Servomex has provided the commercial backdrop for Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MET) students from Cambridge University to complete final year projects at its world-class Technical Centre in Crowborough, East Sussex.

MET is an option for the final two years of the Cambridge Engineering degree that develops and applies engineering knowledge in a business context, providing a thorough grounding in management and manufacturing technologies.

The course teaches an understanding of the full range of industrial activities, from product design, component manufacture, industrial engineering, factory and business management, through to how firms work in the economy.

Before embarking on their respective projects, the four students were briefed on the full spectrum of the business, receiving a technology presentation from a Lead Scientist and product overviews from Product Managers – as well as information on process flow maps, finance and sales figures.

All four were actively encouraged to engage with as many people across the business as possible.

Project Host and Servomex Operations Director, Jim McFarlane, explained, “This is the second year we have worked with Cambridge University to provide a commercial environment for students to complete their final year projects for this course.  Working with Professor David Probert from the University’s Department of Engineering, our teams design relevant project briefs to meet the curriculum.”

“The students spent two weeks at Servomex at the end of October and beginning of November, working as independently as possible, with the aim of presenting their findings to a broad spectrum of the Servomex workforce, including the senior management team.”

Opportunity

Students Lawrence Baker and Talal Al-Nawab completed a Test Strategy Project led by Servomex Technical Leader Operations, Paul Gaterell. Its aim was to define an optimal test strategy to meet Servomex business needs now and in the future, enabling Servomex to increase product value offering through the focused development of core competence test and calibration activities.

“We have found it useful as an organisation to be able to focus on a number of important development areas for Servomex without day-to-day distraction and enjoy having fresh young minds working within the business”

Meanwhile, Thomas Sutton and Helen Woodley worked on a Transducer Sustainability Project, led by Servomex Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Chad Sharp.  It asked the students to analyse the transducer production lines and product variants, along with their position on their respective product lifecycles and assessing the risk associated with equipment failure. They were tasked with delivering a strategy for prioritising engineering activity to address any business risk. 

Clearly the placement at the Servomex Technical Centre had two-fold benefits.

McFarlane added, “Welcoming students to our Technical Centre gives them a great opportunity to be involved in a real life working manufacturing facility of world-class calibre and apply some of the theory and concepts they have been taught. We have found it useful as an organisation to be able to focus on a number of important development areas for Servomex without day-to-day distraction and enjoy having fresh young minds working within the business.”

“The students are highly motivated and focused and with guidance, they can cover a lot of ground very quickly. Their final presentations were excellent, with good audience interaction.”