STEM Foundation

Masterclasses on Energy Distribution & Food Testing Technology

How energy distribution systems are designed, built, operated and regulated to become a whole lot “smarter & sustainable” was the theme of the NEF’s Masterclass held at National Grid’s Eakring Centre on 19 February.

22 delegates from 14 colleges around the country took part in practical activities covering day-to-day control and maintenance issues of the grid. The participating lecturers were given a tour of National Grid’s facilities and were even given the opportunity to operate a sub-station. A focus on the current skills needed for the refurbishment of the grid and smart development such as telemetry network points, smart meters in the home and distribution network operators (DNOs) were amongst the topics covered.

“I will be using all the technical information I received today in my teaching. The future projections for energy supply are very useful.” Justin Hanna, Chesterfield College.

“I have learnt so much and will be able to add actual examples to my Electrical Science modules.” Richard Masters, Exeter College.

Excellent event – Useful examples were given for electricity demands.” Derek Watters, Leicester College.

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The food sector represents the largest market segment within the industrial microbiology market, accounting for almost 50%. It is more than double the size of any other industrial segment, including pharmaceutical, beverage, environmental, industrial processing and personal-care products.

The NEF’s Masterclass on food molecular test technology held at the University of Chester on 21 February couldn’t have been more timely. The recent contamination in the food chain scare only re-emphasised the importance for rapid microbial tests to monitor the kinds, numbers and metabolites of microorganisms related to food preservation, fermentation and safety.

With such a growth market coupled with heightened public awareness of food management and safety, many food manufacturers will need to understand and extend the use of rapid testing technologies, and so this presents a great opportunity for colleges to provide effective training solutions.

“Very enjoyable and a lot to take away and use.” Brian Artingstoll, East Riding College.

“The day was extremely useful. Great to hear about real science” Patricia Hardman, Wirral Metropolitan College.

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Upcoming Masterclasses:

  • Recycling: 5 Years’ Time Masterclass, Closed Loop Recycling - 21 March 2013.  This event is a wonderful chance for lecturers in any area of science and engineering to find out about the future of recycling and what it means for the green agenda. This Masterclass will include a tour of facilities.  More Information
  • Welding and Fabrication Masterclass, The Welding Institute (TWI) with the Association of Welding, Fabrication Training and Education (AWFTE) in Cambridge - 19 April 2013. This Masterclass will highlight both new and existing technologies in welding and joining techniques. The skills shortage in this field is reportedly one of the biggest facing UK engineering companies and it is limiting growth.  Industries seriously in need of these skills include manufacturing, communications and offshore energy -oil & gas and renewable power.  Colleges therefore have the opportunity to meet direct employer need and attract more engineering students by introducing welding technologies into their curriculum.  More Information
  • Innovative Teaching of Product design, Bournemouth University – 26 June 2013. Hosted by the School of Design and Engineering of Bournemouth University,www.bournemouth.ac.uk/about/design.html, this Masterclass will focus on product development, current practice in industry, and innovation in the teaching and learning of product development. This event is timed to coincide with the university’s Festival of Design & Innovation: a showcase of student work during their time at the university and during placements with employers. The event attracts over 1500 visitors including talent scouts from the BBC's Dragons' Den and international companies such as Dyson. More than 170 designs and prototypes from the university’s range of design and creative technology courses will be on display. Delegates will see state-of-the-art industry standard facilities, at a design centre featuring modern manufacturing and technical workshops, a specialist CAD laboratory, as well as the latest rapid prototyping equipment. There will be sessions demonstrating innovative approaches to design from university and industry experts on new technologies for prototyping for sustainability.
  • Innovation in Agricultural Technology, NIAB’s Innovation Farm,www.innovationfarm.co.uk, Cambridge - 10 July 2013. This Masterclass will look at innovation in the key sector of bio-sciences and the impact on the future requirements for training and development in this area, including how FE Colleges can ensure their provision addresses the needs arising from new techniques in agriculture, in particular plant genetics and crop improvement.  The event will showcase the new NIAB facilities including the new BREEAM Outstanding Reception Centre, which features a modern and progressive design required to achieve the highest sustainability rating and zero-carbon balance in operation, constructed using locally sourced and sustainable materials wherever possible. The facilities include extensive field and glasshouse exhibits to demonstrate innovations in crop plants and in cultural practices in the agri-business sector to address the issues of climate change, food security, reduced resources and healthy nutrition.

Other NEF Masterclasses that are coming up in 2013:

Global Data Management - Oracle, Linlithgow, Scotland

Renewables and Wind Turbines - Siemens Integrated Energy Service Training Centre, Newcastle

Cybersecurity - Bournemouth University

Green Roofs: Innovation for Building - Host TBC, Midlands or London

To book a place on any of these, or to find out more about any of the Masterclasses that we hold, please contact Robyn Burriss.

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