Cambridge Festival competition winners announced

At the recent Institute for Manufacturing open day at the Cambridge Festival, hundreds of visitors were treated to demonstrations of technology in practise.


IfM scientists demonstrated their latest research on drug delivery to the brain, and the Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring team shared some of their low-cost, low-risk digital solutions. Visitors were invited to make their own lava lamps (no power required), race balloons, and generate electricity from lemons and potatoes, and Professor Tim Minshall excited a packed lecture room with his talk "Your Life is Manufactured" which is a regular Cambridge Festival highlight.


We also welcomed back our local world-leading sound engineers who delighted visitors with a visual demonstration of sound waves using a bass speaker and cornflour, as well as helping them make their own pan pipes and "chicken cups". In the central common room, members from the Deparment of Architecture’s Centre for Natural Material Innovation exhibited their impressive laser-cut wooden room partitions.


The demonstrations from local companies included:

  • CMR Surgical (medical robots)
  • Xampla (replacing plastic films with natural biodegradable materials)
  • Porotech (ultra low-power micro LEDs)


A display focusing on sustainability and the developing world by members of the Centre for Global Equality cultivator included:

  • SustainEd (educating children about sustainability and clean energy)
  • Biobottle Voltaic (electricity from algae and recycled cans)
  • autohaem (automating blood smears)


Asked "What would you use THAT for?" visitors came up with a wide range of imaginative and colourful entries, inspired by the technology on display.


We are pleased to announce the following winners, who will receive a certificate and a technology-based prize:


  • James P. from Fulbourn Primary School, for his idea of using the Porotech display in future AI applications and space travel
  • Dr Jonathan Smith, Training Programme Director on the GP scheme in Leeds, for his idea of using the Porotech display to help educate junior doctors to consult with patients


We also awarded two prizes for the most colourful entries:


  • Qingchu Y. from St. Philip’s Church of England Primary School
  • Zoe S., also from St. Philip’s Church of England Primary School


We hope the winners enjoy their prizes! With many thanks to all the enthusiastic visitors and demonstrators who helped make this an exciting afternoon for us all.

Date published

24 March 2023

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