Roxanne Pollard, a Mechanical Design Engineer at Gloucestershire based engineering company, Renishaw, has been awarded the TATA prize, which is given to the highest achieving part time student at the University of Wales. Pollard, a former Renishaw apprentice, achieved a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Roxanne studied her A Levels at The Link Sixth Form, near Yate, Bristol, where she discovered her passion for product design. She joined Renishaw in 2010 as a Technical Apprentice in Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, completing an HNC and an HND before starting her degree.
Roxanne went on to complete a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of South Wales while working at Renishaw four days a week. Throughout her studies, she helped develop new metal additive manufacturing (AM) machines to streamline the AM process and improve end results.
“When I was at school, I thought university was the way forward,” explained Pollard. “Before starting at Renishaw, I completed my A Levels and even had a place at university.
“I decided that an apprenticeship would suit me better than university, as I wanted to get stuck-in and gain practical experience,” she continued. “During my time at Renishaw, not only have I completed a full honours degree, I’ve also worked on cutting-edge projects. This has built my confidence and improved my practical skills.”
“There is a misconception that apprenticeships are simply an alternative to university,” explained Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw. “However, around 70 per cent of Renishaw’s apprentices go on to achieve full honours degrees, developing their academic abilities, at the same time as gaining practical hands-on experience.”
Pollard has already won several awards for her A Level project, an innovative bicycle safety helmet. The design won her first place in the Chipping Sodbury Rotary Club Competition and first place in the Manufacturing Technologies Association’s TDI Challenge.
She then entered the design into the Big Bang competition where she was a finalist for the South West and was awarded the Scientific Instrument Makers Young Engineer award. Pollard then represented the United Kingdom in Los Angeles, US at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
The budding engineer has since become a freeman of the London Livery with the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers and was awarded Apprentice of the Year at the Gloucestershire Women in Business Awards in 2014.
Pollard joins a group of high-achieving and award-winning apprentices at Renishaw, including Tom Silvey and Lucy Ackland. Silvey received the Frederic Barnes Waldron award from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and graduated with a first-class honours degree in 2016. Ackland was named as one of The Daily Telegraph’s top 50 female engineers in 2017. She was also recognised in 2014 when she won the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) prize at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Young Woman Engineer Awards.
For more information on Renishaw’s apprenticeships visit http://www.renishaw.com/en/apprenticeships–6876.
Renishaw is one of the world’s leading engineering and scientific technology companies, with expertise in precision measurement and healthcare. The company supplies products and services used in applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery. It is also a world leader in the field of additive manufacturing (also referred to as 3D printing), where it is the only UK business that designs and makes industrial machines which ‘print’ parts from metal powder.
The Renishaw Group currently has more than 70 offices in 35 countries, with over 4,000 employees, of which 2,800 people are employed within the UK. The majority of the company’s R&D and manufacturing is carried out in the UK and for the year ended June 2017 Renishaw achieved sales of £536.8 million of which 95% was due to exports. The company’s largest markets are China, USA, Germany and Japan.
The Company’s success has been recognised with numerous international awards, including eighteen Queen’s Awards recognising achievements in technology, export and innovation.