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Honorary professorship for captain of industry

03 Mar 2014

The University of Manchester has appointed a leading industrialist as honorary professor to teach the next generation of engineers and further develop commercial research collaborations.

Juergen Maier has been made an honorary professor

Juergen Maier, Managing Director of Siemens UK and Ireland Industry Sector and a member of the Siemens UK Executive Management Board, will take up the five-year post within the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

The appointment builds on the existing strategic partnership between the University and the multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate. The company’s university partnering programme represents a major part of Siemens’ commitment to the UK skills agenda, and collaboration ranges from joint research programmes to the development of new qualifications with industrial placements to meet future demands.

Professor Maier joined Siemens in 1986 after obtaining a BSc in production engineering from Nottingham Trent University on a Siemens-sponsored graduate programme. He has since held several senior roles with the company in Germany and the UK, including Director of Industrial Controls, two Divisional Managing Director roles and Manufacturing Director of the award-winning Drives Factory in Congleton, Cheshire.

Siemens UK and Ireland Industry Sector, which he now heads, is a leading global supplier of industrial plant and software, manufacturing automation and drive technologies to industrial customers, which in the UK represents a business volume of about £500 million and employs 2,000 people.

Born in Germany with Austrian nationality, Professor Maier came to the UK in 1974, aged 10, where he grew up in Leeds. He is passionate about the UK rebalancing its economy and supports a number of national initiatives in support of manufacturing and engineering skills, including board membership of the sector skills council Semta and of EEF, the UK’s manufacturers’ Organisation.

Professor Maier also champions various Government initiatives, such as the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and holds a Non-Executive Director role for a SME manufacturing company called International Innovative Technologies, based in Gateshead, and is Chairman of the North West Business Leadership team and a board member of Greater Manchester LEP.

He said: “I am delighted to be awarded a professorship with The University of Manchester. It will be a privilege to be directly involved in the education of our next generation of highly skilled engineers. Critically, this builds on the relationship Siemens shares with the University as a strategic partner, further embedding our commitment to share resources and knowledge.

“Together, we will work on promoting the benefits of a career in high value manufacturing and green engineering, which of course can only be enhanced by the excellent R&D reputation the University holds.”

Professor Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said: “We are very pleased that Juergen has accepted an Honorary Chair at the University. His knowledge of the engineering and manufacturing sector will support us in the education of the next generation of engineers to ensure that they have the required skills to address the challenges facing society now and in the future.”