Following a generous contribution from our parent Company, Morson Group, the University of Salford recently launched two new state-of-the-art facilities on campus. The spaces feature the latest industry-standard manufacturing technologies to enable students to learn real-world engineering skills in relation to design for manufacture, assembly and inspection.

The Morson Maker Space and Morson Engine Room give students the opportunity to develop industry-relevant skillsets integrating Industry 4.0 practices and digital processes to ensure graduates understand the tools of the trade to step confidently into the employment sector providing employers with future-fit graduates.

Establishing a flagship offering for engineering right in the heart of the University of Salford began back in 2015 with the unveiling of the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarship programme created by the late Gerry Mason, founder of the Morson Group. The scholarship programme has supported over 40 scholars to date and is now championed by Morson CEO and Gerry’s son, Ged Mason.

Nuturing Future Talent

The University of Salford is actively addressing the industrial skills gaps of proficient engineering graduates – a major challenge for the UK as set out by the Governments Industrial Strategy. The Morson Maker Space and Morson Engine Room have the right facilities, with the right people and industry partners to ensure digital fabrication, engineering and digital science are a key priority at Salford to contribute to the full economic benefit and covid-19 pandemic recovery in our region.

As the University looks ahead, it is vital to inspire young people to take up open opportunities within the STEM sector to fulfil the skill shortages. This is only possible working side-by-side with the support of their industry partners, and together, grow the next generation of tech savvy, industry-ready graduates to provide businesses and clients with the skilled talent needed to succeed. A great example has been Morson Group brand sponsorship of the University’s Formula Student team who design, manufacture and race a high-performance race car and compete a high-performance race car in the IMechE Formula Student competition, with graduates now working in the automotive industry.

Working in collaboration with Morson Group ensures that the University stays abreast of industry challenges, can improve and upgrade their technology, which in turn advances a skilled-up talent ecosystem. This knowledge growth is endorsed having offered 10 Morson Maker Space scholarships awarded to students studying cybersecurity, computer sciences and robotics to inspire the next generation of Morson digital talent.

More about the Morson Engine Room

The Morson Engine Room features the latest manufacturing technologies with heavy duty, industrial grade machinery typically found on industry workshop floors. This digital and technical facility is equipped with a waterjet cutter, metal additive manufacturing, a large format 3D printer, state of the art digital microscopes and reverse engineering metrology instrumentation. Students learn how to use and operate these machines, so much so that we now have a student instructor initiative who take ownership of the workshops, help teach other students to become proficient master users.

More about the Morson Maker Space

The Morson Maker Space is home to the ‘Print Hive’ kitted out with 3D printing machines, laser and vinyl cutters, and several clean working spaces for assembling electronics, building drones and robots, with a dedicated computer suite for 3D design (CAD) classes. This is a unique learning space to bring together collaboration with industry partners to innovate, test and prototype products with our students through industry live briefs and coursework projects.

The maker expertise is integrated into the wider curriculum turning traditional teaching methods on its head with tailored workshops developed for many of our science, engineering and built environment courses from Engineering to Architecture, Construction, Computer Sciences to Cybersecurity and Robotics.

What’s next?

Industry collaboration drives everything that happens at the Morson Maker Space and Morson Engine Room. What makes the University of Salford different to other universities is the unique partnership with Morson Group and its subsidiary businesses, through which they are able to invest into a talent pipeline of students with a tangible advantage through links with Morson’s recruitment expertise. This is done through the provision of mentoring programmes, hosting industry live briefs and internships, running career workshops and industry talks to produce job-ready graduates to meet the skill gaps and employment challenges the industry is facing.

The University and Morson Group will continue to expand their relationship with the wider Morson Group businesses. Already working closely with Morson Projects, we now also welcome Waldeck to the facilities, and together, look forward to expanding the opportunities to foster this talent pipeline through mentoring and internship programmes, networking and career workshops and professional talk series.

Dr. Maria Stukoff, Maker Space Director, said:

“Through the Universities work and continued collaboration with Morson Group, they have been able to strengthen their engineering programmes further by creating a robust training framework that has enabled scholars to conduct paid summer work placements with the Morson Group between their second and third year. The calibre of applicants is incredibly high, and we are delighted to be extending our work placement programme and a new internships to the wider Morson Group business.”

Ged Mason OBE, CEO of the Morson Group, said:

“Our long-standing partnership with the University of Salford is delivering significant change as we work collaboratively to attract new talent. We are recruiting for several major infrastructure projects, including HS2, which will require a skilled workforce that we have never seen before in the UK. Such projects deliver a unique opportunity to provide long-term and sustainable career pathways and bridge the skills gap in sectors worst hit by shortages”.

Chris Burke, Executive Director at Morson Projects, added:

“Morson Projects are already seeing huge benefit through this ever-evolving relationship with the University of Salford, having recently recruited two of their graduates for our own Power division. We look forward to working more closely with the University and the wider Morson Group over the coming months as we continue to expand the ways in which we can support Maria and the team in up-skilling our future talent pipeline of engineers, technologists and technicians.”

For more information regarding the Morson Maker Space and Morson Engine Room:
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To contact the Morson Make Space, please email Dr. Maria Stukoff, Maker Space Director:
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To visit the University of Salford’s School of Science, Engineering and Environment website:
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