Case Study: Industry Training Programme in Advanced Manufacturing

Overview

The Industry Training Programme (ITP) in Advanced Manufacturing gives our MSc students the opportunity to develop their technical knowledge and understanding, technical and personal skills and an appreciation of the wider context of their studies – crucially, the ITP includes collaboration with industry to deliver a realistic professional experience for our students.

Students will gain a true reflection of what it will be like working on projects outside the comfort of the academic environment.

Professor George Panoutsos

The aim of the ITP project is to give students the opportunity to apply and further develop their existing knowledge and skills, in control and systems engineering, to solve a challenging problem in advanced manufacturing. While at the same time provide an industry-relevant context to experience a ‘real-life’ project. During the project students are expected to work as a group, in technical areas they possibly haven’t encountered before. This means they have to adapt and develop their skills to these new demands and environments in order to succeed. This is a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their initiative in developing such technical knowledge and skills as appropriate.

The ITP is key in developing students personally and professionally as preparation for future careers in industry or research.

Professor George Panoutsos, Module Leader and Deputy Head of the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE) comments:

“The ITP not only gives our students the opportunity to apply their learned knowledge to an industry setting, but gives them a chance to develop their teamwork and communication skills and skills in creative and critical thinking.”

Adding,

“The project encourages students to take the lead and be independent, there is overall academic and industrial guidance, however the expectation is on the student to demonstrate a high level of initiative. This will allow them to gain a true reflection of what it will be like working on projects outside the comfort of the academic environment.”

ITP Group Photo

The Project

The project’s case study includes technical challenges provided by our industry partners. The case study may vary from year to year, however the underpinning technical content relies on taught subjects the students complete in the first semester of the programme. Often, students will visit the relevant industry partner, will attend industrial seminars to familiarise themselves with the project and understand the technical challenges, as well as engage with technical progress meetings with industry.

In the first year running the ACSE ITP in Advanced Manufacturing, two project challenges set by The Welding Institute (TWI) were designed to be representative of real research and development projects. Students were also asked to develop a demonstrator for a future concept that the company wants to explore. Throughout the project students assume they are working as if in industry and manage their work and produce deliverables accordingly. The case studies in the first year included robotic control in Friction Stir Welding, as well as model-based process analysis.

In the forthcoming academic year, ACSE is planning projects on complex machining operations as well as on metallic 3D printing, with GKN Aerospace, Renishaw and HiETA as project partners.

What our students say

"The Industry Training Programme provided me not only with invaluable experience working on a real industrial system but also project management and teamwork skills which I think will be useful wherever I end up working.”

“The industrial nature of the project made it more challenging. As opposed to academic projects where the steps are well defined, industrial projects are more open ended. This gave us a chance to work more independently as a team and get a feel for how projects are conducted in industry.”

Hesham Yusuf, MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering (2018)

''Implementing your theoretical knowledge in the practical world while still studying at university couldn't be any better. Working on an actual industrial project has helped me not only to secure my placement but also in my day to day work in industry.'' 

Daud Junaid, MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering with Industrial Placement (2019)