Sheffield Hallam University submit plans to build new food engineering centre

An artist's impression of how the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering would look.
An artist's impression of how the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering would look.
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A food engineering centre could open next to Sheffield's Olympic Legacy park within a year after a planning application was submitted.

Sheffield Hallam University has put in an application to build a new home for the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, which would include laboratories, workshops and teaching spaces with work focusing on the engineering process of food production.

Sheffield Council is due to make a decision on the plans by the end of May and the university said work could begin on the site in July 2018.

Dr Martin Howarth, centre director, said: "The centre will support the food and drink industry to develop and implement new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment, to keep the UK at the forefront of capability and efficiency in a very competitive sector.

"It will also enhance the development of a highly educated and knowledgeable workforce, through staff development and supporting employees with experience of leading engineering systems and processes.

"This project builds on our existing strong track record of providing excellent research and knowledge transfer, and of working in partnership with industry to develop education programmes that are designed to support companies by creating highly skilled and employable graduates, ready for the world of work."

The centre is designed to tackle food industry challenges such as productivity, producing more for less, minimising waste and reducing costs. It will also develop new and enhances facilities, processes and equipment.

It will sit alongside the Olympic Legacy Park, where the university also run the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre.

Students graduating from the centre will achieve a masters degree - MEng Food Enigeering, which has been supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and has been developed in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSA).

Richard Caborn, project lead of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and former sports minister said: "We welcome the investment by Sheffield Hallam University in this research facility which, when constructed opposite the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, will add to the research capabilities of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park."