A new advisory board consisting of leading international automotive experts and set up to increase collaboration between the automotive industry and academia has appointed the University of Bath’s Professor Chris Brace as its UK representative.

The Academic Advisory Board has been created by the international organisation for the automotive engineering profession, FISITA.

The FISITA Academic Advisory Board which held its first meeting today, Monday 21 March, has been specifically created to develop international links between the automotive industry and academia.

Academics from five leading universities in the UK, Germany, China, Australia and the U.S. will regularly engage with FISITA and its members to collaborate and share their expertise and develop mutually beneficial development plans.

Professor of Automotive Propulsion and Deputy Director of the University’s Powertrain & Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC), Chris Brace, said: “I am honoured to have been invited to join the FISITA Academic Advisory Board. It is evident the positive impact that can be achieved when the automotive industry and universities collaborate on a global basis.

“At the University of Bath, our engagement with the automotive industry is extensive and is a crucial component of our undergraduate teaching. Over 65 per cent of our engineering students undertake an industrial placement year and our innovative Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering degree has proven extremely popular with students and employers alike.

“I am looking forward to contributing to the success of this Board and working with international colleagues to strengthen the automotive engineering industry’s link with academia across the world.”

This significant appointment is further evidence of the success and recognition of the University’s longstanding record for delivering world-class automotive education and research. For over four decades, Bath’s highly-regarded PVRC has been conducting prize-winning automotive research and has delivered nearly 100 business-led experimental projects worth £24m over the last 20 years.

Chris Mason, CEO of FISITA and Academic Advisory Board Co-Chair, said: “We are delighted to launch the FISITA Academic Advisory Board today, a key element of FISITA’s long-term strategic plan to build on the established, existing relations between FISITA members and academia.

“The automotive industry is embarking upon its most significant transformation to date as it reshapes into the mobility sector of the future. We are increasingly aware of our members need to for a coordinated and close working relationship with a network of universities around the world, in order to ensure the technical expertise required to meet with future mobility demands is met.”

The new Academic Advisory Board is one of a number of activities through which FISITA supports the professional development of engineers, through its membership link with automotive engineering societies and corporate organisations. FISITA promotes the automotive/mobility sector as a career pathway of choice and supports engineers throughout their career journey through a number of education initiatives.

In November 2015, the University of Bath was formally recognised as one of the UK’s leading automotive propulsion groups, having been selected as a Spoke of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The PVRC, which will form the core of the University’s work as a Spoke, is one of the leading UK university groups in its field, spanning over 40 years of achievement and extensive engagement with the automotive industry.