Mark Preston at Heraeus Conamic
Heraeus Conamic is a global manufacturer of quartz for the semiconductor industry, fibre optics and mirrors for lasers. They have a range of processes related to the destination product.
During the one-week placement I worked with engineers from a variety of disciplines, including mechanical, electronic, chemical and process. I had experience of industrial applications in a range of areas including:
- Health and safety
- Mapping (the correspondence between the layout of the controls and their required action)
- Materials selection and refinement
- One off, batch and continuous scales of production
- Standard operating procedures and communication with process operators
- Quality control and inspection
- Statistical process control
- Lean manufacturing
Several of the topics above are included in the GCSE Design and Engineering syllabus and all of them at A Level. My experience of studying these manufacturing protocols within a real engineering environment developed further my understanding as well as my teaching of the subject. Of particular interest was the lead lag between modifying the ingredients as well as the operating conditions at the beginning of the process and inspecting the results in the final product.
As well as the D&T Association’s Teachers in Residence opportunity, Heraeus Conamic provide a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador who supports local schools. There are opportunities at Heraeus Conamic for experience of large scale, continuous manufacturing as well as working with a multi-disciplinary engineering team. Everyone made me most welcome and the placement was a worthwhile, enjoyable and rewarding opportunity. Heraeus Conamic made a worthwhile contribution to the Teachers in Residence programme.
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