50 Young People Making Manufacturing Smarter part 2

Posted on 9 Feb 2021 by Tom Lane

The Manufacturer and KTN have teamed up for National Apprenticeship Week 2021 to bring you some inspiring profiles of young people making manufacturing in the UK smarter.

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual event highlighting vocational routes into careers. Manufacturing has a long tradition of expanding and training their workforces through apprenticeships.

With the turmoil of the last 12 months bought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems even more important to highlight and celebrate apprenticeships and the vital role they play in industry.

Yesterday a new report was issued by In-Comm Training, it painted a worry picture of the UK manufacturing apprenticeship landscape. It found 51% of firms surveyed had cut their training budgets and more than half of firms (53%) were shelving future plans to take on young workers as they adapt to the challenges presented by the virus.

The Manufacturer and our partners at KTN think now is the time when we should be highlighting routes into the industry. Manufacturers across the land can proudly say they have adapted and faced the challenges of Covid-19 head-on. With distanced working, changes to shift patterns, health and safety protocol, Britain’s makers keep production lines going and delivered vital goods where they were needed.

Now is the time to be showcasing what a fast paced adaptive industry we have and by encouraging the next generation to follow a career into manufacturing.

Here are ten more inspiring journeys of young people who are forging their careers within the UK manufacturing landscape.

Read part one here.

Gerard  Shields – Additive Manufacturing Ltd

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

Manufacturing is all about taking people’s most creative and innovative ideas and making them real. I love the human connection, and the joy when you hand over that first prototype.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

When I was fifteen, I nearly died from a rare liver disease, but my life was saved by an eleventh-hour organ transplant. This made me grow up very quickly, and I started working twice as hard so that I could make an impact on the world with the extra time that I had been given. I considered studying medicine, but really my true passion had always been physics and engineering. After graduating from Lancaster University, I stayed on as a member of staff there, and became obsessed with the incredible power of additive manufacturing. After a short period working as a consultant for a product design company, I took the plunge and set up my own company last year, despite shielding. We help small design and research teams prototype more effectively using 3D printing, and I’m determined to make a big impact, and help bring some amazing products to fruition.

Fergal Harrington-Beatty – AMTE Power

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

The chance to have an impact on the future of UK manufacturing, making sure we build a sustainable and competitive industry on a global stage. Particularly working with like-minded engineers.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

I first studied electric vehicles (EVs) in 2010 in 6th form, and ever since then have had a fascination with the EV and battery manufacturing industry. I studied mechanical engineering at Warwick University, joining the Engineers Without Borders society and completed my final year development project on adopting sustainable energy at the university.

Since graduating in 2014 I’ve worked as a production engineer leading manufacturing of EV battery packs in Coventry (Potenza Technology), worked as a manufacturing consultant to automotive OEMs (Ford, JLR, LEVC, Williams) and then became Grant Funding Lead at AMTE Power, raising £5m of funding in my first year for battery manufacturing R&D projects in the UK.

I’ve since been promoted Head of Automotive & Aerospace at AMTE Power, who manufacture lithium-ion cells in the UK, and are looking to build a gigafactory in 2023. I see a future leading battery/EV manufacturing projects in the UK/worldwide.

Salih Cagdas Derya – Import

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

Manufacturing and supply chain go hand in hand. Removing bottle necks in supply chain will improve access to materials that will enable wider range of goods to be manufactured.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

I want to help streamline UK manufacturers supply chain by reducing their reliance on freight forwarders to declare customs for them. This will give manufacturers better visibility of their supply chain, and better acces to different countries for resources and for markets.

I am a software developer with a qualification in UK customs declarations. For the past year I have been learning about supply chain and customs by networking with proffesionals in the industry and doing my own research. I have also been implementing a platform to declare customs to HMRC.

I understand how complex and difficult customs can be, so I want to start helping manufacturers supply chain by working towards making customs an easier process.

In future,I want to be in a place where I support many manufacturers, import their material in UK to produce goods, then export them across the world.

Zack Brown – Siemens

manufactruingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

As a Test Engineer, I enjoy the variety of work and cutting edge technology that I  develop and/or implement in the manufacturing sector.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

After completing my A-Levels, I started at Siemens Congleton as a Test Engineer Degree Apprentice which involves studying a BEng degree in control and automation while gaining important skills and experience in a mid-high volume manufacturing site. My work has varied from developing PCB in-circuit test programs, improving manufacturing processes to developing functional test systems for production. Recently during the first national lockdown I supported the ventilator challenge UK by contributing to the entry level talent team’s success in reducing the manufacturing time for ventilator production. This was one of the highlights of my career so far. I would love to continue learning all the way through my career both technically and to improving my leadership skills. There is always more to learn regardless of experience.

Jazz Amphlett – R50 Marketing

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

I love to see the UK Manufacturing community promote itself – something to be proud of. I feel honoured to be able to help in my own way!

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

Having seen my father build a successful manufacturing business, I could feel his passion for contributing to making things that people use. The manufacturing sector sometimes struggle to promote itself and let people know that we have a thriving sector – we make things here in the UK and this is something that should be publicised more.

After I finished my A-levels, I had the opportunity to join a business that is all about marketing for manufacturing and I began an apprenticeship. I know how important digital marketing is especially for manufacturers and how much of a difference it can make.
In the future I can see myself taking over the marketing business and having several manufacturers of whom we are marketing all across the UK. Travelling the country to help my customer grow and develop by increasing their efficiencies and their presence within the manufacturing sector.

Chimaeze Onyeiwu – Johnstons of Elgin

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

Create. Design. Engineer. Craft. Innovate. These are what come to mind when I think of manufacturing. The endless opportunities to add value to people and improve lives is truly exciting.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

I was inspired to pursue a career in manufacturing after reading about the life of the prolific inventor R. G. LeTourneau. I started off with a degree in Electrical Engineering that was quickly followed by some experience in the food manufacturing sector. I then went on to secure a master’s degree in Advanced Manufacturing.

This opened the door to me leading an exciting project with Johnstons of Elgin – the Scottish luxury textile manufacturer – working with their skilled teams to develop and implement control measures and systems to reduce variability in their final products.

Today I serve as Johnstons’ Technical and Procurement Director, driving innovative application of new technologies within our manufacturing operations, while contributing to the development of a more sustainable textile supply chain.

As the future unfolds, I hope to be actively engaged in leading innovation in manufacturing, by relying on strong collaborations across industrial, economic and cultural divides.

Hussain Abass – Warwick Manufacturing Group

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

I am privileged to combine the latest advancements in computing, robotics and materials with the opportunity to make meaningful change to the world through reduction of CO2 outputs and waste.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

My journey in manufacturing started when studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol. My interests were originally in aerodynamics, but I soon realised that the composites sector provided even more excitement and innovation than aerodynamics. I started working in composite research and development with Gravity Industries, a world record holding jetsuit manufacturer, and from that point on was set on a career in the manufacturing sector. I am currently a PhD researcher at WMG, where I work with companies including JLR to lightweight the automotive sector with sustainable thermoplastic composite materials by reducing current composite manufacture times and part weight. I am using machine learning techniques to optimise the manufacturing process, ensuring shop-floor colleagues can minimise waste and maximise part quality. I see myself staying in the sector on graduating, using my technical and leadership experience to lead lightweighting projects in the automotive industry.

Bryony Foley – Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

New and exciting ideas being developed as part of Industry 4.0 and Gamification that introduce a new dynamic encouraging creativity and ownership within the manufacturing workplace.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

Having been brought up in the South Wales Valleys, an area where attending university wasn’t the normal route for young people and wasn’t widely encouraged by the community, I defied the odds to attend Loughborough University. This surprised many of my former classmates and teachers, even more so when I qualified with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

I am now currently working as a project engineer at Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions and am thriving with the responsibilities and challenges that I face every day in an ever-growing manufacturing environment.

My hope for the future is to inspire other young girls into a career in manufacturing using the example of my upbringing and many setbacks. I want to be a role model, progressing my career to a high-level position in a company where I am trusted with exciting new projects that can make a difference to the world.

Adam Stewart – Produmax

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

The satisfaction of taking a drawing/concept and turning it into something physical that the world will use. From a part of a bike to a part for aerospace.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

In the 10 years at produmax I have had a great opportunity to learn everything there was to offer. At 15 I started as an apprentice on 3 axis milling machines and making way through 4 axis and 5 axis milling machines. It then went into 6 axis mill-turn machines before heading onto fixed head lathes before then making it onto 9 axis sliding head lathes. From here I progressed in 6 years to the cell leader for the sliding head team to then expanding it to include the fixed head lathes. In the past 12 months I have now taken on the role of production manager at produmax and enjoying the challenges that role brings.

While produmax is expanding into new areas, it’s great knowing my future will grow with it and with that comes current roles such as directors and new roles we’re yet to need.

Matthew Cliffe – Timeless Event Experiences

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

A career in manufacturing would be great as building impactful, innovative products through using new technologies such as 3D printing creates exciting new research and development opportunities.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

After finishing university, I’ve increasingly become curious about the manufacturing process for researching, designing and developing technologically advanced physical products. I would like to use my knowledge and experience in developing software to build creative consumer products and I’m currently conducting market research to see if there is a demand for my product ideas.

It would be fascinating to learn more about smart manufacturing and the future of product development in the UK. Learning about manufacturing from experts working in the industry and receiving specialist advise would be highly beneficial and would enable me to transition from developing software to building products. This opportunity would provide me with an understanding of the next steps required to manufacture the digital products that I’ve produced on CAD software by by providing me with a range of skills, a strong network and guidance on how to successfully launch a product.

All images supplied by participants.