My Leadership Exchange: Sue Slade

I had a fabulous day when I did my leadership Exchange, it was really informative and great fun, I learnt a lot and feel even more proud of the University and what is does and can do. Plus I made a screwdriver!

I was partnered with Michael, the Workshop Manager in Engineering and Informatics. I had no idea what my day would entail so I went prepared in my jeans and trainers and to make sure my hair didn’t get caught in anything Steve Wiggins our Head of Health, Safety & Wellbeing plaited it for me!

When I arrived Michael suggested he show me around as I had never been there before and was interested to see what goes on. We joined a group of students who were forging the blade for a screwdriver. Michael asked if I would like to have a go and I jumped at the chance. I joined the students heating up the rods and shaping them to a template provided. This took several goes and once we had the right shape we went into another room to finish and file the blade.

The next step was to quench and temper the blade which involves heating the blade to a temperature that turns the metal purple-blue, placing it in oil and then in water to cool down.

Once the blade is cool it’s time to make the handle. This is done by pouring in resin to a mould with the blade and leaving to set for 48 hours. All of us had a great time choosing the colour of resin. There were several colours to choose from and lots of glitter. I chose pink colour and pink and silver glitter.

After this Michael showed me around the rest of the workshop. There was lots going on and I saw a student testing the strength of concrete when compressed, visited the sound proof room, the workshop where they test brakes, discs and pads supplier by Jaguar and Bentley and the garage where students work on the Fiesta given by Ford and some kit cars.

All in all it was a great day and the leadership I saw in action was the tutors teaching, helping and supporting the students as they worked through diagnostics, projects and experiments for their respective courses.

Below is a picture of my finished screwdriver!

Sue's screwdriver

Sue’s screwdriver