Next generation of engineers to see technologies of future at University of Nottingham research facility

Academics at the University of Nottingham will be aiming to inspire a new generation of engineers when they throw open the doors of their research facility to dozens of local school children to mark the newly-launched National Manufacturing Day on Thursday 7 July.

Around 150 young people from almost a dozen secondary schools in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire will be offered a behind the scenes look at research being conducted in the university’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing on Jubilee Campus, where innovative technologies are driving advances in the manufacturing sector, which is the largest employer in the East Midlands.

Svetan Ratchev, Cripps Professor of Production Engineering and Director of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at the University of Nottingham, said: “We are delighted to open the doors of the Nottingham Institute for Advanced Manufacturing to the public as part of the inaugural UK National Manufacturing Day.

“”We look forward to welcoming over 150 schoolchildren from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, members of the public and industrial and business leaders to visit our world leading manufacturing research facilities and gain insight into the exciting future technologies we are developing at the institute.”

By sharing our enthusiasm for manufacturing, we hope to shape future careers and illustrate the impact that our internationally leading research and knowledge exchange activities deliver to the region.

National Manufacturing Day has been launched by Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, as a way of an opportunity for manufacturers to showcase the range of highly skilled and well-paid jobs they have on offer by throwing open their doors to the local community in a UK wide open house. The event aims to demonstrate the value of a manufacturing apprenticeship as an alternative route post school/college, to promote these opportunities to women and other minority groups and help to attract new talent for businesses looking to develop their future skills pipeline. National Manufacturing Day will be a celebration of all the sub sectors including automotive, food and drink, aerospace, defence, chemical and pharma.

Pioneering technologies

Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK said: “National Manufacturing day is the opportunity for local communities to really see what happens in their local factories and innovation centres as companies open up for the day. Around the UK, there are lots of job opportunities and openings for training across the sector so we hope people take the opportunity to see what modern manufacturing is really like.

“The UK excels at making great products and making some of the most important technological advances across the globe. Research and training facilities like those at the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing in Nottingham, focusing on research into life changing items and complex engineering solutions, are critical to keeping British innovation at the forefront of clinical and industrial technological breakthroughs which bring about seismic change.”

The university’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing contributes to manufacturing science, technology development and industry application across a range of sectors including aerospace, automotive, consumer products, medical, power and process engineering.

The institute has a wide range of research groups working to develop pioneering technologies to solve real-world problems for industry. This includes:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Technology, which is investigating the use of robotics in surgical procedures, developing new smart solutions for assembly of aircraft wings and pioneering revolutionary methods for repair of aero engines
  • Centre for Additive Manufacturing, which is using 3D printing technology to make everything from prosthetic limbs to complex pharmaceutical devices
  • Advanced Materials Research Group, which is using innovative processing methods for applications including healthcare, addressing issues linked to the ageing population and using nano-materials such as in novel composites or in body armour
  • Centre for Aerospace Manufacturing, which is designing the next generation of aircraft wings, developing new intelligent assembly systems for aerospace components and has a project that is investigating the technical feasibility of manufacturing in space.

During their visit, the school children and other VIP visitors, including Lillian Greenwood MP for Nottingham South, will be treated to a series of tours of the building and its exciting range of research facilities used as a test bed for industry and the development of emerging technologies, including:

  • Automated manufacturing systems
  • Precision engineered components
  • Robotic assembly of aircraft components
  • 3D printing of multi-material products
  • Advanced measurement of internal structures
  • Bespoke forming of composite materials for automotive applications

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