French students investigate Sunderland’s automotive industry

French students Kevin Rannou, Maxime Lambard, Tacle Plant Manager Jim Casey, Mayor of Sunderland, Robert Heron and French student Antoine Lecomte.
French students Kevin Rannou, Maxime Lambard, Tacle Plant Manager Jim Casey, Mayor of Sunderland, Robert Heron and French student Antoine Lecomte.
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ZUT alors – a group of students from Sunderland’s French twin town are getting the low-down on the city’s automotive industry.

Seat manufacturer Tacle, battery specialist Rayovac and the University of Sunderland’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Automotive Practice, AMAP, are offering five students from Saint-Nazaire three months of experience in vehicle and automotive development.

It is the fifth year Wearside companies have taken part in the programme for students from Polytech’Nantes in Saint-Nazaire, a town in the west of France which was twinned with Sunderland 16 years ago.

Dirk Kok, research engineer at AMAP, said: “The French students have been working on a control and management strategy for hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cells are seen as the future of low-carbon transport and the students’ work will provide the University of Sunderland with a great learning and development tool for our future students and for further research in this important area.”

Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Robert Heron, said: “This programme gives the French students the sort of opportunities anyone studying automotive development would jump at.

“It’s great to see how motivated the students are as a result of the programme, and to hear that the students’ input is providing real benefits to the companies taking part.

“We’re proud to be a European city, and our business links with France are strong and growing.”