Hull students get a chance to work on medical prototype in project with Smith & Nephew

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 28 Mar 2018

Students at a Hull technology college have launched a project with major employer Smith and Nephew to learn how to maintain new technology.

The global medical technology firm is working with students from Ron Dearing UTC in Hull to train them to develop maintenance strategies for a new piece of equipment, the likes of which will be used in manufacturing facilities around the globe.

The company has set a project for students, linked to its new Unique Device Identification (UDI) programme, a process which helps the firm successfully label medical products.

A prototype of the equipment has been donated to the UTC by Smith and Nephew, and students are now tasked with putting a maintenance plan together to ensure the smooth running of operations.

The firm says it views its involvement in the development of student’s technical competencies as an investment for the future.

To set the project and answer any questions students may have, two senior representatives from Smith and Nephew attended the UTC last week.

David Stephenson, senior engineering projects manager, explained to student why the UDI process is so important.

Read more: Hull IT support firm to move offices as it looks to recruit new staff

He said: “Unique Device Identification is critical to Smith & Nephew. If we were to release a product to the market that wasn’t coded correctly it could affect public safety or lead to product recalls.

“It’s important we do UDI, we do it correctly, and we can continue to do it correctly, which is all about maintenance.

“This project that we’ve set students isn’t just an exercise, it’s based on a real-life situation and process we need to put in place within the business, so we’re hoping to get valuable input from them.”

The UDI technology students can use

Andy Leighton, engineering manager at Smith & Nephew said that development projects such as this do not just benefit students, but Smith and Nephew as well.

He said: “It’s really important that we help to produce the next generation of technical operators.

“Projects such as this enables us to make sure that the next generation come fully equipped with an understanding of what maintenance is, and why it’s important.

Read more: This Hull firm is set to expand as it celebrates 30 years in business

“We’re giving students a great opportunity here, but we’re also working on developing our future employees, so it is win-win on both sides.”

Year 12 students will work on this project throughout the year, and those that come up with the best solutions will be invited to the company’s offices to pitch their idea to the project leads and get a tour of the factory.

UTC student Matthew Hunt said: “I’m very excited to get the chance to work on this project; it’s a big thing. It’s so valuable to have industry leaders here. You don’t get that at other schools.”

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