Newbury College today hosted its annual technology project presentation event, where over 90 students demonstrated their skills. The event was supported by many local technology companies, including Williams F1, Xtrac, TOPCON and Blatchfords, who all have engineering apprentices currently studying at the college.
Projects on display included a football training machine, designed and built by Domingos Furtado a Level 3 Electronics student, a three-wheeled go-kart, built and used by Chris Pointing, a Level 3 mechanical diploma student and a production/test facility designed by Andrew McCutcheon, a Level 4 mechanical engineering student.
Steven Hibbert, test and support engineer from Williams F1 and former Newbury College student, who opened the proceedings, said: “It has been a great day. The quality of the students work and projects they have produced is fantastic. The teaching staff remain excellent in their approach and support of the students, I can personally recommend apprenticeships and the confidence they install and the experience and knowledge they offer”.
Richard Willis a Newbury College Lecturer who led the organisation of the event said: “I am really impressed with the students and the projects we have on display. The students approach and attitude towards the event was also impressive. I am very proud and very pleased the event went really well”.
The Mayor of Thatcham, Ellen Crumly, who was one of the guests, said “A very interesting event, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the projects and the young people’s enthusiasm for their work. Also I have enjoyed seeing the positive results of apprenticeships turning into actual employment and improving employability”.
Winners of prizes for the best projects were;
- Nathan Wagstaff – HND Mechanical Engineering (Metal Improvement Company)
- Elliot Taylor – HNC Electrical/Electronic Engineering (UK Atomic Energy Authority)
- George Collins – HNC Mechanical Engineering (Bayham Ltd)
- Domingos Furtados – Level 3 Electrical/Electronic Engineering (Vitacress Salads Ltd)
- Callum Brown - Level 3 Mechanical Engineering (Reeling Systems Ltd)
- Chris Ponting – Level 3 Mechanical Engineering (Pipaway Engineering Ltd)
Newbury College is opening a brand new engineering solutions lab in September. Investment for the project came as a result of a successful bid to the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership through their initiative to raise the profile of STEM in the local area. A main focus of the new Solutions Lab is to support learners ranging from Level 2 Engineering to Higher National Diplomas in Engineering, providing the opportunity to research and develop opportunities and ideas within their chosen field. Apprentices and employers can make use of leading technology to support their business development and career progression.
Newbury College is one of three Berkshire institutions selected to become ‘solutions labs’ which are designed to raise the quality and profile of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills across the Thames Valley in and respond to the needs of the local economy.
Investment for the Solutions Lab comes as a result of a successful bid from Newbury College to the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund and will focus exclusively on creating resources for fusion, mechanical and electrical engineering that are currently unavailable within Berkshire colleges.
Dr Anne Murdoch OBE, Principal of Newbury College says: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this support from the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, via the Growth Deal, for our proposed Solutions Lab. This new facility will be a great addition for local employers who, along with Newbury College students, will use the Lab to research and develop products for their own industries.
The Solutions Lab will have very high-specification machinery which will help Newbury College research, design and manufacture components for a variety of local innovators. This facility is a great complement to Newbury College’s existing high-quality facilities which our students − who are the workforce of the future – can use to good effect.”
More details about the Growth Deal can be found on the Thames Valley LEP website.