Wednesday, 18 December 2019

On a Mission to Inspire Learning

Dr Gary Wood is Head of Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy (SELA), and has recently been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by Advance HE. Exclusively for the SELA blog, we met up with Gary so he could tell us more.

Hi Gary, lovely to see you! We hear you’ve had some good news recently, do tell!


It’s been quite an exciting time as I was announced as one of this year’s National Teaching Fellows by Advance HE. It is a really prestigious award that only 55 people are recognised with each year, so I am really humbled to have been selected alongside two other colleagues at the University of Sheffield.

Monday, 16 December 2019

How six different leadership styles helped me deliver a successful Pop Up University

Armand Keyworth, Cohort 2018

From 20-22 September 2019, Cohort 2018 delivered an outreach programme at the Pop-Up University event in Sheffield, with the aim of inspiring young children and students to realise their potential through engineering. The event was a big success, with over 2,000 people attending and interacting with our exhibit. However, the Pop-Up University for me started back in June. Having put myself forward for project leader, the main objective was to produce a successful project, despite members of the Cohort being away on summer placements in industry.

Having recently attended a SELA workshop on leadership styles, I realised that I had used different styles at different points throughout the Pop-Up University project. In this blog I want to show what these six types are, when best to use them, and how I utilised each one so to deliver a successful outreach event.

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.