On Wednesday 13 February, researchers awarded funding via Connected Everything came together to present and discuss their experiences in a Shared Learning Workshop.
The Workshop had three sessions; presentations from the feasibility study teams outlining their projects’ outcomes or progress to date, presentations from the Early Career Researchers who have been on placements and a final session of reflection and feedback on personal experiences and the network’s impact.
The feasibility study teams offered a view of Connected Everything funding having afforded them the opportunity to conduct a highly ambitious and risky project. They had developed new lines of research, as they explored new territory, with new people, while laying foundations for larger projects to pursue.
“The funding has allowed me to work across disciplines in a well-scoped concentrated work, which turns out to be very much more effective in opening up new avenues of research including working with qualitative researchers, working with rigorous theoreticians and linking up with others through the network.” (Feasibility Study team member)
The Early Career Researchers on Placements said the experience had exposed them to the extent of the challenges facing research in Digital Manufacturing, not least the disjuncture between research and real world manufacturing settings and the silos of research existing across domains and institutions. They felt they had benefited by gaining a better understanding of manufacturing settings, accessing new data, forging new connections both in industry and with other researchers, having time to write for publication and that all this has informed their career aspirations.
The breadth of the research funded by Connected Everything was striking. The umbrella heading ‘Industrial Systems in the Digital Age’ has drawn in study topics ranging from fashion design to brewing beer, from capturing craft expertise to talking with robots, from Additive Manufacturing process control to whole factory automation, from the nanoscale internal composition of built parts to large-scale building of houses with cob. The event was testament to the network’s contribution, forging a community of researchers keen to collaborate on their shared interest in how digitisation can improve manufacturing processes.