Students Reap Rewards of Shared Vision

Pictured: Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor Professor Philip Jones, Nick Crew, Principal, UTC Sheffield, with UTC students demonstrating the prosthetics design project.

Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor Professor Philip Jones has visited UTC Sheffield to highlight how their shared vision and successful partnership working is benefitting local students.

Sheffield Hallam University is a sponsor of UTC Sheffield, and for the last six months students have worked with the university on a unique virtual reality and prosthetics design pilot project.

Using technology including Oculus Rift – a headset that allows the wearer to feel as though they are in a virtual reality world – students have tested the effectiveness of their designs of prosthetic upper arm limbs for amputees.

Tests included simulating activities such as picking up a cereal packet, coin or bottle in a virtual kitchen. The project is now working with the NHS to undertake research with patients.

The research is also an example of how both organisations are working together to encourage more girls to consider studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Professor Philip Jones said: “This project is a great example of how our partnership working is providing some truly unique opportunities for UTC students to get involved in Sheffield Hallam’s world-class research. This puts students in a perfect position for work or further study upon completion of their qualifications.”

Nick Crew, Principal, UTC Sheffield, said: “We are proud to be Yorkshire’s first university technical college. Our excellent partnership with Sheffield Hallam University ensures our students develop high-level technical skills to complement their academic studies.”

He added: “We are currently recruiting for Year 10 places. Our link to the university, as well as employers, is very attractive to parents and young people, and has been a key factor influencing our recruitment success.”

The visit on February 12th by the Vice Chancellor and Professor Karen Bryan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University, comes as plans for a second Sheffield UTC continue to progress. The university is also a sponsor of that facility, which is due to open in September 2016.

A consultation on Sheffield’s second university technical college, called UTC 2 Sheffield for Human Sciences and Computing, due to open at the Olympic Legacy Park on the site of the former Don Valley Stadium in September 2016, has been launched. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/UTC2.

Key facts

  • Sheffield Hallam and UTC Sheffield are aiming to encourage more girls to consider studying STEM subjects. The two organisations have collaborated on a number of taster events and projects, including jointly producing a film showcasing engineering careers entitled ‘Girls Making the Future’. Go to:  https://vimeo.com/111101620
  • Both UTCs have been sponsored by The Sheffield College with Sheffield Hallam University and the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce as co- sponsors.

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