Having visited Nottingham University over five years ago, it was great to see the new Advanced Manufacturing Centre. It is easy to see with such amazing facilities why UK Universities are World Renowned. 

Meeting the students, it was inspiring to see that the next generation of talent for the AM industry is coming through. The team leading the AM research and academic provision have a clear vision for where Nottingham University is going and I believe they will be a key player in the AM ecosystem for the UK.

~ Nick Pearce, Founder & Director, Alexander Daniels Global

Last month, team ADG paid a visit to University of Nottingham’s Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM), located at their Advanced Manufacturing building in Nottingham, UK.

Invited to deliver a presentation to some of the Additive Manufacturing students (from Masters to PhD Level) on the AM Talent and Job landscape, and what the ‘Workers of the Future’ look like, we were fortunate enough to see the university’s facilities, printers and learn about some of the research being done there.

The Facilities

Greeted by Dr Lyudmila Turyanska, Additive Manufacturing Masters Program Director at UoN, we were taken on a short tour of the university’s facilities, which we soon discovered had an impressive set up in this purpose-built lab.

Boasting multiple machines from Renishaw, EOS, Aconity 3D, PiXDRO and most recently the addition of a BMF nanoArch 130, these facilities cater to research ranging from ‘Anisotropic electrical conductivity during inkjet printing of metal nanoparticles‘ to ‘Voxel-based manufacturing via multi-material AM techniques‘, and further into applications of bioprinting and also 3D printing with glass!

Future additive manufacturing talent

The faculty consists of 9 academics working with a total of 120 undergraduate students and further masters and PhD students. With students coming from a range of backgrounds (ranging from mechanical engineering, AM, pharmaceutical sciences, materials sciences and dentistry), the course aims to build up the knowledge of applications of additive and gives students the opportunity to test the limits with what they can successfully achieve through the technology.

Following the morning’s tours, we had the chance to talk about ‘The Worker of the Future’ with students and dive into what the market is demanding from emerging Talent.

The Worker of the Future

Based on results produced in our annual AM Salary Survey Report, we were able to provide a comprehensive overview on the job and talent market and provide insight into what Employers are looking for in Talent.

In addition, with almost a decade’s worth of experience working with AM Talent, we’ve been able to identify what will make the Worker of the Future, and we’ve surmised that this comes down to a combination of two frameworks:

T- Profiles

This profile represents a person that is both a ‘Generalist’ and an ‘Expert’. This can be explained as a person who has gained an over-arching understanding of an industry or a technology – knowing how all the parts of the ecosystem work together, and is capable in applying themselves to various aspects of said eco-system.

In the case of Additive Manufacturing, you can imagine this as a person who has a combination of the following:

  • Has had experience in / or worked with metals and polymers
  • Has experience using different printing processes
  • Has worked in different markets / or worked on projects for various vertical markets
  • Has worked in different types of businesses in the AM eco-system (Software / OEM)

and then decided to specialize in:

  • Software
  • Applications
  • Materials
  • R&D
    or
  • Service
This way the individual is better able to understand how their role fits into the wider AM ecosystem and will be better equipped to push the limits of what they can achieve in their role.

A mixture of soft and hard skills

Secondly, once you have an established T-Profile, it’s important to then develop your range of skills.

In this case, we refer to hard skills as ‘Technical Skills’ and soft skills as ‘Interpersonal Skills’ – referring to how we relate to others in the workplace and how we approach problems.

We’ve created a profile of the ‘Worker of Tomorrow’ who encompasses all of these characteristics, covering the following:

  • Social & Emotional Skills
  • Creativity
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking for Decision Making
  • Active Learner
  • T-Shaped Skill Set

You can read more about this here.

The Future is Bright

With everything we saw at UoN, we can confidently say that the future is exciting. The additive manufacturing industry still has a long way to come, but comfort can be taken from the work that universities and educational institutions are doing to raise up the next generation of AM talent.

Are you on the lookout for your next 3D printing opportunity? You can check out our career portal for all of the latest opportunities.

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