Andrew Williams from PerkinElmer: work-based learning with MADE Cymru

Andrew Williams is a Senior Manufacturing Engineer at PerkinElmer, a global corporation focused in the business areas of diagnostics, life science research, food, environmental and industrial testing. Based in Wales, Andrew has recently signed up for some of the modules offered by MADE Cymru. He’s already completed ‘Introduction to Industry 4.0’ and is also studying ‘Introduction to Innovation Management’ and ‘Management of New Product Development’. As well as standalone modules, they can be used as credits towards an MSc in Innovation Management. All accredited by University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

We caught up with Andrew to find out about the course and the positive impact it has had on his work.

So Andrew, how did you originally find out about MADE Cymru?

I found out about MADE Cymru through Graham Howe, being recommended through our HR manager Grant Jones and Operations Director Mark Lambert.

What made you decide to sign up for the course?

On looking through the different modules on the MSc course, I thought “I’m sure I do that”  and “I think I could carry out work projects to satisfy the different module criteria on that”.

I believed this would be a win-win opportunity, a win for our company and a win for me – further educating in 21st Century qualifications, and it is!

How are/were your modules taught and what was your time commitment?

My Modules are taught on Friday afternoons, usually 1-5pm. These are Live TEAMS tutorials and I always make time to attend. There will be more time to apply to the courses through the week for reading, task assignments etc.

How do you cope with working and studying?

I feel I am coping very well through working, studying and enjoying family life too. Because a lot of the modules are work based, I not only draw on experiences from my industrial past, but also use new ideas in the work place. This makes for greater job satisfaction too. I’m really enjoying learning new ideas and methods and bringing them into fruition in my workplace

What in particular do you find valuable in the modules?

Introduction to Industry 4.0 – Looking at new technologies, such as 3D printing, Augmented Reality, Robot Process Automation and more. Exciting stuff!

Innovation Management – Looking at Innovation and the whole process around it. I used to think of it as just a word, now I see it as high value to a company that needs to be managed – whether a Product, A Process, A Service – Radical or Incremental and so on.

Are you learning any new skills?
I believe I have already. From attending the modules, the MADE program has taught me to look at the whole process of manufacturing, such as the Circular Economy, for example, which is the industrial mindset we need to start following.

How do you think you will apply what you have learnt to your work? Have you already?

In many ways, just managing the Innovation on 3D printing visors for our staff, community and NHS for Covid 19. Integrating Augmented Reality & Robot Process Automation into the latest product I am Manufacturing Engineering Project Manager for.

Coronavirus has obviously impacted on your personal and work life, how do you think programmes such as MADE can improve Wales’ future economic prospects?
As well as the ways I mentioned above, the MADE program will teach candidates how to use technology for better remote communication, such as Home Working integration with the Workplace through using TEAMs etc… Accessing databases through VPNs etc… 

Thank you Andrew – we look forward to catching up with you again soon.

For a LIMITED time only, MADE Cymru is offering fully funded (free) places*. Please email [email protected] for more details.

MADE Cymru is a suite of three programmes designed to navigate organisations through Industry 4.0 via collaborative research & development and upskilling. Part/Fully Funded by the European Social Fund/European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

 *Subject to eligibility