Kumar Bhattacharyya, Baron Bhattacharyya

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Bhattacharyya
Kumar Bhattacharyya.jpg
Born 6 June 1940 (1940-06-06) (age 77)
Residence Birmingham, UK
Alma mater IIT Kharagpur, University of Birmingham
Occupation Professor, chairman of WMG
Known for Chairman and Founder, Warwick Manufacturing Group
Political party Labour

Sushanta Kumar Bhattacharyya, Baron Bhattacharyya, CBE, FREng,[1] FRS (born 6 June 1940) is an Anglo-Indian engineer, educator and government advisor.[3] In 1980 he became Professor of Manufacturing Systems at the University of Warwick and founded the Warwick Manufacturing Group.[4] In 2004 he was made a life peer and became a member of the House of Lords.

Early life and career[edit]

Kumar Bhattacharyya was born in Dhaka (then part of British-India, now capital of Bangladesh). His father was a professor of Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.[5]

Bhattacharyya studied Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He moved to Britain in the 1960s where he worked for six years as a graduate apprentice at Lucas Industries, a large British manufacturing company. During this time, he studied at the University of Birmingham where he attained an MSc in Engineering Production and Management and a PhD in Engineering Production. While completing his PhD at Birmingham, he was appointed as a Lecturer and began the process of establishing a manufacturing education programme for industry there.[5]

In 1980 he moved to the University of Warwick and, with the support of Vice-Chancellor, Jack Butterworth, he founded WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) of which he is now chairman. WMG is now one of the largest academic departments of the University known for its collaborative research and education programmes with industry.[6] During this time, he has been instrumental in brokering some significant partnerships for UK manufacturing including the takeover of Jaguar Land Rover by Indian firm Tata Motors[7][8] in 2008 and the investment in the National Automotive Innovation Centre at the University of Warwick.[9]

Bhattacharyya was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1997 New Year Honours[10] and knighted in 2003.[11] On 3 June 2004, he was created a life peer as Baron Bhattacharyya, of Moseley in the County of West Midlands.[12] He sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords.[3]

In 2014, he was elected as a Fellow of The Royal Society.[13] He is also a Fellow[1] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[14] and a number of other professional bodies including the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Indian National Academy of Engineering and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Kumar Bhattacharyya is a past member of the UK Council for Science and Technology and a past board member of Advantage West Midlands, the West Midlands Regional Development Agency (RDA).[15] He has also served as a scientific adviser to the government of South Africa. He sits on the Policy Advisory Council of the Institute for Public Policy Research[16] and served on the National Consumer Council from 1990 to 1993.

House of Lords[edit]

Kumar Bhattacharyya sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords. His focus is on policy areas such as business and industry, economy and finance, education, international affairs and science and technology. Throughout his career, he has been a passionate advocate for engineering innovation and the revival of British industry.[17] Lord Baker has paid tribute to his enormous contribution to technical education in the UK as "quite remarkable".[18]


Kumar Bhattacharyya writes a regular opinion column for the Birmingham Post.[19]


In 2002, Andrew Lorenz wrote a book about Bhattacharyya's career and the growth of WMG, entitled Kumar Bhattacharyya: The Unsung Guru.

Awards and Honours[edit]

  • 1992: Doctor of the University (DUniv) awarded by University of Surrey
  • 1997: Awarded CBE for Services to Industry and Technology; Honorary Doctorate of Science (DSc) awarded by University of Technology, Malaysia (also holds Honorary Professorship)
  • 1998: Mensforth International Gold Medal for outstanding international contribution to manufacturing engineering and management – Institution of Electrical Engineers[20]
  • 1999: Sir Robert Lawrence Award for Services to Logistics – Institute for Logistics and Transport[21]
  • 2002: Padma Bhushan awarded by President of India for services to Science and Technology[22]
  • 2003: Knighthood for Services to Higher Education and Industry; Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) awarded by Hong Kong Polytechnic University (also holds Honorary Professorship)
  • 2004: Life Peer as Baron Bhattacharyya, of Moseley in the County of the West Midlands; Honorary DEng awarded by Birmingham University[23]
  • 2005: The Duncan Davies Medal for outstanding contribution to research and development in the UK – The Research and Development Society[24]
  • 2008: Honorary Doctorate of Science (DSc) from IIT Kharagpur
  • 2011: Honorary Membership – Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) given for ability and stature, plus contribution of substantial skills and talent to accomplish the goals of the Society.[25]
  • 2013: Honorary DSc – Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, presented by the President of India.
  • 2014: Coventry Award of Merit for outstanding personal achievement in raising the status of UK engineering and manufacturing and for his service to the promotion of the University of Warwick and the City of Coventry
  • 2014: Elected as Fellow of The Royal Society for his contribution to engineering research and education.[26]
  • 2015: Made Honorary Freeman of the City of Coventry, alongside Ratan Tata.[27]
  • 2016: WMG awarded a Regius Professorship, Lord Bhattacharyya becoming Regius Professor of Manufacturing (Engineering)[28][29]

His nomination for the Royal Society reads:

"Kumar Bhattacharyya is the founder and leader of the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) whose mission is to improve the competitiveness of industry through innovative collaborative research, educational and knowledge transfer programmes WMG employs over 300 staff with a similar number seconded from industry. It has a global reputation in automotive research, the built environment, digital technology and healthcare systems. Kumar Bhattacharyya was the primary architect of the Integrated Graduate Development Scheme, now considered best practice in CPD by many Universities, and was the first to run the Eng Doc programme on similar principles. In 30 years, the Education programmes have involved over 25,000 individuals and over 500 UK companies. Bhattacharyya has received many international honours, awards and honorary doctorates."[30]


  1. ^ a b c "List of Fellows". 
  2. ^ https://royalsociety.org/people/fellowship/2014/sushantha-bhattacharyya/
  3. ^ a b http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-bhattacharyya/3672
  4. ^ http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/people/chairman/
  5. ^ a b https://www.theguardian.com/business/2005/jun/19/theobserver.observerbusiness6
  6. ^ http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/kumar-bhattacharyya/150799.article
  7. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00mdqrp
  8. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-16130932
  9. ^ http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/business-news/jaguar-land-rover-invest-45m-4310324
  10. ^ "No. 54625". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1996. p. 8. 
  11. ^ "No. 57391". The London Gazette. 24 August 2004. p. 10694. 
  12. ^ "No. 57312". The London Gazette. 9 June 2004. p. 7176. 
  13. ^ http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/mediacentre/wmgnews/?newsItem=094d43f54598ed7a0145b738169b0602
  14. ^ http://www.raeng.org.uk/about/fellowship/fellowslist.htm?Alpha=All
  15. ^ https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2002-11-07.79846.h
  16. ^ http://www.ippr.org/staff-profiles/58/636/kumar-bhattacharyya
  17. ^ https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/ldallfiles/peers/lord_hansard_3998_od.html
  18. ^ https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/141023-0002.htm#14102379000676
  19. ^ http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/all-about/kumar%20bhattacharyya
  20. ^ http://conferences.theiet.org/nuffield/previous/1900/index.cfm
  21. ^ http://www.ciltuk.org.uk/Events/AnnualAwards/TheSirRobertLawrenceAward.aspx
  22. ^ http://india.gov.in/myindia/padmabhushan_awards_list1.php?start=310
  23. ^ http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/senate/honorary-graduates-since-2000.pdf
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  25. ^ http://www.sme.org/honorary-members/
  26. ^ https://royalsociety.org/news/2014/new-fellows/
  27. ^ http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/saviours-jaguar-land-rover-honoured-10128537
  28. ^ "Minister for the Constitution presents University of Warwick with Royal Warrant - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  29. ^ "Major award for Lord Bhattacharyya - Machinery Market News". Machinery Market. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  30. ^ https://royalsociety.org/people/kumar-bhattacharyya-11080/

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