Editor’s comment: UK engineering & manufacturing needs – and deserves – its own festival…

Author : Mark Gradwell | Editor | EPDT

02 June 2022

Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2022 logo
Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2022 logo

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about live events – from both a work & personal perspective. During the pandemic & multiple lockdowns, I missed live music, theatre & sport – and I’m happy those things have now opened back up. From a work perspective, I visited Southern Electronics & Manufacturing at Farnborough earlier this year & UKEmbedded a few weeks ago...

A version of this editorial leader was originally featured in the June 2022 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. And sign up to receive your own copy each month.

And over the next few weeks, I’m also planning to travel to the Electronic Component Show, embedded world in Nuremberg – and perhaps most exciting of all, in early June, Manufacturing & Engineering Week at The NEC in Birmingham

Hopefully, it’s already on your radar and in your calendar – but if not, and you’re reading this early in June, I encourage you to check it out and sign up. A two-day festival, celebrating the best in UK manufacturing and engineering excellence and innovation, the inaugural Manufacturing & Engineering Week will bring together a series of events (including Design Engineering Expo, Manufacturing Expo and Engineering Expo, plus a range of other co-located events) that will showcase end-to-end manufacturing and engineering solutions, to encourage industry-wide conversation and knowledge sharing.

Manufacturing & Engineering Week logo
Manufacturing & Engineering Week logo

While the UK engineering and manufacturing community has some good focused trade shows and technical conferences for particular niches, it’s long been crying out (IMHO) for a big rallying event to showcase the incredible work it does and the talent, expertise and capability on offer to and from the sector. A large scale event, with industry backing and a serious speaker and conference programme, where UK engineers can gather to learn, share and connect – something to rival some of the huge German shows, such as Hannover Messe, electronica and embedded world. Hopefully, M&E Week can be it!

And for those not able to attend in person (from 8-9 June at Birmingham’s NEC), M&E Week will also offer a digital component, with a preview and digital events on June 7th (and available on demand, after the show) – and a post-show review of key takeaways from June 10th.  

The last couple of years have been hard for everyone – but the value of science, technology, engineering and manufacturing has surely never been higher. Collectively, those disciplines make huge contributions to improving everyday life and solving the grand challenges facing society – and this has never been more evident than during the pandemic and lockdowns. We’ll need them to continue to deliver as we all look to bounce back, rebuild our economies and address ongoing and future global and societal challenges – and yet a STEM skills gap persists and industry struggles to recruit sufficient numbers of engineers to meet demand.

Mark Gradwell, Editor, EPDT
Mark Gradwell, Editor, EPDT

Maybe this is obvious and nothing new, or that we haven’t already been talking about for some time now, but we still need to do a better job of recognising, raising awareness of and celebrating the amazing work our sector does – helping educate students, educators and the public about the incredible career opportunities STEM offers for those who want to literally solve problems, design solutions and build a better world! We often hear how young people are passionate about how we address big issues like climate change, and want to do work that has purpose and meaning – making the world a better place. Well, STEM – with engineering at its core – can meet that brief…

EPDT's June 2022 issue also contains features on RF & Wireless technologies and Industrial applications, plus a show preview for embedded world & the latest edition of EPDT's twice-yearly IoT & Industry 4.0 supplement. Read more on what's inside EPDT this month

Mark Gradwell


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