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British Gear Association

British Gear Association

To keep its members up-to-date with latest developments the BGA runs regular seminars that are delivered by Newcastle University's School of Engineering.

The British Gear Association (BGA) is a trade association that supports and promotes the power transmissions industry in the UK. By championing the work of its members, which include gear manufacturers and suppliers, distributors and academics, the BGA raises the profile of those involved in all aspects of gear development and distribution.

As well as being at the forefront of the latest research, the BGA plays a pivotal role in setting industry standards by representing the UK on International Standard committees. Its mission to drive change and continually push forward new ideas means that keeping members up-to-date with the latest developments is crucial, and the BGA runs regular one-day training seminars designed to support continuing professional development (CPD).

It currently offers 15 CPD seminars, almost half of which are delivered by The Design Unit, a specialist outreach group with expertise in design, development and research consultancy at Newcastle University’s School of Engineering. The BGA has been partnering with The Design Unit to deliver CPD training for more than 15 years.

Knowledge transfer

"Working with the BGA gives us a network with industry and helps cement our reputation as the leading UK gear-related research organisation,” explains Director of The Design Unit Professor Brian Shaw. “It also opens doors to new projects. We might deliver seminars to 15 or 20 people and a week later someone who attended will get in touch and ask to do some research with us.”

Delivering CPD training also gives The Design Unit valuable insight into the needs of industry, enabling it to evolve undergraduate courses to align to the challenges facing gear manufacturers and distributors.

“Our interaction with industry means that we are keeping things current in our teaching,” adds Brian. “The Design Unit delivers three 20-credit modules on mechanical power transmissions to around 100 students and those modules are very much built on what we deliver in CPD.”

Ongoing collaboration

"There is currently a shortage of engineers with the relevant gearing skills, so enhancing the knowledge of those working in the field is vital,” says Graham Penning, Chairman of the BGA’s Executive Council, who completed CPD training as a young graduate and now delivers seminars to BGA members.

Closing the skills gap by aligning industry with academia is at the core of the BGA’s relationship with The Design Unit, and was one of the reasons why the Association decided to move its headquarters to the University campus in 2016. While both The Design Unit and BGA remain independent of each other, the close proximity has proved mutually beneficial. 

 “We’re now located in one of the centres of world gearing research, while The Design Unit has greater links to industry through our members,” says Graham. “It’s also such a vibrant location for us – to be based alongside the next generation of engineers.”