Product designers and engineers of the future?

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The Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), Daresbury, opened its Digital Labs to a group of Product Design pupils from Wade Deacon High School, Widnes.

The group of Year 9 students, all studying Product Design, explored the digital technologies that companies are embedding in their design and manufacturing processes such as the latest immersive Virtual Reality technologies and 3D printing.

Both VEC and STFC multidisciplinary teams provided ‘real-life’ demonstrations and activities such as reviewing an aeroplane cockpit design using an Oculus Rift and changing a virtual wheel on a supercar.

Product Design staff at Wade Deakin were keen to provide students with an awareness of the new tools, expertise and emerging trends within Product Design and Engineering, to provide their pupils with a ‘glimpse of the future’ and help with future subject choice.

Clare Birmingham, Product Design teacher at Wade Deakin commented,

“The visit was invaluable for the students and has certainly opened their eyes to the range of careers that Product Design and Engineering covers.  The digital technologies the pupils were working with today will be their standard everyday tools of their future roles”.

VEC Director, Dr Gillian Murray stated,

“The Government has highlighted that the current digital skills shortage has the potential to significantly impact on future UK growth if not immediately addressed.  The VEC, a leader in the translation of digital technologies to industry, will play a significant part in helping to address this challenge from awareness raising events to encourage young people into design and engineering,  through to providing higher level digital skills development to professional engineers”.