Worcester machine toolmaker Yamazaki Mazak UK has helped to promote engineering as a potential career to students by taking part in the Engineering Education Scheme.
Having already identified a need to encourage more students to consider engineering as a degree course Mazak was keen to link up with students at the city’s King’s School.
The Engineering Education Scheme (England) is an Engineering Development Trust programme, of six months duration, which links teams of four Year 12 students and their teacher with local companies to work on real, scientific, engineering and technological problems.
The scheme provides students with an in-depth experience in science, engineering and technology that will enable them to make an informed decision about their future studies and career.
For its project, Mazak selected Andrew Miller, a design engineer working in the European Design Department, to take on and mentor four students from the school – Hamish Charters, Jess Harris, James Greenwood and Angus Morgan.
“The core of the Engineering Education Scheme is to enthuse students about careers in engineering before they have completed their UCAS forms and selected their degree courses,” said Mr Miller.
“The students are presented with a project to solve a genuine engineering problem identified by the partner company. In our case we asked them to design a test rig to replace an existing unit to test tailstock cartridges that needed to be made more user-friendly and, as a result, more efficient.”
By giving the students a ‘real-life’ problem to solve, the six month project has genuine benefits all round.
The students are doing practical work rather than simply theoretical, classroom-based study and in doing so, gain experience of teamwork in solving complex engineering problems. They also benefit by being able to witness the reality of modern engineering manufacturing and gain a better understanding of the advantages that a career in engineering can bring.
As far as the partner company is concerned, it gains by having a solution to a problem as well as developing contacts with the school and its students to encourage more of them to consider engineering as a career after their degree.