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Students’ work with robots and 3D printing wows MACH 2024 crowds

Technical education students from England’s University Technical Colleges wowed the crowds at MACH 2024 with their work in robotics and 3D printing.

Science, innovation, and technology secretary Michelle Donelan MP was one of nearly 700 visitors who engaged with the UTC stand at MACH 2024.

UTC Warrington T Level student Patrick Cummings presented the minister with a UTC-branded tote bag and keyring (pictured top), the latter of which was designed by students from UTC Derby Pride Park.

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which supports the 44-strong network of University Technical College secondary schools, organised the UTC stand which featured:

  • A 3D printer programmed by UTC Derby Pride Park to produce keyrings, one of which was presented to the minister.
  • Robots that WMG Academy for Young Engineers students had made using LEGO.
  • Concept car designs by UTC Oxfordshire, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, and SGS Berkeley Green UTC students which won a competition among UTCs.
  • A prototype chess board, plastic shredder, and manual handling equipment produced by Silverstone UTC.

Visiting the stand were also a number of UTC alumni who have now progressed onto apprenticeships and careers with employers such as Rolls Royce, AWE (the Atomic Weapons Establishment), the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and X-Cel Group.

A Silverstone UTC student demonstrating a project to Baker Dearing CEO Simon Connell

UTCs will help meet minister’s goal of a ‘skilled workforce for tomorrow’s industries’

Speaking at MACH 2024, Donelan told delegates: “A skilled workforce is the foundation stone to everything in our economy.

“If we want British businesses to grow – and if we want that growth to deliver benefits to every British person – then we need people with the skills to succeed in industries of tomorrow.”

UTC students hone technical skills on top-of-the-line industry equipment, including CAD and CAM kit, while also developing vital employability skills such as teamworking, problem solving, and their self-confidence.

UTC students who attended MACH 2024 on Friday

The learners also had the opportunity to tour MACH 2024 and study the innovative machinery that was being presented by other exhibitors. The visit inspired students while expanding their knowledge of the vast and diverse manufacturing sector.

Speaking after the event, Baker Dearing Educational Trust chief executive Simon Connell commented:

“We are very pleased with how UTC students performed at MACH 2024 and with how enthusiastic visitors were about the employer-led technical education that we offer.

“MACH 2024 was a standard bearer for excellence in UK manufacturing so we were proud to exhibit excellence in technical education. UTC students benefitted hugely from seeing the latest technology that was on show.

“We would like to thank the Manufacturing Technologies Association for their support in bringing Baker Dearing and UTCs to MACH as well as the staff and students who supported our stand.”