HRH Prince Charles welcomes NMiTE’s innovative approach to filling the UK’s engineering skills gap

Paul Davies, Spectra Group UK; Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, NMiTE; HRH Prince Charles; DR Esen Bayar, ETL Systems; Ian Hilditch, ETL Systems

On 5 November 2019, The Prince of Wales met representatives from NMiTE (New Model in Technology and Engineering), which aims to become the engineering university for and of the future in Hereford.  His Royal Highness met members of NMiTE during a visit to Herefordshire based technology company, ETL Systems. The visit included meeting NMiTE’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, NMiTE Trial Learner Samuel Whitby and ETL staff, as well as touring ETL’s factory and unveiling a commemorative plaque.

The visit was in recognition of the contribution ETL has and is making to the local community, including boosting the local economy, providing local jobs and training and developing highly skilled staff. As a Founder Sponsor of NMiTE, ETL hopes to build upon this even further by sourcing locally trained graduate engineering talent in the future. During the visit to ETL, The Prince of Wales made a short speech during which he mentioned NMiTE; “…With the arrival of the new engineering university in Herefordshire it will make an even bigger difference to what you (ETL) are able to do. There is a big black hole in engineering skills to be filled, and NMiTE seems to be an extremely good way to fill those gaps…”

Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon said of meeting His Royal Highness; “The Prince of Wales was extremely interested in NMiTE, our objectives and the impact we will have not only on local Herefordshire businesses and lives, but nationally too in terms of putting British engineering back on the map. He had an extended conversation with one of our Trial Learners about a recent challenge based learning project in Hereford which really brought our unique approach to engineering education, to life.”

HRH Prince Charles; Samuel Whitby, NMiTE; Ian Hilditch, ETL Systems

Samuel Whitby, 19, who was a member of NMiTE’s Design Cohort, is a current Trial Learner and will be applying to study on NMiTE’s Pioneer Cohort, had a discussion with HRH Prince Charles about an electrical engineering  ‘Sprint’. This one-month challenge-based learning project, just completed by the Trial Learners, was to create a flood prediction device that would give staff at De Koffee Pot, a café/bar located on the banks of Hereford’s River Wye, early warning of the river rising so they could move food supplies out of harm’s way.

Samuel says of that conversation; “I showed HRH Prince Charles the electronic device we created and explained that it uses an Infra-red sensor housed within a bespoke 3D printed bung aimed down a long tube to a float at the bottom, and that the information feeds into an LED display which indicates the severity of the water height and rate at which the river is rising. He was very interested, especially given the recent flooding which has been experienced locally, and was impressed with what we had been able to achieve in a short period of time, with limited electrical engineering backgrounds.”

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