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WMG hosts Student Project Showcase

The Outreach Team at WMG, University of Warwick was pleased to welcome pupils from local schools to a special Student Project Showcase eventPicture of the Student Project Showcase event supported by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Over 100, year 10, students from the WMG Academies for Young Engineers in Coventry and Solihull were invited to the event held at the University of Warwick campus.

The year 10 pupils had a chance to see for themselves the remarkable engineering projects from Warwick Racing; Warwick Rail; Warwick Submarine; Warwick Moto and Warwick Robotics.

CyberWomen@Warwick students also took part. The group of female students strive to empower future talent, with a specific focus on women, in cyber security.

Caroline Cannon, Outreach Project Officer at WMG, who organised the Showcase, explained: “ With these types of events, and across all of our outreach activities, we work with our partners to inspire and empower the next generation of scientists and engineers to pursue careers in STEM in an attempt to close the engineering skills gap.”

Claire Morris, Associate Principal at the WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Solihull, said: “ I have heard nothing but great feedback from Year 10 students, and the staff involved. Thank you Caroline, to you and your team for organising this event, and thanks to the WMG team for making it happen.”

Caroline Cannon added: “ The Showcase was also a good experience for our new cohort of University of Warwick engineering students to build confidence talking about the various projects.”

A University of Warwick student and Warwick Rail team member said: “What I liked most about the event was seeing the students (from the Academies) getting stuck into the activities and thinking critically about the projects.”

WMG support a variety of undergraduate student projects with connections to industry partners. The selection of student-led projects shows the breadth and depth of skills that the students apply both individually and collaboratively as part of a team.

Each project is supported and assisted by PhD students, academics, technicians, and industry sponsors. Dave Cooper, Engineering Technician at WMGPicture shows students from the Warwick Racing team supporting Student Projects said: “Students that work on these projects have had the most amazing opportunities from placements, scholarships and jobs with companies such as McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Norton and Triumph.”

Students gain valuable practical and project management skills with each team member being assigned a role and area of responsibility, from engineering and technical lead to marketing and sales support. The projects develop students; teach time management and risk management; group working; and give practical hands-on experience.

WMG and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult provide some seed funding, but the individual teams are responsible for securing sponsors and raising funds. Feedback from employers suggests that these projects produce some of the most employable graduates in the market.

Find out more about the student projects here:

Tue 14 Nov 2023, 14:39 | Tags: HVM Catapult WMG Academy Education Outreach

WMG Academy students blast off to international space competition

Picture shows students from the WMG Academy CanSat teamStudents at the WMG Academy for Young Engineers are preparing for lift-off after being named UK national champions in the European Space Agency’s CanSat competition. Having launched themselves to the top spot in the UK, WMG Academy’s Team Phoenix 2 will soon blast off to the European finals.

Inspired by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander mission, the young space explorers from Team Phoenix 2 have designed and manufactured a suborbital satellite capable of measuring and collecting temperature and air pressure data whilst looking for signs of life on a planet by sampling surface dust – all contained within the size and shape of a soft-drinks can. Launched to a height of 1,000 feet, the satellite descends, launching an integrated parachute before transmitting data back to the team at the command centre.

As part of the competition, the students, all aged between 14 and 17 years old and studying a combination of maths, science and engineering, have produced designs and prototypes, submitted testing data and launch reports, and presented to a team of experts, setting themselves apart from over 250 other entries and 12 finalists to take the title of UK national champions.

Commenting on the team’s success, WMG Academy Chief Executive, Stewart Tait, said: Our students are clearly high-flyers with ambitions that are out of this world. We could not be more proud of Oliver, Joshua, Callum, Amneet, Timurs and George who have worked so hard to design an innovative and successful can-sized satellite.

“This year’s CanSat project was launched by Bob Hodge who has been an integral part of WMG Academy since we opened in 2014. Unfortunately, after a long illness, Bob sadly passed away just a few weeks ago and there is no better way to pay tribute to the time and energy Bob invested in the lives of our young engineers than continuing his legacy of inspiring the next generation through projects like CanSat.

"We are looking forward to taking Team Phoenix2 to the European finals to showcase the incredible engineering talent of WMG Academy students on the international stage.”

Notes to Editors:

  • WMG Academy for Young Engineers is part of the WMG Academy Trust, consisting of two University Technical Colleges (UTC) in Coventry and Solihull. The Trust was founded by the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya and works closely with WMG at the University of Warwick.
  • WMG Academy offers an innovative curriculum of STEM subjects, working with local and national employers to deliver a ‘business-like, business-led’ pathway of study to prepare students for life beyond the classroom.
  • Opening in 2014, WMG Academy Coventry was first-rated Good by Ofsted in 2017 and again in 2022. WMG Academy Solihull opened in 2016 and is also rated Good by Ofsted.
  • WMG Academy has seen local, national and international success before in engineering projects including F1 in Schools, Greenpower, the Royal Navy UTC Challenge and the 2021 and 2022 CanSat competitions.
  • The European CanSat Competition is an ESA Education project that promotes STEM skills amongst young European students through project-based learning. A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The team’s challenge is to fit all the major subsystems of a satellite inside this minimal volume, launched by a small rocket up to an altitude of 1 km.

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Tue 16 May 2023, 14:23 | Tags: WMG Academy STEM Education

Young engineers hit the headlines with Design & Make triumph

Three schools from the Black Country and Warwickshire have been crowned as the main winners at one of the biggest independent manufacturing-education events in the UK.

Ernesford Grange Community Academy, Great Wyrley Academy and WMG Academy for Young Engineers Coventry beat off competition from five other rivals to take the Manufacturing,Image of WMG Academy Design and Make Challenge winners Innovation and Efficiency titles respectively at the Design & Make Challenge 2022.

The trio were joined on the podium by Alcester Grammar School, who claimed the first ever ‘Communications’ prize for its use of social media in promoting the day.

Organised by the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), more than 35 students swapped their daily lessons for the chance to test out their design, engineering, prototyping and communication skills at the all-day event held at WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Solihull.

Teams of four Year 11 and Year 12 pupils were set the challenge of using basic materials and tools to make a vehicle that could be propelled by a falling weight. They tested their devices, modified them and then raced them on a purpose-built 7.5m long track to see which one would complete the distance in the fastest possible time – a race that WMG Academy Coventry won in just 3.64 seconds.

“Now, more than ever, we need young people to choose engineering and manufacturing as a career and we’re not going to change perceptions by sitting on our hands, doing nothing,” explained Austin Owens, founder of Grove Design (Pembridge) Ltd and Co-Chair of the Manufacturing Assembly Network.

“This was a comeback for the Design & Make Challenge after a Covid-19 enforced break and we were delighted to see the appetite to take part was still there. I have to say the task was the hardest yet and the young people really embraced it.”

He went on to add: “The atmosphere in the room was amazing and I’m convinced we’ve seen some of the engineers of the future here, engineers that will go on and improve the way we live for the better.”

Ernesford Grange Community Academy, Great Wyrley Academy and WMG Academy Coventry all received a 3D printer for their efforts.

This latest technology was kindly donated by 3DPRINTUK, who are specialists in low volume production using state-of-the-art powder bed fusion 3D printing systems with polymer materials.

Nick Allen, Managing Director of 3DPRINTUK, commented: “We are both proud and delighted to sponsor the Design & Make Challenge 2022.

“The competition is a great fit for us. By donating 3D printers to the winners, it allows the next generation of engineers and manufacturers to learn in a hands-on way about the advantages - and disadvantages - of 3D printing for any given application. It’s something we are passionate about both now and for the future.”

Joining Alcester Grammar School, Ernesford Grange Community Academy, Great Wyrley Academy and WMG Academy Coventry at the Design & Make day were Gospel Oak School, Lawrence Sheriff School, Southam College and WMG Academy Solihull.

Peter Davies, Chief Executive of James Lister & Sons and Co-Chair of the Manufacturing Assembly Network, added his support: “The day is all about bringing sound design and engineering principles to the fore to solve a topical industrial issue, with young people encouraged to work together to develop innovative designs and then build a product they can test against their peers.

“Apprentices from MAN companies and graduates from WMG at the University of Warwick, were working with the groups and talking about their own experiences following a career in manufacturing and some of the skills they may need to realise their ambition.

“All the feedback we received was positive, which excites us about doing it again next year. We now urge other manufacturers to look at how they can play a role in helping promote our sector to young people.”

Image of Design and Make Challenge in actionDr Mark Swift, Head of SME Programmes at WMG at the University of Warwick, concluded: “Design & Make is a wonderful example of how to inspire future engineers - making it real and helping to bridge the skills gap, particularly in small manufacturing and engineering businesses.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of manufacturing in the UK, and they offer a wonderful, rich, challenging and rewarding destination for the next generation of engineers. They get access to all parts of the business, from working with customers and suppliers to the management team and gaining experience on the shop floor – all of this will accelerate their future career.”

About the Manufacturing Assembly Network

Formed in 2006, The Manufacturing Assembly Network is made up of Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, Grove Design, James Lister & Sons, KimberMills International, Muller Holdings, Nemco and PP Control & Automation.

The eight sub-contract manufacturers and specialist engineering design agency form a unique global collective that works together to share best practice and secure contracts for UK industry.

It is the third year that the group has held the Design & Make Challenge and earlier competitions have resulted in 352 hours of hands-on manufacturing experience for young people, seven MAN company visits completed by schools and over £25,000 of press coverage to raise the profile of the sector.

More details on MAN can be found at or follow MAN Group on LinkedIn.

Mon 18 Jul 2022, 15:17 | Tags: HVM Catapult WMG Academy Partnerships

WMG Academy named top sixth form in Coventry

Top sixth form in CoventryWMG Academy Coventry has been ranked as the top sixth form in Coventry, according to official school performance tables published this week.

The academy's sixth form is number one out of 26 in the city, ahead of all state-funded and independent schools.

WMG Academy Coventry boasts the only sixth form in the city to be classed as 'well above average' in the Government's main sixth form measurement, Progress Score.

It is also the top non-fee paying sixth form for percentage of students achieving at least AAB at

WMG Academy Coventry Principal Mr Matt Brady said: "We are thrilled to be recognised as number one in Coventry. It is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff and students."

WMG Academy Coventry achieved a 100% pass rate at A-level and BTEC in 2018.

The academy in Mitchell Avenue opened in 2014 and is now the number one University Technical College in the UK for students moving on to higher and degree apprenticeships, with companies paying students' university tuition fees and a salary.

It is rated 'Good' by Ofsted across all categories and is partnered with the University of Warwick and businesses including Aston Martin, Bosch, National Grid, Severn Trent, Rolls-Royce, Meggitt, WMG and Jaguar Land Rover.

The closing date for sixth form applications for September 2019 entry is 31st January. Apply here



For more information email or call Calista Lewis on 024 7642 6896.

Notes to editors


WMG Academies offer world class education for students aged 14-19 who want to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and maths. With the support of sponsoring companies, this approach prepares them for the challenges of the 21st century in companies, further education or at university.

Employer Partners for WMG Academy for Young Engineers include:

Aston Martin, Automotive Insulations, Bosch, Cummins, Dassault Systemes, DCS Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Meggitt, National Grid, Oleo, Prodrive, Ricardo, Sarginsons, Savery Hydraulics, SCC, Squires Gears, Sure Track, Tata Motors, University of Warwick , Vinci Energies, WMG.

WMG Academy for Young Engineers is currently accepting applications for students to start in September 2019.

Fri 25 Jan 2019, 14:13 | Tags: WMG Academy Education

Students zoom in to win Fastest Car Award in World Finals

Students zoom to World FinalsFour Coventry teenagers are celebrating after the car they designed was named the fastest in a worldwide competition.

Abi Hirons, Callum Kennedy, Eddie Hodierne and Elias Khimasia – known collectively as Academy Racing - returned to a winners’ welcome following their success at the F1 in Schools World Championships in Malaysia this week.

The team, all students at WMG Academy in Mitchell Avenue, Coventry, had spent a year designing, building, testing and racing their miniature Formula One car, Titan 22.

Some 26,000 schools took part in the F1 in Schools competition, which challenged students to create a CO2 powered car to travel 20 metres as fast as possible. Titan 22 reached the finish line in just 1.084 seconds.

Team member Eddie Hodierne, 17, said: “It was an amazing feeling to know we had designed the fastest car award in the world finals.

“It was an immense amount of pressure to put something so successful together but we worked hard and I am very proud of the team.

“It was overwhelming to see everyone in the school come turn out to welcome us on our return.”

Thu 12 Oct 2017, 13:04 | Tags: WMG Academy Education

WMG Academy Celebrates 100% Engineering and 99% A-level Pass Rate

Academy StudentsStudents at WMG Academy Coventry are today celebrating a 100% pass rate in BTEC engineering and 99% across all A-levels.

The academy also saw 85% of engineering students awarded three Distinctions or higher in BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering, with over a third (35%) gaining the highest possible grade of three Distinction Stars.

Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:42 | Tags: WMG Academy Education

WMG Academy celebrates 'Good' Ofsted rating

WMG Academy students

Students and staff at a Coventry academy are celebrating after receiving a ‘good’ rating in their first ever Ofsted report.

WMG Academy for Young Engineers was praised for its business ethos, teaching standards and student behaviour, as well as its safeguarding and leadership.

The report, released this week, revealed: “Pupils are well prepared for their next stages in education and for life in modern Britain.

“Pupils are confident and articulate; they work well independently and in groups. Many are excited by their studies because they understand the relationship between their lessons and their future careers.”

Fri 28 Apr 2017, 10:45 | Tags: WMG Academy Education

Coventry’s Teen Race Team Crowned UK Champions

WMG Academy winnersFour talented teenagers from a Coventry academy have taken the chequered flag after being crowned national champions in a Formula One competition.

Elias Khimasia (15), Eddie Hodierne (17), Abi Hirons (16) and Callum Kennedy (16) – otherwise known as Academy Racing - won the UK championships of the annual F1 in Schools competition at Silverstone.

The four team members, who are all students at WMG Academy for Young Engineers, are now heading to the world championships in Malaysia to compete against teams from 44 countries.

Callum said: “The competition was amazing - a real life changing experience. We have never worked so hard in our lives but it all came good in the end.”

Tue 04 Apr 2017, 11:06 | Tags: WMG Academy STEM Education

Multi-prize winning academy race team reach national finals

Pupils from the WMG Academy for Young Engineers, CoventryLast week the WMG Academy for Young Engineers race team, Academy Racing, won 3 awards at the regional F1 in schools competition finals and motored their way into the national finals hosted by Silverstone Circuit, the home of British motor racing.

The regional finals took place at the Shireland Collegiate Academy in Smethwick. Academy racing, headed up by Eddie Hodierne (17) won awards for best research and development, best team identity and were awarded second place overall.

Tue 07 Feb 2017, 11:09 | Tags: WMG Academy Education

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya appointed as new trustee at Baker Dearing Educational Trust

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya with Lord BakerProfessor Lord Bhattacharyya has been appointed a trustee on the board of the Baker Dearing Education Trust.

Lord Baker and Lord Dearing created the Baker Dearing Educational Trust in 2007 to develop and promote University Technical Colleges (UTCs).

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has already played an integral role in the development of two University Technical Colleges – the WMG Academies for Young Engineers in Coventry and Solihull. The two state of the art learning campuses cater for students from Coventry, Warwickshire, Solihull, and Birmingham.

Starting his career as a graduate apprentice at Lucas Industries, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya became Britain's first ever Professor of Manufacturing. Throughout his career he has been a passionate advocate for engineering innovation and the revival of British industry.

Mon 06 Feb 2017, 15:31 | Tags: WMG Academy Lord Bhattacharyya

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