Engineer combines mechanical and electrical in KTP with company
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 15:07:00 GMT
MEng graduate Terence Zimvu is the KTP Associate with Rochdale-based CR Solutions
AN ambitious UK company – already a major player in the field of automated control and robot systems for industry – aims to broaden its range so that it no longer has to outsource its mechanical design work. To achieve this self-sufficiency, it has enlisted the help of a talented University of Huddersfield-trained engineer.
The firm is Rochdale-based CR Solutions, established in 1995, and a specialist in motion control systems for industry. It has provided automated systems, robotics and process control engineering for sectors that include food, packaging, aerospace, chemicals and construction.
Now, it has formed a Government-backed Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Huddersfield. As a result, 28-year-old Terence Zimvu, who recently obtained a Distinction in his Master of Engineering (MEng) degree, is based at the company for a two-year spell. His remit is to set up a framework so that CR Solutions will be able carry out its own mechanical designs, as an addition to its established expertise in electrical design.
“Their mechanical design work has been subcontracted,” said Terence. “This can prove quite costly, because if there are any mistakes in design, they would have to go back to the company to be fixed.”
Terence has been working on a project plan, with one critical task being to learn the processes that CR Solutions currently has for electrical design and seeing how these can be adapted for mechanical design. By uniting the mechanical and control designs within the company, they will be able to take on ever-more complex challenges, with big opportunities for embedding new technology into the company’s system.
His role as KTP Associate is a challenge for Terence, because he must develop his knowledge of motion control engineering so that it equals his expertise in mechanics.
Fortunately, he has developed a fascination for electrical control systems, and his career goal is to remain in the field. The interest that was sparked during the final project for his MEng, when he took part in the Railway Challenge, organised by the University of Huddersfield’s Institute for Railway Research, where the task of designing and making a locomotive required a range of electro-mechanical skills.
The CR Solutions KTP supervisor at the University of Huddersfield is Dr Simon Fletcher and the lead academic is Dr Andrew Longstaff, of the University of Huddersfield’s Centre for Precision Technologies. Dr Longstaff said that as a mechanical engineer, Terence Zimvu would bring a whole raft of skills to the project and also bridge a gap in the profession.
“Traditionally there has been big split between electrical and electronics engineers and mechanical engineers. Now, this KTP is going to try to bring those skills together, leading to a rounded engineering solution.”
- The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is part-funded by the Government via Innovate UK – formerly the Technology Strategy Board. It enables firms that seek to innovate, or to investigate ways of improving their products or processes, to tap into the scientific and technical expertise of universities. The University of Huddersfield recently reached the milestone of being awarded its hundredth KTP.