Wrekin invites University of Derby students to design the future of civil engineering

20 October 2016

Product Design students at the University of Derby are looking at the future of manhole covers, gully grates and geosynthetics thanks to a partnership with Wrekin, manufacturer of intelligent products for civil engineering.

Wrekin is sponsoring the Design Management module for students taking the BA in Product Design and the BSc in Product Design Engineering. Throughout the autumn, students will work in teams to carry out market research and create conceptual designs on a series of challenges set by the Lichfield-based manufacturer.

“This is an exciting time for the civil engineering sector, with huge infrastructure projects in the pipeline that will be built using a range of innovative new products. Now we’re asking students to help us by bringing fresh insights to product design to help us meet the challenges of the future,” says Simon Gibson, Technical Director at Wrekin Products.

The module ends with the teams submitting a report and presentation on their work. As well as contributing to the students’ final grades, Wrekin will also be judging the results and will reward a prize to the winning team.

Student doing an engineering design

Samantha Evans, Industrial Design Engineer at Wrekin was a graduate of the University of Derby and it was her idea to put Wrekin and the University together.

“I took the Design Management module, which was a brilliant chance to apply everything I learned in the classroom to a practical, real-world example.  It’s fantastic to be able to come back to help inspire today’s Product Design students by showing them some of the work that’s being done.”

For the University of Derby, partnerships with businesses like Wrekin are a vital part of its service to students. “We want to give students a flavour of the commercial world, which is why the teamwork aspect is so important,” explains Mike Veveris, Senior Lecturer in Product Design.

“It’s hugely valuable that Wrekin is setting challenges that reflect its ongoing work in product design, to help our students understand the challenges and opportunities they’ll face in their future careers.”