Pupils at Haughton Academy are given live brief by global engineering firm

Education Village

Wednesday, 8th November 2017

Pupils at Haughton Academy are given live brief by global engineering firm

JUNIOR engineer returns to the classroom to help bridge the skills gap between industry and education

A JUNIOR engineer has retuned to the classroom to help bridge the skills gap between industry and education.

Cleveland Bridge trainee Connor Lishman is mentoring students at his former school, Haughton Academy, Darlington, part of The Education Village Academy Trust, after setting them a live brief to produce service record holders for machinery at the global design, fabrication, construction and engineering company.

Connor, 22, who left Haughton Academy in 2011 after completing his GCSEs, studied engineering at Darlington College before being offered an apprenticeship with Cleveland Bridge. He is currently studying a post graduate degree in mechanical engineering at Teesside University.

“I’m in the process of project managing a sequence of improvements with our maintenance team and one is to find service records for the equipment,” said Connor.

“We came up with the idea of putting a folder in a prominent place near each machine that could hold its history and be eye-catching at the same time.”

Connor contacted Haughton Academy’s Head of Technology, Gary Taylor, to see if he could help.

Students in the afterschool CAD CAM club have been tasked with creating 25 individual folders from acrylic, using laser cutters, hot wires and a series of bespoke jigs to shape the material.

Students taking part in the project will also be invited on a guided tour around Cleveland Bridge to see the folders in use.

Mr Taylor said: “It has been a great way to give our pupils a taste of a real engineering process within a classroom environment.

“Connor was a very good student during his time at Haughton Academy, gaining a distinction for his BTEC engineering, and he has been an exceptional mentor for our current CAD CAM group, helping them understand the practical applications of engineering and how they can apply directly to industry.

Year 8 pupil Kieran Geldard, 12, of Darlington, added: “We made four prototypes of the folder before the final design was passed by Cleveland Bridge and I think that the finished item looks really good.”