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MRes Industrial Tour

From the 14 to 18 May the MRes in Ultra-Precision Engineering cohort visited numerous companies during the annual industrial tour. They were impressed by the work of MTC whereby proof-of-concept technologies are being transformed into industry ready products with high technology readiness level. They found 3D printing and advance manufacturing (such as electric discharge machining) particularly interesting as some will follow these technologies onto their PhDs. In M-Solv, the presentation of Dr Rigas showed them the trajectory of an early career. Moreover, they had valuable insights to the laser micromachining and photovoltaics industry and witnessed the success of automation.

They had a tour of the ISIS Rutherford Appleton Laboratory where they were shown the Central Laser Facility- home to Vulcan the world’s most powerful laser; and the ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source. They were particularly interested to see the structure of the two facilities and how precision engineering was vital in the development and running of the facilities.

The students had also visited the National Printable Electronics Centre and the Electronics & Graphene facilities. They were amazed to experience a laboratory routine through virtual reality headsets. The talk by a senior scientist gave an excellent insight into the industry (unique in this industrial tour), and catered to all their varied backgrounds. They also appreciated their efforts to give them an insight on the ideology behind having a scientist's position in such companies and what it takes to achieve it.

Additionally, they have visited UV Integrated Technologies where they were shown around the factory and saw the importance of team work in the company’s success.

Lastly, they have visited Renishaw PLC and Oxford Instruments where they were shown products and were explained the design cycles behind them and the process by which they reach the customer. The tours of these companies ended with an overview of the R&D departments.

Overall, the industrial tour enabled the students to gain insight into the main industries revolving around the ultra-precision engineering theme. The contacts they have made because of the tour will be proven useful for their PhDs and their careers after.