A substantial gift of £1.5 million from TVS Motor Company will help create a crucial new Professorial post in WMG, University of Warwick – the Lord Bhattacharyya Chair in Engineering Education.
The gift celebrates TVS Motor Company’s close relationship with WMG and will continue the legacy of the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, enhancing WMG’s academic expertise in the understanding, development and teaching of engineering and manufacturing internationally.
The news was announced in Mumbai on November 7 at a reception for University of Warwick graduates hosted by Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University.
Warwick has a close network of more than 5,500 alumni in India and is the most successful Russell Group university for recruiting students from India. This is Professor Croft’s first visit to the country for the purposes of encouraging support from alumni and friends for the University’s vision.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya sadly passed away on the March 1, 2019. To celebrate his legacy in global manufacturing and innovation, the new Chair will drive forward innovations in research-led teaching and scholarship. Just as Professor Lord Bhattacharyya played a significant role in building relationships between India and the UK, the appointee will be responsible for establishing connections for UK higher education and WMG in Asia, particularly in India and Hong Kong.
This will include new ways to inspire young people from different backgrounds to pursue engineering careers through the WMG Academies for Young Engineers, degree apprenticeships, and professional skills programmes delivered by the WMG Skills Centre, along with an opportunity to explore innovation in the higher education space more widely.
Sir Ratan Tata, former Chairman of Tata Sons, said he was delighted to hear about the gift.
“I deeply valued my friendship with Kumar and know the philanthropy of TVS Motor Company will continue his vison of creating innovative, engaging, and authentic learning opportunities for a diverse range of students. Strong industry links were so important for Kumar and it’s exciting that WMG is working closely in partnership with this prestigious motorcycle company.”
Mr. Venu Srinivasan, Chairman Emeritus of TVS Motor Company, and Director of Tata Sons, said: “WMG excels because it has the momentum created by Kumar. It wouldn’t have happened without him, but it continues after him. Kumar always said a true legacy was an institution that does better after your time. We are delighted to make a gift that continues this ambition.”
Mr. N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, said: “Lord Bhattacharyya created a world class, leading-edge capability at WMG. The new Chair in Engineering Education will be a crucial addition to their academic leadership, ensuring the next generation of engineering leaders are inspired through the highest levels of teaching. I’m thrilled the Chair will also work to enhance international connections for both WMG and the University of Warwick.”
Warwick alumnus Professor Sir Ralf Speth (EngD Engineering, 2004-08), Chairman of TVS Motor Company, Director of Tata Sons, and former CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Kumar was very keen on creating top talents and innovative break-throughs. He liked curious, younger people. He believed in the powerful momentum resulting out of a special atmosphere of new technologies and curious, passionate talents.”
Mr. Sudarshan Venu (MSc International Technology Management, 2010-12), Managing Director of TVS Motor Company, said: “I am grateful for having been mentored by Lord Bhattacharyya, who had a tremendous impact on me and taught me a lot about the global automotive industry. TVS has had a strong partnership with WMG covering the areas of education, research, and joint projects. We look forward to building on this in the future as well.”
In 2016, WMG was awarded a Regius Professorship in Manufacturing, which was bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in recognition of the transformational contributions that Professor Lord Bhattacharyya made to UK manufacturing. The new role will complement the Regius Professorship and celebrate Lord Bhattacharyya’s impact on engineering and manufacturing internationally.
The Chair in Education role was initially established in 2021 thanks to a private philanthropic donation of £1.5 million, gifted by a Warwick alumnus. The additional gift from TVS Motor Company will help future-proof the post for generations to come and help the University achieve its goals for the Chair. The University intends to recruit for the role in 2023.
Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick, said: “We are extremely grateful to TVS for making this generous gift to support WMG in enhancing and exceeding educational standards. The new role of Lord Bhattacharyya Chair in Engineering Education will continue Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s legacy, and help us thrive in connecting education, research and industry, setting up our graduates for successful futures.
“Warwick has a fantastic network of alumni in India, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to meet many of our graduates this week to explore how they can support the University’s vision for the future in the world’s largest democracy.”
Professor Robin Clark, Dean of WMG, University of Warwick, who is visiting India this week alongside Professor Croft, said: “We would like to thank TVS Motor Company for their generous gift. Their support will enable the new Lord Bhattacharyya Chair in Engineering Education role to preserve and expand Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s pursuit of excellence in education, whilst further developing the relationships between our teaching and research.
“We anticipate that the successful appointee will further extend WMG’s teaching partnerships with industry and our international partners in Asia, enabling us to facilitate high quality and meaningful professional, international and intercultural learning opportunities that broaden the global perspectives of our students and provide the skills needed for current and future industry requirements.”