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Award-winning engineer and astrophysicist appointed to develop next generation of intrapreneurial graduate engineers

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The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has appointed Jessica Leigh-Jones, MBE, co-founder and Chief Executive of the CareerTech company iungo, as a Visiting Professor supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering to develop the next generation of intrapreneurial graduates to drive innovation in manufacturing in Wales.

Intrapreneurs perform the role of entrepreneur but from within an organisation. They possess the entrepreneurial skills to identify new opportunities, develop new ideas, commercialise new products, and occupy a strategic role within an organisation. Intrapreneurs are supported by the resources of their organisation to deliver ambitious projects that have the potential to enhance the company’s future.

Through the Enterprising Engineers Programme, which will be delivered by the University’s Wales Institute of Science and Art from January, Jessica will work with the School of Engineering to ensure Engineering apprentices and students have the knowledge, entrepreneurial skills and expertise needed in a Post Covid-19 world.

Aligning to the Welsh Government’s Manufacturing Future for Wales: a Framework for Action, Enterprising Engineers will focus on developing engineering students and apprentices to become intrapreneurs within the industry whilst strengthening university-industry collaboration for innovation. Enterprising Engineers forms part of a long-term strategy for developing sustainable competitive advantage within the Welsh manufacturing industry.

Jessica’s role will also involve collaboration with industry partners and the University’s MADE Cymru project, which supports organisations to adapt to the challenges of Industry 4.0, to address industry challenges.

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Jessica will deliver an inaugural online public lecture entitled ‘Enterprising Engineers: Developing the next generation of intrapreneurial manufacturers for South Wales’ to launch the programme on December 2.

UWTSD’s Richard Morgan said: “The Enterprising Engineers Programme will present our learners with unique opportunities to address exciting, live, real-world challenges with the support of industry experts. Innovation, creativity and systems thinking will play a key role in the UK fully realising the potential afforded by recent advancements in mechanical, electrical and digital technologies. This initiative will promote, collaborative, cross-disciplinary problem solving which aligns with UWTSD’s wider ethos and builds on our track-record for developing enterprising graduates.”

Jessica said: “I am thrilled to be working with UWTSD on this powerful initiative to equip graduate engineers will the skills required to undertake intrapreneurial roles within the manufacturing industry. Creativity and innovation are critical to the sustainability of the manufacturing sector in Wales and I look forward to working with the university and our industry partners, with the support of the Royal Academy of Engineering, to foster collaborative ecosystems and deliver a pipeline of enterprising engineers.”

Barry Liles, OBE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Skills and Lifelong Learning said: “We are so pleased to have the support of the Royal Academy of Engineering in developing this initiative and to have secured Jessica as a Visiting Professor. This initiative builds upon our ethos of developing highly skilled, resilient individuals ready to take on the challenges of rewarding careers in the manufacturing sector, a sector key to the economy of Wales.”


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Port Talbot industrial door manufacturer celebrates year of continued growth

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Rhino Doors, the UK’s leading manufacturer of high-performance engineered doors, has seen significant growth in 2021, amid the continued expansion of its services to clients across transport, defence and critical national infrastructure.

Established in 1983, the company designs bespoke, industrial doors for the protection of national assets, and has supplied its products to the likes of Transport for London and the Ministry of Defence.

This year saw Rhino establish its parent company, Rhino Engineering Group, and two specialist subsidiaries: Rhino HySafe, which produces explosion relief products for the global hydrogen market, and Rhino Site Systems, its bespoke after-sales and installation wing.

The creation of these new trading entities comes after a string of major contract wins for the company, including the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project and the installation of bespoke doors in the cross passages of Moorgate Station.

These recent successes for Rhino Doors, which has manufacturing bases in both Burscough in Lancashire and Port Talbot in South Wales, are a positive sign for both the local economies and the workforce.

One of Rhino Doors’ manufacturing facilities

“We’re thrilled with all Rhino has achieved so far in 2021,” said Stuart Lawrence, Managing Director of Rhino Engineering Group.

“From our TfL contracts and our work with a major North American rail tunnel, to a string of new hires and promotions due to our growth, we’re scaling up and strengthening our position as a trusted name within the engineering sector.

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“Alongside this, we’re committed to investing in people and our growth has allowed us to upskill our workforce to ensure we deliver the very best for all our clients.

“As part of the Made in Britain community, and with new ISO accreditations under our belts, we are proud to be in such a strong position, representing the benchmark in British design and manufacturing excellence.

“We want this growth to positively impact on the UK manufacturing sector as a whole, but crucially, we want to continue to benefit our local economies, creating jobs and opportunities for working people in North West England and South Wales.”

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How Welsh curries are improving the lives of children and families in India

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Swansea diners eating at two of the city’s most popular Indian restaurants are unknowingly helping to improve the health and lives of children and families thousands of miles away.

Brothers Jas and Suki Kullar, who own Rasoi Indian Kitchen in Pontlliw and Rasoi Waterfront in SA1, have made it their mission to help people in Dera Baba Nanak in the impoverished district of Gurdaspur in Punjab through their charity, Sikhi Sewa Missions UK. They have committed 20 per cent of their annual profits to causes in their homeland.

Swansea diners are funding a hospital in the region which was built and is sustained by the Sikhi Sewa Mission UK, providing free medical health care for people in Dera Baba Nanak including regular eye screening camps in more remote areas, where locals can attend and receive treatment. They have also provided funding for school fees and uniforms for hundreds of children to access education as well as funding coaching lessons for young people to learn to sew, so they can earn extra income.

This year, the brothers have organised the installation of a water-well for locals and have funded food supplies for 40 families every month.

In addition to the Sikhi Sewa Mission the restaurant also supports charities closer to home such as the Swansea Young Single Homeless Project by inviting service users to the restaurant for meals and catering at their facility.

Jas Kullar said: “It’s really important to us at Rasoi to play some part in improving the lives of people back in Dera Baba Nanak and here in Wales.

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“When we visit Punjab to visit family, we see for ourselves how difficult it is for many people so it means so much to us as a family that we can help, as well as helping causes here in Wales. It gives us huge satisfaction to know that we’re giving back in some way. But we couldn’t help as many people as we do, without the help of our loyal customers. We cannot thank them enough’

He continues: “We have worked very hard to offer something different to the usual curry offering in Swansea and we hope that our customers will have an extra warm feeling knowing that they are helping people both at home and thousands of miles away when they dine with us.”

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Market management job is dream role for Darren

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The man just appointed to manage Swansea Market says it is his dream role.

Swansea-raised Darren Cox is eager to make the iconic venue as welcoming and engaging as possible to traders, neighbours and customers.

He became market supervisor after a 27-year career in private sector businesses.

He now heads a market that, in non-pandemic times, attracts more than four million shoppers a year.

Managed by Swansea Council, it is the permanent home to more than 100 businesses, hosts casual traders and puts on regular events.

Darren said: “The market is so close to my heart that I’m thrilled to get this role – it’s a dream come true.

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“Retail around the UK hasn’t had it easy for the past few years but I’m confident that the market can help traders – and the city – come back strongly as we work our way out of the pandemic.

Swansea Market gives shoppers something that online shopping can’t – the human touch – and I want to ensure that all who visit feel safe, secure and welcome.

“We have strong relationships with our neighbours such as the Quadrant and the fantastic new arena and we’ll help Swansea as it continues to develop in such a positive way; the progress made on regeneration through the pandemic has been remarkable.”

Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “I welcome Darren to this pivotal role – he’s passionate about Swansea, the city centre and the market.”

Darren was raised in Sketty, educated at Olchfa School and vividly remembers being taken around the market by his parents as a young boy.

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His first job – soon after graduating from University College Birmingham – was in Tenerife as a holiday rep. He then worked on the island for 25 years in roles such as commercial and operations management.

Before joining the market he was operations manager with the Swansea-based La Braseria group for two years.

Darren lives in Swansea with his partner Natasha and her daughter. He also has an adult son and daughter.

At the market, he replaces John Burns who retired as supervisor in the summer.

Last year the venue was named Britain’s best large indoor market by the National Association of British Market Authorities.

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Lead Image: Darren Cox, the new supervisor of Swansea Market. (Image: Swansea Council)

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