50+ Young People Making Manufacturing Smarter

Posted on: 26/02/2021
Young People in Manufacturing - photo collage

Starting a new year is always a time of optimism, and that’s never been more true than the start of 2021. With National Apprenticeship Week running in early February, we were inspired to reach out to our network and ask them to put forward their inspiring young people who are making manufacturing smarter. We didn’t limit them to apprenticeships as we wanted to be inclusive; there isn’t one right way to get into manufacturing, there are many routes in.

In a rapidly changing world, we thought this was a good opportunity to ask the next generation of manufacturers for their thoughts and opinions. As you can read below, many cite the challenge of sustainability as a driving force. We hope that young voices are widely listened to across the sector and that they have a real opportunity to shape their future. It is heartening that the articles published and shared by The Manufacturer and KTN have really engaged both the young people featured and the manufacturing network.

“A brilliant showcase highlighting the heart of tomorrow’s smarter manufacturing base for the UK.”  

Prof. Rab Scott, Head of Digital, AMRC.

You can see that the diversity of our group reflects the diversity of the manufacturing workforce, but not of society at large. The group are actively involved in STEM to inspire the next generation, and perhaps here we will also find the role models needed to broaden the appeal of the manufacturing sector to those who don’t currently think it’s a place for them.

“I am constantly amazed at the performance, energy, enthusiasm and innovation of the young engineers at Tribosonics Ltd. They are an inspiration and point to a very bright future not only for our business but UK manufacturing as a whole.”

Dr Phil Harper, Founder & CTO, Tribosonics Ltd.

The Manufacturing Made Smarter challenge, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, is a £300m opportunity to change manufacturing for the better. The headline goal is productivity, but within that, flexibility, resilience and sustainability all feature, and what better way to shape UK manufacturing businesses than through high impact collaborative research and development projects inspired by the next generation?

We set out to showcase 50 Young People Making Manufacturing Smarter. It turns out we’re not very decisive and we couldn’t resist including a few more, so here are the young people who Make Manufacturing Smarter:

Rebekah Neumann : Airbus

What excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

It’s dynamic, no two days are the same, there are always opportunities to improve and new technologies are constantly being developed and are waiting for us to use them!

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

During my studies of Aviation Management at university, I undertook a sandwich year at Airbus – and from there I fell in love with manufacturing and its rawness. During my internship, I worked on the A380 programme for commercial wings and was fortunate enough to be part of Airbus’ journey to delivering the worlds largest commercial wings. I the. went back to university and finished my studies and I have now returned to Airbus on a graduate development scheme. Every 3 months I rotate positions and get the opportunity to see and support manufacturing from different perspectives. Currently I am working in Engineering, helping the industrialisation of the A321XLR aircraft. In the future, I am hoping to become an Operations Manager on the frontline of commercial wing production, I want to be a catalyst of change and part of the leadership team taking Airbus to the next level in manufacturing.

Gareth Evans : MSC Industrial Supply

What excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

“The ability to make the future better and to help British manufacturing”.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

“I started at 16 as a PCD tool maker, went to University and then started as a manufacturing engineer / programmer. I then progressed into an application engineering role at MSC to help bring knowledge around each sector of UK manufacturing. I am now Applications manager at 29, leading a team of 7 time served engineers for one of the largest national cutting tool distributors in order to deliver engineering excellence to manufacturing companies in UK, Northern Ireland, Poland & India”.

Cailum Wilson : Warren Services

What excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

“I get paid to think about solutions to problems and then test those ideas. Each project is a new opportunity to be creative and develop a solution. Each project is a step closer to helping create a safer and more efficient future.”

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

“I was one of those kids that took everything apart and would build ‘inventions’ as I used to naively call them. I took a keen interest in science during my high school years and then eventually started at the University Technical College Norfolk. During my time there I was able to get introduced to Richard and Will on a tour of Warren Services. I really liked the diversity of work that they had and the range of departments within the business. I started a year work experience with Warren services before beginning an apprenticeship with them. I have been with Warren services for about 4 years now and I’ve had the opportunity to work in nearly every department, this has given me a lot of first hand experience of the capabilities of the company which really helps in my current role as a Mechanical Design engineer apprentice. I have completed a HNC in Mechanical engineering and I’m in the final year of my HND. I am going to continue to get my degree. From then on, I don’t know for certain where I’m going to go but I have no doubts that it will involve the engineering sector.”

Mojan Omidvar – Queen Mary University of London

What excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

“I enjoy how manufacturing is all about using your creativity for producing things which go on to ease human lives such health assistive devices and AI, but also devices to explore science the way it has never been explored before. All to help save time for more research and lead humans to ideal independent life.”

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

“I was always building things since a kid, playing with LEGOs, fixing puzzles, art crafting and coming up with creative objects! But my professional experience started when I chose to become a biomedical engineer student, with a vision for helping human lives and learning to design assistive devices. During my studies, I realised that there couldn’t be any other course topic to fulfil my soul needs and creativity; every time I read a new patient case study, I had to come up with a reasonable solution for their health problem. I always loved engineering as it is a problem solving skill, you have to use what you learned, maths, physics, biology, etc in actual real time problem and solve issues. I enjoy being part of this problem solving cycle. Coming up with a solution idea is one part but Manufacturing your idea is more important. Your ideas should be realistic and buildable in real life. There are so many factors behind each idea that becomes manufactured. I learned this when I built my first prototype of “Soft surgical robotic arm for Laparoscopic surgery” as part of fulfilling my BEng course. After that. I worked on design of “Robotic retractor for minimal invasive colectomy” for my MSc project and now for fulling my PhD degree, I’m working on “design and manufacturing of self-driving laboratory devices for material discovery”. I have learned so much about manufacturing while fulfilling these projects, I’m still hungry for it and if you are looking for a passionate young person with enthusiasm in manufacturing, I could be one of your options!!”

Steffan James – University of South Wales

What excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

I’m excited by the opportunity to play my part in developing solutions to big challenges which will improve people’s lives.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

Working in manufacturing has given me the opportunity to enjoy life in different countries around the world whilst having a positive impact on people and planet. The work environment is invigorating and can be extremely rewarding when targets are met. The variety within manufacturing means that I am constantly learning new things, having begun my career building satellites for scientific missions, I have since been involved with manufacturing surgical devices, collagen, beer and anaerobic digestors which turns animal manure into a clean fuel source in the developing world. I hope to further contribute to international development through manufacturing – creating a sustainable and socially just world. Whilst engineering has undoubtedly contributed to the crises we currently face, it is the only means we have of overcoming them. I believe the next decades will see enormous transformations in all aspects of society which will change, not only what is manufactured, but how we manufacture.

Adam Elliott – Siemens Mobility

What excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

Being part of the first rail manufacturing plant in the UK is a really exciting prospect and being able to build the first trains in this country.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

My journey started when I left the Army and I was looking for a job in engineering. Two of my friends who had previously left the Army both worked for Siemens and informed me about Goole. I looked into it further and was excited about building new trains for the London underground. The way I see my future is working in the assembly part of the Goole factory and then progressing into a team leader role and further up the management ladder from there.

Zach Hampshire – Mpac Lambert

What excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

Within my engineering manufacture career, innovation and problem solving excites me most. The use of new technologies and Industry 4.0 processes to provide unique solutions and overcome challenges captivates exhilaration.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

Engineering has always been a major part of my life, my earliest memories are times spent in the workshop with my dad making things, machining and fabricating parts; it all started from there. I have a real passion for anything mechanical, I’m intrigued by problems and challenges, driven by perfection, quality and continuous personal improvement. At 16 I started an Engineering apprenticeship at Mpac Lambert. Throughout the 4 years of training I became well versed in a multitude of disciplines and have risen through the ranks academically to degree level. I have been lucky enough to win and participate in local, regional and national engineering awards. Upon completion of my apprenticeship in 2020 I became a full time employee of the technical department. For the future I aim to continue enhancing my engineering skillset and knowledge base, I also hope pursue more academic qualification maybe even embarking upon a PHD.

Mohammed Seedat – Social Beginning

What excites you most about a career in manufacturing?

To manufacture a product in the United Kingdom makes me really proud of being British as i can offer a product at cost value and also employ people in the local community.

How did you start your journey and where you see your future?

I am currently the first generation in my family to have graduated from University. I have been teaching business and marketing for over 7 years. I want to start and manufacture a UK product which will help create jobs for the local people and contribute to the British economy.



The previous 50 young people were featured in the Manufacturer during National Apprenticeship Week. Read their stories here:

Part 1 : https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/50-young-people-making-manufacturing-smarter-part-1/

Part 2 : https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/50-young-people-making-manufacturing-smarter-part-2/

Part 3: https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/50-young-people-making-manufacturing-smarter-part-3/

Part 4: https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/50-young-people-making-manufacturing-smarter-part-4/

Part 5: https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/50-young-people-making-manufacturing-smarter-part-5/

To find out how to get involved in the Young People Making Manufacturing Smarter initiative, sign up to our manufacturing newsletter or contact Kevin Hallas in the Manufacturing Team at KTN.

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