50 Young People Making Manufacturing Smarter part 5

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.

What have we learned from our quest to find 50 Young People Making Manufacturing Smarter?

Firstly, there is a lot of enthusiasm in the manufacturing community to support young people and allow them to shape the future of the industry. There was lots of interest in promoting the call to young people, who were recognised by others for their talent, enthusiasm and ideas.

“For me this list highlights the fact that British manufacturing has a great future.

The diversity of this list in terms of educational background, age and the companies they work for, is really exciting.  Their overall passion and generational knowledge of the value of digital technologies for manufacturing is fabulous. These engineers have bright futures and an enormous contribution to make for the industry and the wider economy. We all have a lot to learn from them.” Prof. Rab Scott, Head of Digital, AMRC.

Secondly, from the back stories, it’s clear that there isn’t one right path to a career in manufacturing, there are lots of ways in. You can find the way that suits you, it doesn’t matter if that is university first, an apprenticeship, a higher apprenticeship, a KTP associate role or through founding your own venture. My own manufacturing journey started aged 17 working in the chemical sector, studying part time, so I feel an affinity with those going straight into work.

“Effectively identifying, training, resourcing and trusting young people is critical for both the present and the future success of manufacturing industries. I am constantly amazed at the performance, energy, enthusiasm and innovation of the young engineers at Tribosonics Ltd. They are an inspiration and point to a very bright future not only for our business but UK manufacturing as a whole.” Dr Phil Harper, Founder & CTO, Tribosonics Ltd.

Thirdly, the diversity of this group is good. There is a reasonable reflection of society here. The younger generation joining manufacturing seems to be more diverse than the previous generation. But let’s not congratulate ourselves as we could do better. This series follows on from our ‘Inspiring Women in Manufacturing’ series, and it is interesting that in this group, a few contributors mention absence of role models. I wonder if some of that problem is the relatively low profile of manufacturing, with people busy toiling behind closed doors? Do we need to be better are recognising and celebrating achievements? Does the manufacturing sector have enough outreach activity into the right places?

Of course, The Manufacturer and KTN are keen to play our part, enabling innovation and showcasing the best of Manufacturing in the UK. On the Women in Manufacturing topic in particular, KTN are gathering views to help shape future support and funding. You can complete our short survey here: https://tinyurl.com/yn8mgzns.

 Read part one , part twopart three and part 4 here.


Jacob Wilson – Additive-X

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

Manufacturing is constantly evolving. I’ve only been working for around 5 years, but already I’ve seen a huge transition towards new technology and forward thinking in the Manufacturing Industry.

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

After studying at a UTC for my GCSE’s, I moved into an apprenticeship at a manufacturing business based in Stoke-On-Trent. Whilst on the apprenticeship, I discovered Additive Manufacturing and it became my area of real interest.

After sometime working there, I decided I wanted to explore different technologies, so I applied for a role at Additive-X and moved to Yorkshire to start the job. I now work with a huge range of technologies and spend my time consulting with businesses across the UK to help implement Additive Manufacturing solutions into a variety of industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Defense and more.

The future is exciting because new technologies, materials, software and hardware are being developed all the time. Every day is different, and I can go from a call with a Tier 1 Automotive Supplier one day, to a call with a dog food factory the next! It’s amazing how many businesses can benefit from Additive Manufacturing.


James Lindsay – The university of Sheffield, AMRC

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

The potential to make a real and physical difference in how society functions in the future.

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

At 17 I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I’d failed my first year of A Levels, and a career seemed miles away. Maths, problem solving and being physical were always enjoyable though, and that’s how I found engineering. I started as a part time metal fabricator from 17 to 21 through university, learning all I could about engineering before I had a placement year at Vauxhall, Ellesmere Port as a process engineer in the bodyshop. I then started at The AMRC in 2017 as a project engineer and am now a Lead Engineer. Going forward I’m hoping to use my skills to lead innovation and inspire others to take up a career in manufacturing. I hope to one day be able to use my knowledge to drive forward the visions of a FTSE250 company.


Robert  Jones – Warren Services

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

Problem solving, improving and technological progression.

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

I started at Warren Services 2018 as an apprentice, which I still am. I am currently studying towards a HND in electrical engineering and NVQ level 4. I am involved in two internal manufacturing development projects. The first one being an automated machining cell, using a collaborative 6-axis robot, the stage I am at with that project is programming the machine interface and control. The second project is about machine monitoring devices that we are developing with another company, I am involved in the installation and application of these sensors looking how they can be utilised on different sorts and brands of machines. In the future I would like to complete my apprenticeship to degree level and become a engineer.


Allana McGowan – LannyxStudio

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

The move towards a circular future where manufacturing plays a huge role in achieving this, from remanufacturing products, building models where waste becomes another resource to utilise and improved ecological footprint.

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

My journey started as a designer for a clothing supplier where I sourced Woven and Jersey fabrics in the Far East. This included visiting mills and factories and learning about the full fabric making process from spinning, weaving, dying and finishing, the printing processes and seeing the manufacturing of fabric in action. The environmental and social impact I seen this causing such as air pollution, affected water streams, difficult working conditions related to heat from machinery and poor air quality led me to look at new ways of manufacturing that could improve the above and brought me onto taking a course on the circular economy and learning about the manufacturing methods of the future. How it should be focused on utilising renewable energy, sustainable methods for collecting materials, avoiding raw material wherever possible, refurbishment, remanufacturing or recycling of products and materials. I now hand make my own Fashion, Accessories and Homeware using methods such as up cycling and repurposing and this is where I see myself in the future contributing and implementing circular methods to the manufacturing of these products.


Xenia Pie – CAE Tech Ltd

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

I am excited to take part in the challenges that the manufacturing sector is facing. Especially, I’m thrilled by the idea of adapting current processes to more efficient and greener solutions.

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

I graduated with my degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design five years ago in Barcelona. I have always had a curiosity for coding and emerging technologies.

I moved to the UK in 2017 to work in the Automotive Industry at the Simulations Department, where I developed my programming skills and mastered my engineering knowledge. With COVID19, my career took a turn. I currently work as a Mechanical and Software Engineer in an SME developing bespoke solutions for the manufacturing sector, and I could not be happier.

I see the sector evolving towards a more personalized service where mass production does not exclude customization. I would love to incorporate AI solutions and improve robot interactions further.

On a personal note, as a woman, I believe it is crucial to encourage new female generations to join this career and increase our representation. I wish I had more female role models.


Ben Wright – Tribosonics Ltd

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

Designing and exploring the development process of taking a concept through its prototyping phase and then building to a full-scale commercially ready technology that revolutionises our customers assets.

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

I started my journey at Tribosonics, aged 18, where I joined as an Apprentice Project Engineer. Coupled with my education and development in manual machining from the AMRC Training Centre I use my skills to manufacture Tribosonics’ cutting edge prototype technology to drive our projects forward. My primary focus in engineering is implementing Tribosonics’ sensing technology within the Automotive sector.

I am now working on multiple projects and learning and developing my skills. From learning to code to deconstructing complex machinery to managing and coordinating new Health and Safety practices, each day brings a new challenge and excitement!

In the future I see myself taking more of a lead within a segment of the Engineering team with the goal of managing my own project team. As my skills grow and specialise, I want to continue to accelerate our technology to provide sustainable solutions to our customers.


Emilie Weaving – JCB

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

The potential to change the world – manufacturing is where we need to make huge gains in terms of efficiency, carbon neutrality, minimising waste and reusing materials.

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

My journey started as a girl brought up in a motorsport family; spending hours helping my Dad with his woodwork creations, riding pillion on my Mum’s motorcycle and being exposed to an amazing world of design technology at primary school. I studied maths, further maths and physics at A Level, and following this I embarked on 5 years spent working as a motorcycle mechanic for various dealerships. I also worked in the British Superbike Championship as a race technician for four seasons during my early career, before leaving to start a new chapter at JCB on their higher apprenticeship scheme. I have spent the last five years at JCB, where I have achieved a first-class degree in mechanical engineering and won several apprenticeship awards. I hope to have an impact on the future of engineering, delivering changes to move the ownership of saving the environment back to the manufacturer.


Oliver Miller – Made Smarter UK, Beverston Engineering

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

The pace at which technology is being adopted across all sectors of manufacturing is most exciting, from the Internet of Things, to cobots and simulation; Industry 4.0 is well underway.

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

My manufacturing journey started during my first at university, where I spend the summer at Beverston Engineering, a precision engineering SME supplying to the aerospace, pharmaceutical and oil sectors. Whist completing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Liverpool, I managed the introduction of a high-value family of parts and a company-wide Gauge R&R program. During my masters year, the opportunity arose to apply for the Made Smarter UK digital internship.  This internship gives SME’s the opportunity to plug the ever-widening digital skills gap with students or graduates with the aim of developing their digital strategy. At present, I’m implementing a quality 4.0 management system that automates data collection at digital hubs placed at machining stations. My future outside of univsersity is most definitely within manufacturing, with a particular focus on the digital technology that will drive smart factories of the future.


Jules Farrow – Awen Collective Limited

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

The ability to provide significant improvements to our global societies through the advancement of manufacturing technologies, promoting a better and safer world for all.

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

I always knew my calling was in technology – from an early age, I have always been exploring and optimising to get the best out of the world around me. Combining my love of technology with the practical skills to successfully introduce new ideas to the market, my degree provided me with both Computer Science and Business fundamentals. Working part-time for the Computing Services department at University, and a year-long placement at 3M were great experiences but left me feeling that my impact could be bigger. Joining Darktrace during a critical period of growth gave me that opportunity, but also lit my entrepreneurial spark. Joining Awen Collective and now serving as its CTO is precisely where I feel I should be – we’re utilising cutting-edge technology to solve some of society’s most pressing problems – protecting our critical national infrastructure and manufacturers from the impact of cyber attacks – and keeping the world running!


Cadel Thomas – Brownian Studios

manufacturingWhat excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

As the world changes due to current Covid-19 and sustainability issues, manufacturing is on the horizon of new opportunities, drawing excitement for collaborative, multi industry out of the box thinking!

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

As a recent Textiles MSc graduate with a BSc in Podiatric Medicine. I draw inspiration from a multiple industry standpoint. Specifically, I practice from the influence of; bioinspiration and biomimetics, both fluid ways of providing sustainability in research led design and manufacturing.

During my MSc I had focused a lot of my research upon the use of industrial symbiosis, a way of ensuring that profit and sustainability can be achieved on a multi-industry scale. Furthermore, my dissertation required me to present an engineering design proposal of an artificial muscle which presents graded fibre recruitment providing smooth movement and energy sustainability via the use of commercially available nylon fibres.

Currently, as well as seeking textile supply chain/innovation vacancies, I am trying to start a textile innovation and manufacturing practice that has a multidisciplined approach led by biomimetics thus providing responsible design and manufacturing for smart textiles.