Institute for Manufacturing open day at the Cambridge Festival

Staff and students were delighted to welcome members of the public to the Cambridge Festival open day at the Institute for Manufacturing on Saturday 16 March. Guests came to enjoy the talks and activities on offer and left with new knowledge about the role of manufacturing in all our lives.


"An amazing experience"

Professor Tim Minshall’s talk on the diversity and omnipresence of manufacturing was as popular as ever. He used his expertise and enthusiasm to take the audience on the long journey of a toilet roll, from its raw material to the supermarket shelf. He drew upon the research conducted by various IfM research groups to demonstrate that the processes involved in making, moving, and using goods are much more complex and fascinating than what most of us usually realise.


"Inspiring! Tim's talk was interesting, fun, very well explained, great for adults and children," says Elena Bastianello, who visited the IfM for the first time. "Definitely not a typical academic presentation, he clearly didn't talk 'for himself' but for us to understand and enjoy. What an amazing experience! Please let me know when he will be up for another one, I will be there — and bring friends!"


Later in the afternoon, Assistant Professor Florian Urmetzer gave a well-attended talk on how to extract value from education, and members of the Centre for Digital Value brought together the group’s expertise in artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and digital twins to deliver a topical presentation on these technologies’ many applications in the manufacturing sector.



Collaboration and community

Lisa Barnett, Events Manager at IfM Engage, coordinated the large volunteer group, ensuring that activities ran smoothly all afternoon. Meeting rooms were transformed into laboratories with plenty of easy experiments for kids of all ages to enjoy, and the Shoestring Digital Manufacturing team demonstrated their affordable solutions that empower manufacturers to digitalise.


"Its such a brilliant day!" says Lisa. "Not only does it show the local community the breadth of work that goes on at the IfM, it creates collaboration and community spirit within the IfM as well. This year, we had nearly 50 volunteers, demonstrators and speakers working together on the day."



About the Cambridge Festival

The Cambridge Festival is an annual event that brings research from across the University of Cambridge to the public, through in-person, on-demand, and online events. This years festival runs from 13 to 28 March.

Date published

20 March 2024

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