Ed Wickens 3T RPD YinL finalist
TCT Show + Personalize exhibitor 3TD RPD has been celebrating this month, as the company's own Ed Wickens has got through to the final of the 2013 Year in Industry's Contribution to Business Awards.
Mr Wickens succeeded in pushing past stiff competition in the South East Regional Final and will now graduate to the National Final, which will take place on September 19th at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, hosted by BBC Breakfast business presenter Steph McGovern.
In order to get this far in the competition, Mr Wickens presented his project in which he designed and developed a so-called mistake-proof tool for inserting magnets into designer 3D printed glasses produced by 3T RPD in Newbury.
The new tool has the potential to save the company a six-figure sum, as it not only reduced the time an operator takes to complete the task, but also reduced the opportunity for mistakes to occur during the procedure, therefore cutting wastage.
The Year in Industry (YinI) scheme - of which the BBC's Ms McGovern is also an alumna - is run by education charity the Engineering Development Trust, which believes in inspiring future engineers and scientists. It is the largest provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enrichment activities for young people in the UK.
3T has been participating in the YinI scheme for several years. The initiative connects students with an interest in gaining a year's experience in the industry prior to beginning their university studies with employers who take on graduates. The sponsoring company gains a talented, dedicated employee who can help drive their business forward and in return, the young person gains valuable experience in a commercial environment.
Mr Wickens presented his money-saving project to a panel of judges in front of a audience, scooping both the judges' and the audience prizes, as his presentation received the highest vote by those in the auditorium.
CEO of 3T Ian Halliday commented: "Ed is a very talented young engineer and has done an excellent job at 3T over the last year. His win is well deserved and just hints at what he will achieve in the future. As a growing UK manufacturing company, we need a constant stream of highly motivated and talented staff to join our team. The shortage of skilled and experienced engineers is limiting the growth of UK manufacturing, which is critical to our nation."
Now the young engineer is awaiting the London final, which will feature Director of ARUP Kate Hall as a keynote speaker. This year's winner will go forward to participate in the EEF National Manufacturing Student of the Year Award and the overall UK winner will receive a £1,000 cash prize.
3T will continue to support the YinI programme with two more YinL students joining the business in 2013.
Mr Halliday added: "By participating in the YinI scheme, we are not only benefitting from the input of excellent young engineers but also helping to develop the skills needed to support UK manufacturing. I would strongly encourage other manufacturers to follow our example."
Registration for this year's TCT Show & Personalize at the NEC in Birmingham on September 25th and 26th is free and promises a stellar line up of speakers and exhibitors on the main show floor.