A Racing Car Named Gwyneth Helps Teach UK Students about Manufacturing
Since making workforce development a special focus for MMT, I’m learning about so many more supplier companies that are blazing trails, in various ways, to engage the next generation of mechanical engineers. One of them is Renishaw.
I wrote a feature article for MoldMaking Technology’s September issue titled “Supplier-Based Training Programs Fuel Mold Industry Needs.” I enjoyed learning about the programs the participating companies have in place to ensure the moldmaking industry remains strong, here in North America and abroad. Since making workforce development a special focus for MMT, I’m learning about so many more supplier companies that are blazing trails, in various ways, to engage the next generation of mechanical engineers. One of them is Renishaw Inc..
Renishaw recently sent a press announcement our way which talked about its sponsorship of Cardiff Racing, Cardiff University’s Formula Student team whose mission it is “to build the UK’s No. 1 Formula Student car while developing team members as engineers, engaging with the community and improving the world through engineering.” Cool, right? I thought so. (I mean, how many moldmakers in this world are lifelong car buffs, or working on cars, racing them, etc? Probably too many to count!)
Renishaw is one of the companies that supports the students by offering financial and manufacturing aid and advice as they build the team’s car. According to the press release, Formula Student, which has existed for over 20 years, is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, run in the UK by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Throughout the year, teams design, build and test a combustion or electric car in competition specifications. Students from all over the world then participate in a four-day event at Silverstone, UK. As part of the annual competition, the 2017 team of 56 student engineers designed, built and raced a single seat racing car named Gwyneth (after the late Formula One race car driver Tom Pryce’s mother).
“It is useful to meet industry partners to gain an introduction to the company and the wider world of engineering outside of the academic perspective.”
This year, Renishaw produced some parts for the engine’s intake runners using metal additive manufacturing (AM). Renishaw also presented a talk on AM, guiding the young engineers on how best to design for additive manufacturing, which it says is a rapidly growing technology in the automotive sector. “Renishaw supports a number of projects that develop the skills and experience of budding engineers,” explained Chris Pockett, head of communications at Renishaw. “Formula Student acts as a gateway to engineering careers and helps to bridge the gap between industry and academia.”
Sean Creed, graduate mechanical engineer at Renishaw and former Cardiff Racing team leader, says he joined the Cardiff Racing team as a freshman and went on to lead the team last year. “Working with industry partners is essential for Formula Student, as without them, it wouldn’t exist,” he says. “It is useful to meet industry partners to gain an introduction to the company and the wider world of engineering outside of the academic perspective. Besides myself, former members of the Cardiff team have gone on to work for Formula One and other engineering firms, like Renishaw.”
By the way, Gwyneth and the Cardiff Racing team was recently crowned the first ever UK winners of Formula Student, beating competition from over 130 university teams from across the globe. Congratulations to Cardiff Racing and here’s to Renishaw for doing its part to help bridge the skills gap.
Watch a fun race day video featuring highlights from the team’s perspective on YouTube. Besides Renishaw, I bet you’ll see the logos from a few other familiar supplier company sponsors, too.
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