LRET awards £1 million to new asset maintenance centre of excellence

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Holland’s University of Twente has been awarded £1 million by the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust (The LRET) over the next five years, to set up the LRET Maintenance Research and Education Programme, which will form a prominent aspect of the university’s Centre of Excellence in Maintenance Engineering.

The LRET is an independent charity which supports advances in education, training and research worldwide for the transportation, science, engineering and technology disciplines. University of Twente representatives have emphasised the importance of maintenance as a technical discipline which occupies an essential role in ensuring the health of industry and for public services such as transportation.

According to the University, an estimated €400bn is currently invested in public and private sector assets in the Netherlands, meaning €18bn must be spent annually on maintenance. These figures also ensure job creation for around 150,000 people.

Funding from The LRET will be used to set up three aspects of the programme – a Master of Science in Maintenance Engineering; an International Master of Science in Maintenance Management (also involving the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Technical University of Delft); and research on the fundamental principles of maintenance (to be aligned with the post-graduate teaching programme).

Michael Franklin, Director of The LRET said: “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. This sponsorship therefore fulfils our mission to support advances in transportation, science, engineering and technology-related education.”

Professor Leo van Dongen of the University of Twente added: “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. 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.”

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