Innovative engineering company Renishaw (LON:RSW) with expertise in metal additive manufacturing, is an avid supporter of education. At the beginning of March 2017, the UK based company expanded its Gloucestershire base with 45 engineering apprenticeships for students going onto higher education, and has since opened up more opportunities with a North American headquarters.

In an initiative to encourage more practical and creative-thinking skills in younger students, the company also holds annual workshops for children still in middle school.

The 12 Future Brunels 2017, with their handmade LED light sequencers. Photo via Renishaw

The 12 Future Brunels 2017, with their handmade LED light sequencers. Photo via Renishaw

STEM education

Skills are developed in the workshops through practical interaction with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) based tasks. Such workshops are also run by initiatives like India’s 3Dexter, who use 3D printing for STEM.

‘The Engineer’ workshop in particular has been run by Renishaw since 2013, and is in support of Bristol’s Future Brunels educational program. Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw, comments,

Renishaw is committed to encouraging a pipeline of talent into engineering careers. Taking part in hands-on activities is a powerful way to create a positive experience for the students involved.

Pockett adds,

Because the students can take their projects home, the learning extends beyond just the visit itself and can be shared with parents, teachers and peers. We’ve had great feedback from the students so far, who were able to develop their skills in a number of areas including physics, mechanics and engineering.

Inspired by Britain’s Industrial Revolution

Future Brunels is a program inspired civil and mechanical engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Considered one of the key figures of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, Brunel is credited with starting the nation’s Great Western Railway; linking London to the The Midlands, the west of England, and Wales.

The program is funded by the SS Great Britain Trust, a charity and non-profit organization that conserves the SS Great Britain ship designed by Brunel and launched in 1843.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel against the launching chains of the SS Great Eastern at Millwall in 1857, photo by Robert Howlett (1831–1858).

Isambard Kingdom Brunel against the launching chains of the SS Great Eastern ship at Millwall in 1857, photo by Robert Howlett (1831–1858).

The future of engineering

By supporting engineering at such an early stage of education, the program is helping to prepare young people for the next industrial revolution.

Rachel Roberts, Head of Education at the SS Great Britain Trust, comments,

The results of the evaluation of the Future Brunels pilot program have been outstanding. Due to the exceptional results, the SS Great Britain Trust is now looking to expand the program to more young people and increase their enthusiasm for STEM subjects as a part of tackling the skills shortage.

We heard more about 3D printing’s role in the future of medicine from Renishaw Reconstructive Scientist Amy Davey as part of an ongoing series of articles from industry specialists. 

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Featured image shows Renishaw 3D printed metal components at IMTS 2016. Photo by Michael Petch

 

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