The University of Salford and Morson Group has launched two new facilities featuring the latest industry-standard manufacturing technologies to enable students to learn real-world engineering skills in relation to design for manufacture, assembly and inspection, allowing hands-on practical experience to be a step ahead of the average graduate, right here in Salford.
The Morson Engine Room and the Maker Space ambition is to collaborate between the University and local businesses to innovate and test ideas, with an opportunity to meet and work alongside students working on real industry briefs.
Dr Maria Stukoff, Maker Space Director, said: “This is a flagship for Salford, for attracting the next generation of engineers and to enable industry to recruit from our talent pool. It is exciting to be working alongside Morson Group to build on our manufacturing pedigree, which gave birth to the first engineering courses dating back to the Industrial Revolution!”
The spaces have been established with the support of the Morson Group. Ged Mason, CEO said:
“Our collaboration with the University of Salford continues to strengthen and we’re delighted to have facilitated the creation of the Morson Engine Room and the Maker Space. This is a major technical facility to inspire future engineers into STEM career pathways, and particularly females, whilst providing hands-on training to ensure the next generation of talent is industry ready with the skills, experience and knowledge that employers want and need. The entire team at Morson embraces this vision and we’re extremely proud to reach this milestone in what’s our 50th year in business.”
The Morson Engine Room features heavy-duty, industrial grade machinery typically found on the workshop floors of manufacturing businesses. The rooms are equipped with a waterjet cutter, metal additive manufacturing, large format 3D printing, state of the art electron and optical microscopes, and reverse engineering metrology instrumentation.
The Maker Space features a ‘Print Hive’, which is kitted out with dedicated 3D printing machines, comprising a range of Ultimate S5, 3 and 2+ machines, a Markforged composite printer, and a high-resolution SLA resin Formlabs printer. Other equipment includes laser and vinyl cutters and several spaces for assembling electronics, with a dedicated computer suite for 3D design classes.
Students have the ability to learn how to use and operate these machines to build practical skills in relation to design for manufacture, assembly and inspection, gaining hands-on practical experience to take a project from idea to early concept stage right through to a final product.
Prof Sheila Pankhurst, Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Environment, said: “The University is building a long-term approach and commitment to Industry 4.0 skills across campus and actively addressing STEM skill shortages. By launching these new labs, we are launching the very best of skilled graduates to ‘Make in Salford’, and toimpact the future economy.”