Local engineering companies support students’ skills exhibition

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 16:25
L to R – Winners Emily Organ, Paul Brookes, Matthew Howe, Aaron Scott, Josh Terry and Stewart Morrison receive their awards from Xtrac’s Richard Musson (middle). L to R – Winners Emily Organ, Paul Brookes, Matthew Howe, Aaron Scott, Josh Terry and Stewart Morrison receive their awards from Xtrac’s Richard Musson (middle).

Over sixty engineering students took part in Newbury College’s annual technology presentation day on 12 July 2017. The students, many of whom were apprentices, presented their end-of-year skills projects to visitors including representatives from local engineering companies such as AWE, Intersurgical, UKAEA, Williams and Xtrac, and local dignitaries, including Cllr Ellen Crumly, Mayor of Thatcham, Cllr David Fenn, Mayor of Newbury and Cllr Quinten Webb, Chair of West Berkshire Council.

The event was officially opened by former Newbury College engineering student and apprentice, Richard Musson. Richard works as a senior project engineer at transmission technology specialists, Xtrac in Thatcham.

Whilst addressing the students, Richard reflected on his career: “Sometimes I contemplate how from starting my apprenticeship I have gone on to be able to buy my own house and provide for my family. I would never have dreamed of anything like that back then and some of you may feel like that now. If you believe in working for something, have an aspiration and find the motivation, you are half way there. Having completed my apprenticeship and worked my way up to senior project engineer, I now a mentor to three apprentices in the team.

“We should be proud to be engineers at this exciting time,” he concluded. “The rate of change through technology in the last 30 years or so is amazing, and we get to be part of it.”

Students, ranging from those studying Levels 3-5 in mechanical and electronic/electrical engineering, were judged on the quality of their presentations and their ability to talk through their project. As well as the projects on display many students included physical models and in some cases, full working demonstrations.

Visitor John Hill, UKAEA Apprenticeship Training Manager, said: “The Newbury College Technology Skills Exhibition gave me the opportunity to view first-hand the hard work undertaken by all HNC and HND students. The quality of the work presented was to an extremely high standard and it was a pleasure to listen to the students talk about their engineering projects. It is vitally important to support and guide young students through this important phase of their training, clearly something that Newbury College and its staff take very seriously.”

The projects were judged on the day and certificates were awarded to the best in each category. The winners were:

• Josh Terry (Level 3 Mechanical Engineering) for his unloader assembly pin pushing device

• Emily Organ (Level 4 HNC Mechanical Engineering) for her JET rotary valve design improvements

• Aaron Scott (Level 5 HND Mechanical Engineering) for his pinhole adjustment device

• Mathew Howe (Level 3 Electronic/Engineering) for his automatic watch winder

• Paul Brookes (Level 4 HNC Electronic/Electrical Engineering) for his automatic joystick tester

• Stewart Morrison (Level 5 HND Electronic/Electrical Engineering) for his software-defined radio.

The overall winner was Aaron Scott. 

From September 2017, engineering apprentices at Newbury College can progress all the way from a Level 2 apprenticeship up to a Level 6 degree apprenticeship. The new programme, in partnership with Buckinghamshire New University, is offered in three different pathways: manufacturing, mechanical or electrical/electronic and is ideal for those who are deterred from studying a traditional full-time programme by high tuition fees and student debt. For details of this new programme, call 01635 845000 and ask for the apprenticeship team.

See all of the photos from this event on our Facebook page.