Arden appoints new Head of School of Engineering

Arden University has appointed Professor Mike Sutcliffe to head up its new engineering school

Arriving with extensive knowledge and experience of engineering higher education – across challenger, post-1992 institutions and Russell Group universities – Mike is currently the President of the Engineering Professors’ Council (EPC) – the representative voice of engineering academics across the UK. 

‘I’m delighted to have the opportunity to use my skills, knowledge and experience to shape and implement the vision for engineering at Arden University,’ he said of his appointment. 

‘The UK’s engineering sector needs a diverse workforce to face its current challenges and I am thrilled to be able to align myself with Arden’s diverse range of students, as it will allow us to work together to meet the demands of the UK engineering jobs market while developing their knowledge and skills.’

‘Arden is aligned with strong values and academic strategy, so I am looking forward to developing industry-informed engineering programmes that will support, enable and empower a diverse cohort of students on a journey from a broad range of prior educational and experiential learning, while still ensuring the highest possible standards of excellence.’

Mike will be working collaboratively with a number of stakeholders, the relevant statutory and regulatory bodies for engineering, and employers to deliver Arden’s engineering provision.

He was previously Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Science, Engineering and Computing at Kingston University, where he led the revitalising of learning and teaching across engineering, computer science and mathematics – focussing on ‘learning through doing’. His expertise has allowed Mike to attain and sustain global top 25 status (QS World Rankings) as well as a top three position in the UK in REF and an Athena SWAN Silver Award; he has also received awards for his teaching and his research.

Having led on a high-profile policy paper for successful engineering degree apprenticeships, Mike has played a leading role in the New Approaches to Engineering Higher Education programme formed by the EPC and the Institution of Engineering Technology. He is also currently a Visiting Professor at The Engineering & Design Institute London (TEDI-London) and City, University of London.

As Deputy Dean of TEDI-London – a start-up provider of real-life project-based engineering higher education – Mike led the design, development and implementation of the innovative academic programme and played a leading role in attaining New Degree Awarding Powers. 

‘Flexibility will be a key component of the provision I aim to develop at Arden. From 2025, Lifelong Learning Entitlement will enable learners to ‘access a flexible loan for higher-level education and training at university or college, which they can use at any point in their lives’. This, coupled with the growing momentum behind stackable micro credentials and being partnered with Global University Systems provides a real opportunity for us to evolve our engineering provision to empower more of the workforce.’

‘I aim to maximise the synergies of modules and efficiency of delivery as we develop Arden’s engineering provision, to redefine the traditional boundaries to produce exciting and engaging programmes that empower our learners with the mindset, confidence, skills and competencies employers are seeking.’

‘This approach helps ensure “no surprises” when we come to accreditation.  I will also work collaboratively with employers as we embed real-life relevance, case studies and projects – as well as clear lines of sight to employment – into our curriculum,’ Mike concludes.

The School of Engineering will operate as part of Arden's Faculty of STEM.

'Professor Sutcliffe has a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of engineering, and we are thrilled that he is joining us,' said Professor Georgina Harris, Dean of the Faculty of STEM at Arden University.

'As a passionate educator and researcher, he is committed to widening access to engineering higher education. We are honoured to have him as part of our faculty, and we look forward to the contributions he will make to our Arden University community.'