Higher gear in engineering

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Frank at the Advanced Engineering Centre, the Buchanan Building, in Bedford.

New Director of Engineering at The Bedford College Group is Dr Frank Dzokoto.

From a background in industry and pioneering digital processes in manufacturing, Frank is planning to move engineering education across the Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire college into a higher gear in motor vehicle and motor racing.

The Group’s Motor Vehicle Technology Centre at Kempston, Beds is already switching to electric and hybrid transport training in keeping with modern car manufacturing, and the National College for Motorsports at Silverstone, Northants is in the fast lane when it comes to helping young people into Formula One careers. 

“In both areas we want to ensure our students can overtake others and progress on to higher levels of education, to move from technicians into engineers,” said Frank who divides his time between the NC4M at Silverstone and the Brundtland Building of green technologies at Bedford.

The Bedford College Group already offers a range of BSc degree courses in technology and engineering. The plan is to close the gap between 16-year-old apprentices, and achieving those higher qualifications, and promotional aspirations in advanced manufacturing and digital engineering careers.

HNC and HND courses will be familiar names to those who have studied in skilled sectors, but now Frank wants to offer fast-track courses.

“Not everyone is able to study full-time, many people want to study part-time to increase their qualifications. Some people want to go up a gear and complete courses which are traditionally taken over three years part-time and instead take them in, effectively, 18 months.

“It requires commitment, but if the rewards are waiting in a skill-hungry industry then it is possible in the new normal of online and blended learning.”

Before re-joining The Bedford College Group, Frank had experience in rail, construction and mechanical engineering education. He worked at Bedford College for a year in 2015/16. He obtained his Doctorate at Loughborough University focusing on construction and engineering project teams.

Frank is part of a legion of experts leading the regional FE Group further into the realms of Higher Education, making degree-level learning more accessible for people across a wide range of subjects. 

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