Aston University welcomes HRH The Princess Royal to campus

HRH The Princess Royal at Aston University
HRH The Princess Royal at Aston University

28 September 2017

  • Aston University welcomes royal VIP to its city centre campus
  • HRH The Princess Royal is patron of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
  • Aston Logistics & Systems Institute demonstrates University's commitment to the profession

HRH The Princess Royal, patron of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, addressed more than 100 of the leading minds from the supply chain sector at an event held at Aston University.

The supply chain innovation round table discussion was hosted by the West Midlands Region of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) yesterday, 27 September.  

HRH addressed delegates and also endorsed CILT’s new strategy which will see a five-year plan put in place with a new vision statement aiming to build “an institute that is essential to members, inspires our audience and delivers experiences that are loved for life.”

HRH went on to challenge CILT and its members to exploit the massive market potential and shout about the success of the transport and logistics sector.

Professor Ed Sweeney FCILT, Director of the Aston Logistics & Systems Institute, Aston University said: “Aston University was delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal in her capacity as patron of CILT. The establishment of the Aston Logistics & Systems Institute in 2016 demonstrates the University's commitment to this technologically advanced and globally connected profession.

“Aston will continue to work in close collaboration with its industry partners to develop high calibre graduate talent and to support innovation across regional, national and global supply chains.”

His colleague Dr Trevor Oliver, Deputy Executive Dean of the University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, gave a keynote speech - Driving the Midlands Engine through supply chain innovation.  He encouraged collaborative and contemporary supply chain thinking and highlighted the importance of inspiring innovation through people and processes.

The event considered  the impact and influence of logistics in the Midlands and the sector’s importance to developing the area’s economic and social wellbeing stability, and looked at the critical role of supply chain research-informed innovation in driving economic growth, in the context of the recently published Midlands Engine Strategy.

The strategy sets out the actions being taken to address productivity barriers across the Midlands, enabling businesses to create more jobs, export more goods and services, and grow their productivity, and is a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to making the Midlands a powerful engine for economic growth.

Leigh Pomlett, President Europe, CEVA Logistics also presented and discussed the challenges facing the logistics industry in supporting the Midlands Engine. He urged delegates to embrace today’s technological advancements which will enhance the future of the profession. He also acknowledged the many challenges that will have to be overcome to enable the Midlands Engine to deliver, including the skills and driver shortages, poor investment and lack of direct investment in the industry.

Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive, CILT, said: “Stretching from Shropshire to Lincolnshire, with the M1, M6 and most of the UK’s major railways lines running through it, the Midlands sits at the very heart of the UK economy. It was great to have so many members attend to acknowledge the importance of the Midlands and our profession in making the UK an economic force; and CILT, under its new strategy, will lead the way through Brexit and beyond.”

HRH The Princess Royal is pictured with Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive of CILT, Beverly Lindsay OBE, Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands, and students from Aston University’s engineering systems and management degree courses.  


Notes to the editor

About CILT
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport is the independent international professional body for individuals and companies associated with logistics and transport. It has over 33,000 members in over 31 countries worldwide.

About Aston University
Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has been always been a force for change. For 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry. 

For further information about CILT contact: Anthony Kendrick on 01536 740117 or or Max Hodge on 01536 740159 or

For further information about Aston University contact: Susi Turner, press office, on 0121 204 4978 or  

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