As an engineering student, one of the many dilemmas I face is the choice between working in industry or going into research. After Mr Griffiths’s talk, I decided to consider composite factories in Bangladesh, as I had plans to visit my dad there anyway. We had only just covered an in-depth module on composite materials on my course and I was intrigued to find out more about their manufacturing and application in the textile industry, a sector on its forefront in Bangladesh. I managed to get in touch with the assistant general manager (AGM) of GMS Knitting Composite Ltd and arranged a visit to the factory.
1. Meeting with the Assistant General Manager
2. Tour of the Factory
I was given a thorough tour of the factory, starting from the yarn being brought in to the finished goods. Jack & Jones are GMS Knitting Composite Ltd’s main client, with Adidas, Nike and Lonsdale being amongst several other notable customers. The tour comprised of being shown how specialist machines such as the circular knitting machine, single jersey knitting machine, double jersey knitting machine and jacquard machine worked as well the step by step processes taken by employees to maintain health and safety regulations. Risk factors, costs and the environmental effects of using all the machines were also discussed. I particularly enjoyed the visit to the printing and R&D lab. I got to meet some of the in-house graphic designers of the company and heat-press my own t-shirt as a souvenir from the factory.
3. Future Research Prospects
The importance of networking has been reiterated repeatedly by multiple guest speakers as well as SELA as an organisation. Our networking session with Will Kintish proved particularly useful in this light and was undoubtedly my favourite SELA workshop. Mr Kintish described networking to be all about building relationships with people and I believe it is one of the most fundamental skills needed for us to succeed as future engineers. A large part of networking is being able to meet people different from ourselves and Mr Kintish has certainly helped prepare us for those future meetings.
I truly enjoyed visiting GMS Knit Composite Ltd and learning about their working conditions, their relationship with foreign consumers, technology integration and transfer between the east and the west. In the future, I intend to continue broadening my knowledge and learn about the similarities and differences between engineering methodologies across the globe. SELA has largely inspired me to pursue my research interests and given me the confidence and expertise I need to approach those who can aid these interests.