Apprectices Take Plaudits at National Contest

It was a Culham clean sweep at this year’s National Apprenticeship Competition at Cranfield University. Two teams of apprentices attending OAS, and another team from UKAEA, took the top three places.

The event is a national competition for engineering apprentices to compete for a cash prize of £1,000 to showcase their design projects at the National Manufacturers Debate held at the University each year. The competition this year was to research, design and present a project on the theme for 2018 – Production of a multi-purpose vehicle/lab/workshop/habitat for the exploration of Mars. The competition was launched in the autumn of 2017 and the apprentices had to form project teams, research concepts and make an initial proposal at that stage. In the new year, the selected shortlisted teams were invited to attend the university to present the project plan which was marked against design project product, research report and presentation.

“It was an amazing experience for the apprentices to be put through a high standard externally set project-based learning experience,
This ensured that they developed resilience, problem solving, team work and presentation skills – all of which are key parts of their learning experience. All the apprentices have worked diligently for the last few months culminating in the presentation and questioning by a robust academic panel. The apprentices rose to the challenge producing outstanding 3D print models, CAD designs and in-depth research reports.”

said Joseph Lo of OAS training providers JTL

All the teams adopted names and the overall winning team and winner of the £1000 prize was OAS’s ‘STEVE’ team, made up of eight apprentices from a range of different employers – Robson Witts from Oxford Space Systems, Sam Embling from Diamond Light Source, Jordan Hoe from Oxford University, Ben Morley from Element 6, K-Jo O’Flynn from Oxford Space Systems, Ryan Russell from Diamond Light Source and Dylan Hornsby from Nuvia. The UKAEA ‘MARC’ team included Lucy Doran, Felix Warren, James Knipe, Josh Whitley, Thomas Eagles, Richard Knipe, Ella Quigley and Mark Kurzik. They won £250. This year there were five teams at the event and thirty apprentices from eight different companies.