National Engineering Day 2022


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) will be marking National Engineering Day on November 2 by sharing the stories of students, graduates and staff helping to improve lives through engineering and shape the world around us.

National Engineering Day in glossy purple letters.

National Engineering Day, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering aims to make the UK’s engineers and engineering more visible. Having a positive impact on the lives of others is a key career motivator for young people who want to see how engineers come up with solutions and learn more about the people that are benefiting from the innovation.

Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon FREng, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, has recently been named a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and will receive her award on November 8.

Professor Rodriguez-Falcon is one of the most innovative leaders of engineering education reform in the UK. Following five years working as a mechanical engineer in Mexico she began her academic career at the University of Sheffield and made a huge impact by focusing on enterprise, engineering education and diversity.

In the last five years she has shown outstanding leadership in establishing the first new higher education institution in the UK dedicated to engineering. Her inspiration has led to the adoption of a challenge-centred engineering pedagogy at NMITE (New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering) which recently welcomed its first students, despite the problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Last summer, she was appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

This year’s new Fellows reflect the Academy’s ongoing Fellowship Fit for the Future initiative announced in July 2020, to drive more nominations of outstanding engineers from underrepresented groups ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2026. This initiative sees the Academy striving for increased representation from women, disabled and LGBTQ+ engineers, those from minority ethnic backgrounds, non-traditional education pathways and emerging industries, and those who have achieved excellence at an earlier career stage than normal.

Professor Rodriguez-Falcon said: “Engineering is indeed a noble profession, a discipline that is needed more than ever to address, and prevent, the problems the world is facing.

“Progressive and transformational education is of paramount importance in this regard, and this tremendous personal honour not only confirms this view but gives me the impetus to continue seeking new ways of effectively educating and engaging new generations of diverse engineers.”


In April this year, a team of engineers from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) who developed a 3D-printed jet respiratory support system to help the NHS in the fight against Covid 19, received the 2022 Innovation, Science and Technology Award at the prestigious St Davids Awards in Cardiff.

UWTSD’s Luca Pagano, Graham Howe, Professor Peter Charlton, John Hughes, and Richard Morgan decided to focus their expertise on the development of a highly efficient 3D printed jet Venturi based respiratory support system to help the NHS during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.

The main objective was to develop a device that could be manufactured cheaply, rapidly and, at the same time, be user friendly whilst maintaining high performance levels. The device was optimised to be able to perform CPAP functionalities such as maintaining PEEP pressures in scenarios such as overwhelmed hospitals where oxygen supply was limited.

A Lead Bio–Medical Engineer in Nepal who had read the news about the Venturi asked if the team could share their 3D files for printing in his hospital in Pokhara where the COVID-19 situation was worsening by the minute.

The team responded rapidly setting a license agreement and subsequently transferred all the documentation/technical files and supported the Nepalese engineers with any queries. The device was successfully manufactured with low-end desktop 3d printers and adopted to save lives.

UWTSD Master’s graduate Nelly Fernandez is building on the expertise and skills from her studies at university which she gained through collaborative industry placements, to further her career in the field of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT).

Nelly has a master’s degree in non-destructive testing and evaluation from UWTSD and works as an application/product support engineer at ETher NDE in St Albans.

Nelly’s role as an Application/Product Support Engineer sees her work actively in design, as well as serving as liaison with customers to provide pre- and post-sale technical support. The company is also involved in different research projects to develop new technologies, where Nelly has responsibilities in probe design, testing, writing reports and engaging with the other partners.

Whilst studying for her MSc in NDT&E at UWTSD, Nelly had a placement with UWTSD’s industrial partner Oceaneering SIS in Swansea, where she undertook her experimental work as part of her master’s Dissertation research project.  The research, ‘Assessment and Validation of the Lyft System for the Detection and Sizing of CUI with Associated FE Modelling,’ involved the assessment and performance analysis of pulsed eddy current inspection and imaging of corrosion under insulation along with associated computer simulations.

Nelly said: “I was taught by some of the best professors in the field, especially Professor Peter Charlton who was my tutor, and had the experience of working under the supervision of Richard Granville at a company like Oceaneering, which gave me a great understanding of the industry as well provided me with the knowledge and confidence to thrive in it. 

“Knowing that one’s daily work is helping the world function, as well as improving and maintaining people’s quality of life, is definitely rewarding, and motivating. I want to encourage more people, especially women, to delve into the world of NDT and make an impact”.

UWTSD’s Smart Digital Accelerator is a team of industry expert advisers who work with manufacturers in Wales to help them identify the right technology to boost their bottom line.

The project is funded by Welsh Government, delivered by University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), and supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Cymru (AMRC Cymru). There is no financial cost to the participating business.

Richard Morgan, Head of Innovation & Engagement at UWTSD is part of the core project team.

Richard leads a number of Welsh Government funded collaborative partnership projects, working with organisations such as Aston Martin Lagonda, Marelli, Troy Manufacturing Group, Treharne Automotive Engineering and Reeco Automation. He is also an academic supervisor for a WEFO (Welsh European Funding Office) funded SMART Expertise project, which focuses on developing resilient automation interventions with the use of digital simulation and modelling techniques to optimise and validate proposed solutions, prior to physical implementation.

Jordan Jenkins (artificial intelligence, SMART automation)

Jordan is a UWTSD BEng Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and MSc Mechanical Engineering graduate, lecturer, and research associate within the Wales Institute of Science and Art at UWTSD

He is a member of a research team conducting an EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) funded feasibility study into low-cost AI-enabled augmented reality systems for SMEs.

During the summer of 2020, he completed a joint internship between the School of Engineering and Treharne Automotive. The internship involved conducting research to determine the feasibility of automating the disassembly and recycling processes for lithium-ion battery modules used in electric vehicles.

Ryan Cording (discrete event simulation)

Ryan Cording is a research associate at UWTSD. Appointed to a collaborative SMART Expertise project, which involves two partner companies, he has gained professional experience in optimising and validating manufacturing processes through the employment of digital simulation modelling. 

For the past two years, Ryan’s research activity has heavily focused on the evaluation of utilising process simulation tools within SMEs in Wales and how effective application could disrupt the industry. Consulting with several industrial partners, discrete event simulation models have been developed for the automotive, food and beverage and investment casting industries.

Abi Summerfield is an Engineering Lecturer at UWTSD. She said: “When people ask me what I do and I say I am an engineer, one of the common follow-up questions is, ‘how did you end up doing that?’. Like many women I know in engineering, there is often a family connection to the profession. My dad, although not an engineer, was a semi-professional rally driver through the eighties, and so motorsport was an inescapable part of my childhood.

“Then one day my father asked me to contact UWTSD and request a prospectus.  When it arrived, he showed me that they were offering a course in Motorsport Engineering. I realised that this was something for me. I haven’t always been confident in maths but had a great female teacher who inspired me to do well.

“The Automotive & Motorsport Engineering at UWTSD was everything you would want it to be and more, and although challenging, if you put the time in, it was achievable. Following graduation, I worked for race and rally teams then began teaching on the course I had graduated from.

“I now get to meet young people from all types of backgrounds and facilitate them in achieving their dreams of working in engineering. I still occasionally get to go back and work at race meetings, particularly endurance racing which I love.  The challenge of getting a team to work together and get a car to the end of a race gives you the most amazing sense of achievement! We always encourage our students to join the active race teams we have at UWTSD. If you are excited about what you are studying, it’s easier to be successful.” 

Holly Yeomans graduated in 2015 from the BSc in Motorsport Engineering programme. During her time at UWTSD, she was a student ambassador at a number of events run by the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) to gain further experience and knowledge of the industry. After graduation, Holly worked for the Sinclair group in Swansea before moving onto McLaren Automotive in 2018 as a Project Engineer. Holly then progressed to the position of Motorsport Sales Specialist before starting her current role in May 2021 as a Senior Project Engineer in the Propulsion section at McLaren Automotive.

Holly said her time at UWTSD gave her an insight into what she could achieve within the motorsport industry and the skills and knowledge to achieve it.

“I remember being sat in a lecture hall at UWTSD listening to someone from McLaren give a presentation, thinking I’d love to do that and imagine that feeling of coming back to your own university and presenting to future students on what you do and how you do it.

“Ask yourself what you can do to get to that position - it’s a question of changing your thinking to back yourself to achieve. Take every opportunity you can as it will benefit you in the future. Everything you learn about the motorsport industry will be beneficial to your career.”

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

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