Tech start-up iungo Solutions has designed and delivered a co-curricular programme to support undergraduate engineers in developing work-ready skills and knowledge of careers in entrepreneurship.
The pilot programme was delivered through a collaboration with the University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD) and the Royal Academy of Engineering, with a cohort of 20 students.
Projects from across South Wales Industry were curated with the help of UWTSD’s MADE facility. Robotics integration company, Reeco, inclusive playground manufacturer, G L Jones, and digital manufacturing training centre, DMIW, were amongst the companies that set the student project briefs.
Rachel Davies, Director of DMIW said: “The Enterprising Engineers programme offers a uniquely challenging and beneficial experience to both students in industry, as well as organisations such as the Digital Manufacturing Innovation Hub, by providing a mechanism to interact with future engineers and address common business problems in a real-world environment.
“I was impressed by the attitude and professionalism of the students towards the projects and impressed with the final presentations, especially the wider considerations made surrounding the markets and business opportunities.”
The students completed twelve enterprising skills workshops, learning about design theories, product development, marketing and strategy, legal and finance, and human capital management. Guest speakers from high growth start-ups such as Ship Shape supported the delivery of the programme.
Alistair Baillie, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Ship Shape said: “It was a pleasure to be on the panel for Enterprising Engineers and receive students’ pitches. There is clearly talent at UWTSD, both in the teaching staff and the students that attend. Enterprising Engineers appears to be a worthwhile course and I’m happy to have supported it.”
The programme finale took place on the 23rd June with student pitches in front of a judging panel of industry professionals. The event was supported by Barclays Eagle Labs Cardiff, Ship Shape, and the Digital Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Wales (DMIW).
Niki Haggerty-James, Ecosystem Manager at Barclays Eagle Labs Cardiff said: “Barclays was delighted to be involved and see the engineering talent coming out of Trinity St David’s. Enabling graduates to have access to mentorship and supporting future generations of engineers is crucial to the Welsh economy.”
A survey revealed that 98% of students believed Enterprising Engineers had benefited their employability. All students rated the workshops as enjoyable.
Jessica Leigh Jones MBE, Chief Executive at iungo Solutions and Visiting Professor at UWTSD said: “It has been rewarding to watch the students grow and develop over the course of their journey with Enterprising Engineers. This is a unique programme that has not only yielded positive outcomes for students, but also strengthened relationships between the university and local industry.”
iungo has plans to roll out the Enterprising Engineers programme as a summer camp this year for college students whose learning experience may have been interrupted by covid-19.