This week Cambridge is hosting one of the largest international conferences ever to come to the city, with more than 600 delegates from 39 countries attending – in addition to a public lecture given to 500 local school students by comedy icon, writer and television presenter Sir Tony Robinson.
The 12th International Conference on the Technology of Plasticity – also known as the ‘Olympics of Metal Forming’ – runs from 18th to 22nd September and is being hosted by the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, chaired by Professor Julian M Allwood.
It will feature the world’s leading researchers who are convening to share important advances in the subject with experienced practitioner from around the globe.
The event is expected to deliver £1 million in economic impact to the region.
This is the first time this conference has come to the UK and as part of the four-day programme of lectures, social events and technical tours there will be a public lecture at the Cambridge Corn Exchange delivered by Sir Tony Robinson to which 500 local school students have been invited.
Professor Allwood has been planning the Conference for the last four years together with Meet Cambridge, the official, free venue-finding bureau for conferences and events in Cambridge and the wider region.
He says: “This has been a great team effort and we are delighted that we have 600 delegates, as well as 30 accompanying people and 42 student ambassadors attending – in addition to our 500 local school students for the public lecture.
“Staging such a large conference – which we believe is one of the biggest ever held in Cambridge – has inevitably presented some challenges in terms of spaces but we are delighted to have found creative solutions to manage this. For instance we are holding our Conference Dinner in three different College Dining Halls, linked by AV technology to ensure that everyone attending enjoys a traditional Cambridge dining experience.
“I am particularly pleased that Sir Tony Robinson is delivering our public lecture in which we hope the students aged 14-16 years will be excited and inspired by our industry and consider engineering as a possible career choice.
“I’d like to thank the huge number of people who have been involved in making this event happen, particularly the team at Meet Cambridge which was instrumental in sourcing venues, offering advice, recommending suppliers and helping our local organising committee to overcome some of the challenges faced with hosting such a large and prestigious event.”
Judith Sloane, Deputy Manager at Meet Cambridge added: “‘We are delighted that members of ICTP have chosen Cambridge as the destination for their 12th triennial gathering. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the local organising committee and to see their ideas take shape over the last four years.
“This is a fantastic example of the benefits of international conferences; delegates and their partners will be spending quality time in Cambridge where we estimate the economic impact to be in the region of just over £1m, but the effects will be felt much wider too.
“By collaborating with UK industry in this way, organisations are being offered the opportunity to showcase research and innovation to the world’s experts. The University’s Department of Engineering has opened its doors to experienced practitioners sharing its research while locally, the next generation are being encouraged in a creative and imaginative way to consider a future career in metal forming. It’s exciting to think that the short, informal meeting that took place four years ago has led to this and I’m looking forward to hearing about the legacy that will undoubtedly follow from this conference in the years to come.”
In addition to the programme of lectures, the event offers delegates the opportunity to engage with manufacturers and innovators on a series of industrial visits to numerous organisations: Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Crown Bevcan, The Welding Institute, Siemens, Bifrangi UK, British Steel, John Taylor and Co. Bell Foundry, Manufacturing Technology Centre, Sheffield Forgemasters, Gripple, Arconic and DavyMarkham. The tours will take delegates to numerous UK destinations including Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Scunthorpe and Sheffield and alongside the industrial tours the delegates will have an opportunity to learn more about the UK’s rich heritage of metal forming with visits to top visitor attractions including: The British Motor Racing Museum, IWM Duxford, Coventry Transport Museum, The Royal Armouries, The Donnington Collection, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and Wortley Top Forge, the oldest surviving heavy iron forge in the world, whose history extends back to 1640.
WATCH: Here Professor Allwood talks about the event.