The AMRC Training Centre is open as usual today (July 22). For our staff and students, please refer to previous email communications regarding access to the centre.   

Alex Wren, Graduate Project Engineer at University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Alex is on a rotational graduate scheme at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) where she spends time in four different departments. Day-to-day, she can be doing anything from designing medical devices, data analytics or programming digital twins.


On Monday, I worked on my digital twin project. Here we have a robot performing a routine and I need to create a digital twin of this to move exactly as the robot does. I’m also in charge of organising the marketing for this project, so I gathered the relevant information and designed some pictograms to give to marketing.


Today I wired up an end defector for yesterday’s robot. For this two buttons and two LEDs were soldered onto the media cable and then mounted onto the robot.

I also spent part of the day using Creo, which is comuter-aided design software, to model up a lifting mechanism for a client.


Today I spent some time researching autonomous lifting mechanisms and applying these to a client project as market research.

I also spent some time rigging up a digital twin of the previously mentioned robot. For this we import the robot model into Unity (a gaming engine) and then at rotational points. From here, we can then control the robot using a script.


This morning I had a meeting with my MPDS mentor to continue my journey towards professional accreditation with the IMechE. We discuss how the last quarter went and what competencies I’m missing and need to focus on in the next.

We had upper management visit our digitally twinned robot. Their job was to scrutinise our work and testing its robustness.


Today I am at training all day. As part of my contract I have to spend 20 per cent of my working time in training and this time it was Microsoft Project training. For this we are taught how to take advantage of this programme to increase our organizational skills and our time management. We allocate resources to projects (including ourselves!) and determine whether more or less budget is required.