Eminent engineer launches Pontio Innovation

One of the UK's most eminent engineers, Professor Sir John O'Reilly was at Bangor University recently (28 January) to launch Arloesi Pontio Innovation.

Sir John O’Reilly was most recently Director General of Knowledge and Innovation for the UK Government. He is a former Head of the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Bangor University. He then became Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University.

Arloesi Pontio Innovation is Bangor University’s new gateway for businesses to access the expertise and facilities available at the University. Bangor has a long-standing track record for delivering high quality and award-winning business support focused on inspiring innovation, improving performance and promoting sustainability.

In his Inaugural Public Lecture, Professor Sir John O'Reilly spoke about the need for engineers to embrace creativity with the addition of 'A' for Arts into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda.

Sir John said:

“Crucial for success is the interplay between research, innovation and higher education. Appropriately there is a strong emphasis on STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.. as well as important contributions of science, engineering and technology, but the arts and humanities also contribute, placing particular emphasis on cross linkages and interaction - very much in the spirit of Arloesi Pontio Innovation."

He added:

"I am particularly pleased now to have this opportunity to speak in the new 'Pontio' facility, an enlightened venture with which I resonate strongly.”

Sir John also had opportunity to visit this year’s first Enterprise by Design workshop. Developed by Bangor University, Enterprise by Design challenges multi-disciplinary teams to come up with innovative products.  In order to take part, students studying Psychology, Electronic Engineering, Product Design, Creative Studies & Media and Business follow an eight week series of intensive workshops focussing on inspiration, creativity, sustainability and commercial awareness.

Sir John described Bangor University’s work on Enterprise by Design as exemplary. He said:

"I applaud this integration, the project that you have here - that reaches across the disciplines, that makes design and entrepreneurship an integral part of what it’s all about…that recognises that the psychologist, or the management specialist, the chemist, the electronic engineer, the computer scientist and so on can all come together usefully and contribute and each contribute their own thoughts and insights.

The nature of the problems are multi-faceted, they require a multidisciplinary team approach.”

Of Pontio he said: 

"Much research today necessarily draws people from different disciplines together to address the nature of scale of the problem that's there - very much in the spirit of Pontio.”


Publication date: 11 January 2016