IfM played host to the next generation of engineers from Chelmer Valley High School


IfM, the Institute for Manufacturing yesterday played host to a group of GCSE students from Chelmer Valley High School, Chelmsford as part of an outreach project.

The fourteen and fifteen year old students from the specialist engineering college enjoyed a day of fun activities.  The students took part in a session that used the ‘just in time manufacturing’ or ‘JIT’ game to help understand the key points and processes of manufacturing and the fundamental differences of JIT manufacturing - setting up new systems which support only making what you know a customer actually requires.

Tim Minshall, Senior Lecturer in Technology Management, who recently received the Cambridge University Pilkington Prize awarded for his teaching of exceptional quality; gave an enthusiastic and insightful presentation ‘what engineers really do’. Tim’s discussion highlighted the importance of an engineer’s role in today’s world, the implications of improving existing technology and furthering new technology enhancements.

The students enjoyed lunch and a punt on the River Cam before returning to the IfM to face the crane construction challenge; a hands-on task which required skill and good understanding of key engineering rules to build a load bearing crane, whilst using only paper and cardboard tubes as raw materials.

Suzanne Mycock, Director of Engineering said, “Chelmer Valley High School is delighted to once again work with the IfM.  Our students have thoroughly enjoyed all the activities and they now have an informed and more realistic impression of what engineering is all about.  It was on a previous visit that one of our students Richard Stephens, was inspired to read engineering at Cambridge and we were very proud to hear he recently gained a firstclass honor’s degree from Kings College and is going on to study for his Masters”.

Outreach at Cambridge University Department of Engineering aims to introduce children to the fun and excitement of engineering in a university research environment. Provision is made for students and staff to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists while developing their skills in communicating engineering ideas to a non-specialist audience.  The Department of Engineering develops and provides engineering resources for children, parents and teachers to use at home and in the classroom.

For further information please contact:

Jo Riches
PR and Communications
Institute for Manufacturing
M: 07854 210837

Institute for Manufacturing
Department of Engineering
The Alan Reece Building
17 Charles Babbage Road

IfM Education and Consultancy Services Limited
IfM ECS is wholly-owned by the University of Cambridge. It disseminates the Institute for Manufacturing’s research and education outputs to industry and government through education, consultancy, events, and publications.

The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) is a division of the Department of Engineering. The IfM brings together expertise in management, economics and technology to address the full spectrum of industrial issues. Its activities integrate research and education with practical application in companies, providing a unique environment for the creation of new ideas and approaches to modern industrial practice. The IfM works closely with industry, at a regional, national and international level, providing strategic, technical and operational expertise to help companies to grow and to become more competitive.


The Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) provides a unique environment for the creation and sharing of new ideas and approaches to modern industrial practice.

Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge