BM Tech Ltd

Students learn valuable lessons from growing technology firm. 

A group of engineering and business students from the University of Derby recently visited local technology company, BM Tech Ltd, to learn more about plastic recycling. But this was no ordinary study trip. It was vital research for a start-up company the students are creating, which will recycle plastic waste and transform it into sustainable ‘green’ products for sale.

Ben Morley, owner of BM Tech, shared his experience and insights with 12 student entrepreneurs, and gave them a tour of his facility. Olivia Ramsbottom, Senior Lecturer in Business and Management commented, “The visit was excellent in terms of giving the students experience of the plastic recycling business: its challenges and rewards. Ben gave them useful insights regarding costs, equipment requirements, outputs and meeting different customer needs. They are now much better equipped to face their business planning task.”

One of the students who attended, Rachel Walker, said “The visit to BM Tech really brought it all to life. Planning a business on paper is one thing, but seeing how a similar business operates in reality is quite another. The knowledge Ben shared with us was invaluable and I’m sure it will really help us with our studies and with our business start-up.”

This initiative is just one example of how the University of Derby challenges its students to develop employability skills as well as subject knowledge. Others include degrees accredited by professional bodies, work experience, volunteering, placements and internships, as well as projects set by companies. All of this ‘real world learning’ means that students leave Derby with promising career prospects – 96% of their graduates are in work or further study within six months of finishing their course (HESA 2018).

The company visit was the latest development in a blossoming partnership between the University and BM Tech. The firm received an Invest to Grow grant from the University, which enabled it to purchase and install a melt filtration and pelletising plant (MF&P plant). This converts recycled uPVC flake into a high-quality uPVC pellet, which can then be used to make new products. As a way of ‘giving back’ to the University, BM Tech agreed to host the students for an afternoon.  

“This has been a great opportunity for us to collaborate more closely with the University of Derby”, said Ben from BM Tech. “To see the students put their academic learning and knowledge to the test in a real world environment has been a pleasure. I hope that by sharing the experiences and obstacles that we had to meet and overcome in establishing and commercialising our products, the students will be better prepared for their ‘Plastic Fantastic’ project.”

Mark Wheddon, Head of Delivery for Invest to Grow at the University of Derby said:

“The Invest to Grow scheme has established a strong relationship with BM Tech Ltd and provided funding for the investment in the specialist equipment which enabled it to begin to develop its recycled plastic pellets. It’s been great to be able to facilitate this opportunity for our students to visit a business and to learn from the practical experiences BM Tech has been through. Invest to Grow has supported many different businesses across a range of sectors and we are keen to facilitate many more of these exchanges.”

Ben at BM Tech teaching the students
group of students listening outside
A student learning, looking at gravel


The University's business engagement team is keen to discuss any proposed projects and is available to contact on 0800 001 5500 or at


Read more about the students’ start-up

Find out more about grants available through the Invest to Grow scheme

BM Tech Limited is a vigorous company for process system design, manufacture and implementation. Specialising in the latest technology, BM Tech process systems are specific to the client and are therefore unique.