Based in Coventry in the University of Warwick, Tata Motors Design Tech Centre has recently supported hospices, homeless charities, hospitals and schools.
Fundraising activities have included the annual Tata Founder’s Day, which celebrates the birth of the Tata Group’s founder, Jamsetji Tata. The celebration gives staff members the opportunity to develop and foster partnerships within the local community and to raise money for worthwhile causes, which is then matched by donations from the company.
During the height of the Covid-19 crisis, the Design Tech Centre also used its skills and expertise to create much-needed face shields for key workers.
Aside from fundraising, the Design Tech centre also works hard to build meaningful relationships with local professional and academic institutions to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers.
The Covid-19 crisis hit the whole of the UK hard. Amongst the many problems caused by the pandemic was the urgent need for high-quality PPE to be used by doctors and nurses on the frontline. The Design Modelling Operations team at the Design Tech Centre responded by producing coronavirus face shields using 3D printing. These were delivered to Birmingham Children's Hospital, a GP’s surgery in Oldbury and George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
Small 3D printers are usually used by the team to create models and parts during the design of ground-breaking new cars. Instead, they were used to create the main frame of the face shield and then the Design Tech Centre team assembled the masks at their homes using additional materials.
When the PPE shortages in the NHS eased, the team quickly turned its attention to providing the face shields for schools across the Midlands.
Tata Motors Design Tech Centre is a long-term supporter of Zoe's Place Baby Hospice in Coventry. Employees regularly visit the hospice to get their hands dirty and help with any work required. Whether it’s pruning, weeding, sanding down wood, painting or jet washing, there’s nothing the Design Tech centre won’t do to lend a helping hand.
The Design Tech centre staff have also been staunch supporters of Rugby-based homelessness charity, Hope4.
Recently, kind-hearted employees cooked up a feast for colleagues to raise more than £750. Curry and rice was on offer, as well as samosas, Indian sweets, payasam, egg puff, cakes and soft drinks.
Since its creation, the Design Tech Centre has fostered relationships with leading institutions within the automotive and engineering sectors. This network includes the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), with which it is a Corporate Partner. The Design Tech Centre has also strengthened its interaction with the Midlands region of the IMechE and IET, with many of its engineers holding professional accreditations.
Enjoying a highly advantageous location at the University of Warwick campus, the Design Tech Centre has developed a close relationship with the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), working in collaboration across a diverse range of engineering research initiatives and projects.
This successful partnership extends to the use of shared facilities, with previous projects featuring appropriate test cases of Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) piloted at the Tech Centre’s Cross Point manufacturing facility, the Premium Vehicle Integrated Technologies (PVIT) facility at WMG and currently the sharing of facilities at the International Digital Laboratory (IDL) for energy storage research at the WMG Catapult. The Design Tech Centre also contributes to the University's MSc courses, through guest lectureships while a number of our engineers are pursuing part-time engineering doctorates at the University of Warwick.
The relationship with the University of Warwick has recently been taken to higher level with the joint collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover to develop the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) on campus, which was officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales in February 2020.
Further afield, the Design Tech centre has over the years developed strong academic and collaboration relationships with the Universities of Birmingham, Coventry, Loughborough, Sheffield and Cranfield, as well as nurturing a special relationship with the Royal College of Art, with a number of the Design Tech centre employees as Alumni, including the Head of Design.
The Design Tech centre NAIC home has a large auditorium, making it ideal for networking events. Motiv8 has had regular events, bringing together some of the biggest names in the automotive industry to exchange information and knowledge.
Tata Motors Design Tech Centre takes a keen interest in the future of the automotive industry, where its engineers have experience ranging between two and 40 years and is a strong supporter of emerging talent and the development of the next generation of automotive engineers.
This support is given through a variety of different pathways, including STEM courses, apprenticeships and various academic institutions.
Apart from supporting a number of PhD Students at various local universities, in recent years the Design Tech Centre staff have taken stands at various events to introduce visitors to a diverse range of engineering activities.
Tata Motors Design Tech Centre’s passion for the automotive industry creates the desire among its engineers to develop the best cars for Tata Motors, as well to leave a legacy by helping others to follow in their footsteps.
To stimulate this passion and interest in cars, the company organises a 'Cobblers Day' event in April each year, which allows employees to bring and display their 'classic automotive toys'.