A 3D printed wind turbine

Engineering Engagement Team

We are a broad-based engineering centre, with a record of innovative teaching, world-class research and integration with industry. The School has a wide range of research interests with an average annual research income in excess of £2.25m, nearly two-thirds of which is in collaboration with industry.

As the business partnerships team for the School, the Engineering Engagement Team (formerly known as the Lancaster Product Development Unit) is constantly engaged with industry and facilitates the effective use of knowledge exchange; allowing expertise to flow between the university and industry, helping to inspire technological innovation and functional product development.

The team - established in May 2002 - has a proven track record in delivering business support projects to further the regional economic growth of the Northwest. Historically, this has been around the sectors of manufacturing, automotive and general engineering, however, the range of companies and their diversity continues to grow.

Our projects

We have successfully secured and delivered several multi-million pound projects. Between 2009-2013 we provided bespoke design and additive manufacturing technology expertise for 156 companies, creating over 45 new jobs and safeguarding over 100 new jobs.


Our research

Members of the School of Engineering have experience in a wide range of research, with particular strengths in Micro-Nano Systems, E-MIT, Energy, and Structures and Manufacturing.

The Engineering Engagement Team also conducts its own research and the research diversity of the Unit continues to grow, vibrantly and successfully.



Head of Unit

Allan Rennie

Professor Allan Rennie

Professor in Manufacturing Engineering

Centre for Global Eco-innovation , Lancaster Product Development Unit, Manufacturing, Work and Health Forum

D28, D - Floor, Engineering Building

Senior Project Engineer

Tom Abram

Tom Abram

Senior Project Engineer

+44 (0)1524 593783 D29, D - Floor, Engineering Building

Project Manager

Chris Lambert

Chris Lambert

Programme Manager, PhD student

Lancaster Product Development Unit

+44 (0)7814 076610, +44 (0)1524 594383 D29, D - Floor, Engineering Building

Our partners, expertise and funding

Our partners

Our collaborators range from Northwest small and medium enterprises and global organisations such as:

  • QinetiQ
  • National Nuclear Laboratory
  • The Linde Group
  • Sellafield Nuclear Power Station
  • Bloodhound Supersonic Car Programme
  • BAE Systems
  • Yorkshire Water
  • United Utilities
  • The Department for Transport

Our expertise

We have a team of specialist engineers that can offer expertise in the following areas:

  • In-depth product development
  • Conceptual design to generation of manufacturing drawings
  • Generation of 3D animations for marketing and attracting investment
  • Testing of the structural integrity of products in a virtual prototyping environment
  • Facilitation of collaboration with relevant academics who specialise and conduct research in relevant fields
  • For eligible companies, the part-subsidisation of design software upgrades and hardware upgrades as required
  • Facilitation of student placement projects, allowing high calibre adults to look at a particular design problem for your business
  • Signposting and advice for the next stage in the manufacturing process

Funding for business support

Core funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with some additional funding coming from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Historic funding has been secured from the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the EU Interreg IIIC imitative, the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).


"Thank you for all your help with this project, in the past applying for funding has been quite a hassle but you (and your team) have made this so straightforward... we really appreciate this!"
Martyn Bland, Technical Manager, Playdale Playgrounds Ltd

"We have recently worked with the Engineering Engagement Team they gave us great help using 3D printing on a project in London. Great team, great collaboration."
Daedalian Glass Ltd

"Great meeting today with Jenny and Craig from the Engineering Engagement Team to discuss funding available for development. Pleasantly surprised!"
Water Sculptures Ltd