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On the evening of Wednesday 14th, June Paul Edwards (Managing Director) and Gabby Day (Business Development) of Pentagon Plastics Ltd were delighted to attend the Product of South Bank – Design Degree Show 2017 at the Keyworth Centre, London South Bank University.
The well-attended event gave a fantastic opportunity for the final year Product Design and Design Engineering students to showcase their hard work and continuous commitment to design.
On arrival, Paul and Gabby were given a tour of the University facilities by Barney Townsend a senior lecturer in the Department of Engineering and Design. The students have well-equipped studios and workshops which house a fantastic spread of machinery and equipment including; 3D printers, CNC machining centres, CAD software suites, Conventional Machines, Laser cutters but possibly the most stand out piece was a full-scale Virtual Engineering Suite with interactive head visors!
The students are well supported throughout their course by tutors, on-site technicians and engineers who provide advice and technical input where necessary.
Guests were welcomed by Robin Jones, Head of Mechanical Engineering and Design with an opening speech from Professor David Phoenix who also presented the first award of the evening.
Pentagon Plastics, Paul Edwards was next to take centre stage delivering an insightful speech in regard to the plastics manufacturing industry and how design plays a key part in a product’s success. He offered some great advice to the attentive audience regarding understanding the method of manufacture when designing a part before presenting the award for Best Product & Injection Mould Tool Design.
The chosen winner was Jack Fearnley. Jack has shown fantastic understanding and application of design for injection moulding which shone through in his ‘Earplug Case’ project that was one of the 5 projects shortlisted for the award from Pentagon. As a result of his award, Jack will have the opportunity for an all-expenses paid day on-site at Pentagon alongside the technical team of his area of interest.
Jack’s mantra is ‘It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it’ and he has already been fortunate enough to begin working with Hellermann-Tyton where no doubt his career will continue to flourish as he goes forward in his new role.
Key speaker Dr Caroline Simcock from Dyson followed, delivering a motivational speech and student award, with Robin closing the formalities.
Some of the students then took to the stage for some light-hearted awards of their own expressing their thanks and gratitude to the staff and teams that have supported them throughout their degree.
There was still time to look at the presentations on display with some standout projects from the likes of Alan Rallings, presenting his Cyclopic concept and prototype, Dan Dawkins with his very relevant Wash Box, Re’em Haneman with his CYGO project and Joshua Yeates, who’s Cherub product could be the answer to many parents prayers for baby travel equipment!
Thanks to the evening’s sponsors; The Manufacturer and Brewery London who also provided the refreshments for the evening.
From speaking with various students throughout the evening it was evident just how valuable it is to their studies for relevant businesses to invest their time in the education process. It improves their knowledge and therefore the calibre of student coming into the industry. It is a shame that so few businesses seem willing to participate.
Pentagon Plastics will continue to support the students of LSBU by inviting them into their facilities on an annual basis and offering a working insight into the design for manufacture of plastics, an initiative that students really benefit from to strengthen their skills in preparation for their career paths.
It’s time we stopped complaining about the skills gap and actually take steps to fix it, with government funding for education being cut businesses need to step in and help those coming through the system who could potentially become the staff that their businesses will need tomorrow.