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Bristol graduates win Engineering Design prize

Left to right: Caroline Simcock from Dyson, with Aidan Wickham, Sinéad Lynch, Harry Keen, James Minty, and Blake Kendrick

9 October 2014

Four graduates from the University’s Engineering Design degree have been awarded a group prize from the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).

They won for a manufacturing device that can perform both 3D printing and machining operations such as drilling and reaming on a single platform. 

Harry Keen, Sinéad Lynch, James Minty and Aidan Wickham, who graduated this summer, have been awarded the prize for the quality of work produced within their final-year project, entitled ‘The Design, Demonstration and Evaluation of a Hybrid Rapid Manufacturing System.’ Their prize was presented on Friday 3 October by Caroline Simcock, Global Compliance and Approvals Manager at Dyson, after the graduates returned to give a talk on their project to existing students on the Engineering Design Course.

Hybrid manufacturing has the potential to deliver benefits to manufacturers by integrating additive processes (such as 3D printing) with subtractive processes (such as drilling) on a single motion platform to create a system of greater capability and versatility than either process alone. This project involved the design, demonstration and evaluation of a hybrid system that used an existing parallel kinematic motion platform. Whilst still a proof of concept, it shows the potential of hybrid systems for extending and enhancing the capability of manufacturing devices.

The team also consulted potential user groups to draw up Key Performance Indicators for evaluating the hybrid concept in the light of user requirements. This analysis identified areas where the technology could be further refined for commercial use. Key areas of future work include the generation of intelligent feature recognition software, characterisation of process-ready materials, and hybrid manufacturing process capability studies.

The project was conducted in collaboration with Renishaw during the final year of the course. It was supervised by Professor Chris McMahon, the Programme Director, and Blake Kendrick, a former student on the course who is now doing an Engineering Doctorate with Renishaw.

Dr Paul Harper, Engineering Design Year 4/5 Projects Co-ordinator, said: ‘This innovative project is an excellent example of the success achieved by our students when working in partnership with industry and shows how undergraduate projects can directly complement academic research with our industrial partners.’

Dr Caroline Simcock said: ‘The group’s project brought out the benefits of team working and highlighted the potential gains achievable by a multi-disciplinary engineering team. This year all IED student prize entries were of a very high standard. In the case of the University of Bristol/Renishaw project, the panel particularly liked the specification-focused approach and the scope for industrial application. An example of a first-class project carried out with commitment and enthusiasm.’

Further information

The MEng Programme in Engineering Design with Study in Industry was inspired by visiting professors from the Royal Academy of Engineering and is sponsored by a range of leading engineering companies. The programme aims to:

  • produce engineering graduates with the necessary foundation of skills and knowledge to lead multi-disciplinary engineering design projects;
  • teach a range of design methods and give an overview of the latest developments in design research;
  • give an understanding of the basic concepts behind aerospace, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering;
  • teach via a combination of engineering science units together with problem-based learning using multi-disciplinary design projects;
  • give an engineering systems approach to design including the effects of legal, environmental and business requirements;
  • give a specialist competence in one discipline to Master’s level;
  • give a real understanding of engineering industry gained through industrial placement(s);
  • continue to attract outstanding students irrespective of background or disability.


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