Friday, 13 December 2019

Factories of the Future: Our visit to the Smart Factory Expo

Sam Maxwell & Rob Bowland, Cohort 2018

On Wednesday, 13 November we had the chance to visit the Smart Factory Expo at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre alongw with Mo-anna Tucker from our SELA Cohort. Our aim was to understand the current innovations in industry surrounding data and the Internet of Things, to build context for our second year SELA project. This year our project is based on data-driven manufacturing. We are looking to show how data can accelerate improvement in manufacturing processes; for example, performing quality control on the machining of very high tolerance jet engine blades.

Smart Factory Expo brings together companies from across Europe to showcase the latest developments in technology: from Cybersecurity to Additive Manufacturing, all the technologies involved in Industry 4.0 can be found here. As well as finding the giants of the industry – Siemens, PTC and Autodesk, to name a few – start up businesses developing very innovative and targeted technologies can also be found at the Expo (along “Innovation Alley”). Ultimately, this was a fantastic event to get some fresh ideas on how data can drive continuous improvement in a business, and to build contacts to help with our project.

My aim with this blog post is to share some of the great ideas and technologies we found at the event. So, here are our highlights of Smart Factory Expo 2019.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Ten things I learnt from SELA Bootcamp

Sadan Al Shweikini, Cohort 2019

I am a member of the newest SELA Cohort, having joined the programme in September. I am delighted to be part of this community, that provides the perfect environment to grow and become the excellent leaders we want to be.

I am currently a second-year Structural Engineering and Architecture student. I joined SELA not just to become a future leader, but to also improve my personality by becoming more confident, better at public speaking, and improve my self-awareness and negotiations skills.

We went for two days on a residential weekend to attend the annual SELA Bootcamp, where the Head of SELA, Dr Gary Wood, welcomed us and we took part in a series of workshops, supported by mentors from industry, to explore and build our skills. These two days were very beneficial in terms of learning new skills, gaining knowledge and getting to know each other in the new cohort.

Here are ten lessons I learnt from SELA bootcamp, I would like to share with you…

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Pop-Up University Engineers Tackle Climate Change

Bertie Knight, Cohort 2019

From September 20-22, SELA Cohort 2018 ran the first-ever undergraduate-led installation in the Pop Up University – the University of Sheffield’s city-wide engagement event. Throughout the weekend, the Cohort showcased engineering, in all its disciplines, helping visitors of all ages to see how engineers create and shape the world around us. The event utilised many of the stands that our cohort used for the ‘Get Up To Speed With STEM’ event at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, back in late March. The exhibition included a pinball machine, a marble run activity, a cog puzzle and an electrical engineering-related joystick game – all built by students from the cohort – as well as robots and lab demonstrations.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Insight into Defence Technology: My Placement in Colombia with Tecnolgías Marte

Bertie Knight, Cohort 2018

Right now, I’m halfway through working for the defence technology company Tecnologías Marte in Medellín, Colombia for my first summer placement as part of the SELA programme. From when I started writing my application till now, I’ve received a tonne of support from plenty of people associated with the academy, so I deemed it only fair to write a blog or two about what I’ve been up to. I want this blog to provide some details about the project I’m working on out here. I’m also writing a separate blog to give some insight on what my first experience has been like in the developing world, and how it all ties into a wider and global engineering context - look out for it here soon!

Thursday, 5 September 2019

SELA's industry-linked integrative projects shortlisted for National Enterprise Educator Award

SELA is delighted to have been shortlisted in this year’s prestigious National Enterprise Educator Awards in the Higher Education Team Category.

SELA has been shortlisted for its integrative projects, which use enterprise and entrepreneurship to connect students’ learning to real issues in our city, with national relevance. The year-long projects have stimulus briefs that provide wide scope for students to create, communicate and realise their own vision, whilst delivering real value to our University, businesses and wider stakeholders.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

88 Pianists, 1 Piano, and a new World Record!

Jack Trethewey, Cohort 2018

If I was to get you to write a list of what you would expect to see at a major conference, you would probably write down things like, smartly-dressed executives, immaculate business cards flying all over the room and leather-bound briefcases and handbags. You may even note down a plethora of delicately arranged “nibbles” and drinks, acting as a safety net for any executive keen to break free from conversation. What I wouldn’t expect you to list is a life-sized wooden giraffe, a brightly-coloured rainbow-shooting unicorn, an extendable, enlarged and multicoloured wooden hand, or a giant rabbit on a catapult - all playing the piano. Objects at the mercy of 88 primary-school children arranged in a semi-circle, under the watchful eye of Julian Lloyd Webber. Yet, fantastically, this is exactly what I saw, thanks to the work and commitment of The University of Sheffield’s Dr Candice Majewski, SELA cohort members James Rayson, Robin Watkins-New, James Whitehead and many other fantastic engineers and musicians from universities all over the country.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Energy Insights: My Placement at Professional Energy Purchasing

Mark Harris, Cohort 2018

During summer 2019, I completed a 7-week placement at a company called Professional Energy Purchasing, working as a social media analyst. So first of all, you may be thinking that a social media analyst isn’t exactly something an engineering student might do, but hear me out. This opportunity came about mostly by chance, but that’s not to say it was a complete fluke.

Like the rest of the 2018 SELA cohort I was involved in Get Up To Speed with STEM (a big Science and Engineering event, to inspire 3,000 young people about their potential to succeed through engineering), and during the day we were all given the chance to look around the rest of the exhibits and do some networking.