Professor Mel Richardson MBE, Centre of Excellence – Manufacturing at Portsmouth University in the UK. Tel: +44 (0)2392842322






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