Top boss puts feet back on firm ground

Lead: Prof Frank Hayden

Lead: Prof Frank Hayden

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One of Europe’s leading industrialists is set to take over the reins of Preston’s new multi-million pound engineering centre.

Frank Hayden, Professor of Advanced Manufacturing, has been appointed as the first director of the University of Central Lancashire’s Engineering and Innovation Centre.

The 53-year-old has spent the past two years ravelling the world as a management consultant following an illustrious career during which he has led the strategic and operational transformation of a host of high-tech businesses, including Land Rover, BMW, Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

The £30 million state-of-the-art facility is due to open in 2018 with the aim of creating an internationally competitive facility that will bring together the region’s expertise from within academia and industry.

The facility will be equipped to the highest standard with technology demonstration areas and specialist work areas to create an integrated space for teaching, research and knowledge exchange.

Professor Hayden said: “I’m extremely excited to be involved in such a significant project which will benefit engineering throughout the North West, the UK and internationally.”

The father-of-two added: “ “The huge financial investment in the EIC will help transform engineering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

“As manufacturing technology is constantly developing we want to ensure our courses stay one and two steps ahead of the game.

“The university has been in the city under various guises since the 1820s but what we’re creating here over the next three to five years will be facilities which will stand the test of time for the next 100 to 150 years.”

During his previous career in industry Prof Hayden has led the manufacturing launch of iconic and world-leading products, including the Land Rover Freelander, Airbus A380 Superjumbo and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.