Salford is now officially part of the Maker Movement.  It’s exciting times!   The first maker space at Salford, the Engineering Showcase, will sit within the Newton Refurbishment, which should be completed mid-2017, and even though the spades haven’t gone in the ground yet, the kit is brought, unpacked and ready to get used.  Neil Currie, the Maker Space Director, showed us round.  It is so cool!  We’re talking 3D printers taller than me, 3D scanners, super microscopes and unbelievably accurate laser cutters.  It’s going to be an amazing facility for our students, our staff and our industry partners.  This is all about learning through making, being able to get your hands dirty and have a go, engaging with our expertise, utilising our amazing technical support and gaining new skills by actually getting out there and doing.  And you know what?  It’ll be for everyone, whether you’re a podiatrist, a lawyer, an administrator.  If you want to learn through making, you can.  Right here.   Speak to Neil ( ) about Maker Mondays, they’re going to be amazing.

As well as the development of the Maker Space, over in Newton Building, in the Structures Lab, they’ve gone and got themselves an actual working jet engine!  We had a little demonstration on our tour round.  I was embarrassingly excited about this, and obviously first to volunteer to press the button to turn it on.  We all donned some lovely green ear defenders, I performed my pressing a big green button job perfectly, and then it was a big show of loud noise and flames.  It got me quite excited about going on holiday next month, but for an aeronautical engineering student, being able to estimate, test, take readings, apply learnt knowledge, with an actual jet engine, that’s an amazing facility.  That’s a reason to come to University, to come to Salford!  Have I convinced you yet that this is a great place to be right now?

No?  Well then how about a bit of speed dating?

Now I’m not one for speed dating really, the thought of it terrifies me.  But when we got an e-mail from Simon Chadwick, the Development Lead for the Sports ICZ, inviting us to his session, Jen and I went along and you know, it was brilliant!  The point was that like-minded people who either professionally, or personally had a passion for sport got together to talk, face to face, build potential new partnerships, share ideas and just find out what other people are doing.  Talking to Mike Taylor from the Enterprise team about yoga led to me being invited to a group working in partnership with Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue and Greater Manchester Police to review and improve all three of our organisations’ approach to Health and Well Being, that’s potential positive change for all of us right there!  On a personal level, I was invited for a coffee by Helen Matthews in the School of Health Sciences to chat about nutrition for running, and to a martial arts class run by Parveen Tamadon-Nejad from Salford Business School, I’ll be taking them both up on those offers.   All of this in an hour! AMAZING!  There’ll be another similar event coming up which will include external organisations also.  We’ll advertise that closer to the time obviously, but just think about what you could get out of that hour, the expertise you’d have access to for sharing ideas.  If you’re passionate about sport come along, maybe you’ll get lucky too!