The Lloyd's Register Educational Trust (The LRET) has awarded Holland's University of Twente £1 million over the next five years to establish The LRET Maintenance Research and Education Programme, which will be at the core of the university’s new Centre of Excellence in Maintenance Engineering.
Maintenance is a technical field which plays a key role in assuring the health of industry and public services such as transportation. The University of Twente estimates that there is as much as €400bn presently invested in public and private sector assets in The Netherlands alone, requiring €18bn to be spent each year on maintenance, and creating jobs for about 150,000 people.
Funding from The LRET will be used to set up three elements of the programme: a Master of Science in Maintenance Engineering; an International Master of Science in Maintenance Management (involving two other Dutch universities, the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Technical University of Delft); and research on the fundamental principles of maintenance, which will be aligned with the post-graduate teaching programme.
Research in most fields of maintenance will be covered in study projects, knowledge exchanges and coaching for the public and private sectors.
"Maintenance is a key discipline for anyone who aspires to deliver sustainable industrial services to society. To guarantee safe, clean, reliable and affordable operations, capital assets require state-of-the-art strategies for their maintenance, repair and overhaul. Those strategies increasingly underpin the effective identification and management of any risks to safety, health and the environment," said Director of The LRET, Michael Franklin. "This sponsorship therefore fulfils our mission to support advances in transportation, science, engineering and technology-related education."
“In various sectors, maintenance is no longer regarded as being a necessary cost and 'technology' is back on the agenda in the boardroom. The objective is to enhance the earning power of installations, guarantee their availability and facilitate sustainable operations," said Professor Leo van Dongen of the University of Twente. "It is a challenge to help the new generation of engineers make even more progress in this respect. I interpret the LRET grant as recognition of the subject's importance and a show of faith in our commitment to it."
The LRET is a wholly independent charity created by the Lloyd’s Register Group, its sole benefactor, which has donated another £10 million to The LRET for the present fiscal year. The LRET currently funds more than 20 university research centres throughout the world with committed funds exceeding £11 million.