Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya KT CBE FREng FRS
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya was born in Dhaka and after graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, one of India's premier technological research institutes, he was invited to become a graduate apprentice at Lucas Industries in the UK. After completing his graduate apprenticeship, he was offered the Lucas Fellowship and entered the University of Birmingham where he attained an MSc in Engineering Production and Management and a PhD in Engineering Production. Before completing his PhD, at Birmingham, he was appointed as a Lecturer and began the process of establishing a manufacturing education programme for industry there.
Chairman and Founder of WMG
In 1980, he was invited by Jack Butterworth, then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, to start a premier manufacturing, teaching and research group and here he became the Professor of Manufacturing Systems. These were the foundations for Warwick Manufacturing Group, which is today known simply as WMG. The Group started small with just an office, the Professor and his secretary; but by working collaboratively with industrial partners, the group rapidly grew.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has built WMG into a unique academic group with a current annual programme of over £180 million which includes industrial and in-kind support. From WMG's inception to the present day, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has been a passionate advocate for academic engineering, with WMG being a beacon of manufacturing R&D and business education for 34 years. In the House of Lords, Lord Kenneth Baker has recognised Professor Lord Bhattacharyya for "the enormous contribution he has made to technical education in our country".
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya was appointed a CBE in 1997 and knighted in 2003. In 2004, he was made a life peer as Baron Bhattacharyya of Moseley in the County of the West Midlands. In 2014 he was elected to the Fellowship of The Royal Society for his contribution to engineering research and education.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has published extensively in the field of manufacturing and he is an advisor to many companies and organisations around the world. He has advised the UK government on manufacturing, innovation and technology, including former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. He also served as scientific adviser to the South African government for eight years.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has been instrumental in many large scale inward investments in the UK, most recently the Tata acquisition of Corus and Jaguar Land Rover. He has been intensively involved in the British automotive industry and is working with Jaguar Land Rover on the development of new technologies and manufacturing processes. One significant development, that Lord Bhattacharyya has cultivated, is the National Automotive Innovation Centre, which will create and develop novel technologies to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and to reduce CO2 emissions. In addition to other work on the latest advances in automotive technology, it will also develop a stronger supplier base in the UK.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has worked in close partnership with India throughout his career. He has worked with Dr Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, since Dr Kalam was Director of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation. For the past 20 years, he has worked with the Confederation of Indian Industry and numerous companies including Tata Motors, Bharat Forge and TVS Motors.