Last week, over 150 computing and engineering students at Riverside College were given an insight into future industry technologies during a visit from Dr Gillian Murray and her team from The Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), based within Daresbury Science Park.
The VEC is the leading technology innovation centre for engineering development using virtual engineering technologies and expertise. The company work closely with large multinational organisations supporting research and development.
The team provided a talk about the latest technologies and allowed students to take part in interactive demos using the Oculus Rift virtual reality system. They shared with students their key aims to enhance capability and improve business performance and competitiveness through the evaluation, application and adoption of Virtual Engineering tools and techniques, and to support the development of skills and expertise throughout the Advanced Manufacturing supply chain.
Students were able to see how the skills they are now learning will be used in the workplace and have a go at using the most up to date technology that will become increasingly prevalent over the next few years. They looked at current uses in the aerospace, automotive and health industries and computing students were able to enter into the virtual worlds that their programming skills can create.
Students will also soon be visiting the site at Daresbury, where they will have further opportunities to experience and interact with the full virtual environment.
HND Computing and Systems Development student Adam Withington commented “I hadn’t realised that virtual reality had such a wide application in industry, which opens up many exciting options for our future.”
Ryan Turner, Programme Area Leader for IT, said “These types of experiences illustrate to students the skill mix that will be required by the employers of the future and it fits in perfectly with our vision for the planned new advanced technology STEM centre.”