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Xaar 3D supports engineering’s leaders of tomorrow

Xaar 3D, a leading developer of 3D printing solutions based on High Speed Sintering technologies, is supporting the Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy (SELA) programme for engineering students at the University of Sheffield, as recently shown by its involvement in the programme’s Bootcamp for 2018’s new recruits held in September.

Neil Hopkinson, Director of Technology at Xaar 3D, founded the SELA programme whilst in his previous role as Professor of Engineering at The University of Sheffield. The SELA programme aims to address the UK leadership gap in Engineering by supplementing the outstanding technical knowledge of the University’s Faculty of Engineering graduates with the skills, confidence and aptitude to take the lead in their chosen fields.

Industry involvement is central to the SELA programme, with partners such as Xaar 3D providing motivational speakers and summer work placements, delivering skills training, and offering a mentor to the SELA members – including at the recent bootcamp for inducting this year’s new recruits.

“SELA is delighted to have the support of industry partners and professionals who volunteer their time to mentor the students as they begin their leadership journey within the programme,” comments Dr Gary Wood, Head of SELA. “We are immensely grateful for their help and could not offer such an engaging learning experience for the students without their input.

“This year, we were pleased to welcome back as a mentor our founding director, Professor Neil Hopkinson, who was able to contextualise students’ learning by drawing on his experiences in academia and industry, helping them identify and reflect on their strengths and areas for development as they enter the programme.”

The SELA Bootcamp weekend is designed to welcome the year’s new students and enable them to get to know each other before they begin the two-year programme. This year’s 38 participants were selected from over 1200 eligible students through a competitive process designed to uncover each candidate’s potential.

Neil Hopkinson says: “I am delighted and impressed to see the growth of SELA as it matures into a well-established community populated by the highest calibre of engineering talent. Having originally formed the idea for SELA back in early 2013, I take great personal satisfaction is seeing the vision become a reality. Huge credit goes to all members of SELA community for making this happen. The futures of both SELA and its members are extremely exciting and inspiring.”