Head of iSTEM appointed at Preston’s College
News - Friday, 4th September, 2015
Preston’s College has confirmed the appointment of a ‘head of division – iSTEM’ to manage the delivery of its new real work skills based learning curriculum ahead of the opening of the £13m iSTEM Centre in September 2015.
Kevin Burke, from Preston, has a wealth of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) experience built up over a career spanning 34 years and joins Preston’s College from STEMNET. His most recent role, as the regional director for the North of England, involved the co-ordination of STEM curriculum Enhancement & Enrichment programmes for primary and secondary schools and FE colleges, to inspire more young people to study these subjects and move into careers in these industries.
Prior to this, Kevin spent 16 years with the Royal Air Force as an engineering officer and a further eight years with BAE Systems as a system engineer and head of sponsored programmes in the BAE Systems Virtual University.
As head of division – iSTEM (innovation and STEM) at Preston’s College, Kevin will manage the delivery and development of high quality education programmes providing students with the skills and experience required by industry and to reduce the STEM skills gap.
The iSTEM Centre at Preston’s College is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the UK and replicates real work environments to enable students to formulate ideas, test theories and present findings. State-of-the-art equipment includes 3D printers, a 6-seater twin engine aircraft and a NASA-developed AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.
Kevin said: “I was instantly attracted to the College’s vision of educating young people in such a different way. Lots of education providers are building STEM Centres, but Preston’s College flipped the system on its head. First designing programmes around the Input, Process, Output model and only then developing and building the iSTEM Centre to ensure it met their needs and requirements to effectively deliver on this.
“People are far more interested in STEM than a decade ago and my number one goal is to drive Preston’s College forward to becoming the leading provider of STEM education in the north of England within the next three years.”
Dr Lis Smith, principal & CEX at Preston’s College, added: “Kevin’s STEM achievements, particularly in engineering, are exemplary and his passion for these skilled subjects and their application in the classroom and workplace shone through.
“Welcoming Kevin on board is a major coup for Preston’s College showing our determination to have both the best facilities and industry experienced staff and will further transform our vision of delivering the most employable learners in Lancashire.”