A Newcastle University graduate is helping a North East company create the next generation of interactive games, which will take pride of place in a multi-million pound Middle-East development.
Newcastle based Engineering Creatives, which employs ten people, is developing a series of 18 innovative exhibits which will go into My Works run by Fun City Oasis. My Works is a Shopping Mall and interactive and educational play area, which is being built in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, near to the Yas Grand Prix circuit.
The contract, worth over £1m, includes creating an interactive train simulator, a catapult game, an electrical circuit simulation and environmental simulations, which will mainly be controlled by sophisticated electronics. All the exhibits and games, as well as the electronics, are being designed at the company’s base, in St Thomas Street, Newcastle, and will be manufactured in the UK before being shipped out to the Middle-East.
Among the staff of Engineering Creatives is Kevin Vayro, 24, from Chester-le-Street, who graduated this summer from Newcastle University, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He completed a work placement at the company over the summer, before securing a permanent position.
He has been working on several of the designs, bringing his skills and expertise to help the company complete the project. Kevin said: “I have been working on developing a design for an automated catapult, which involved making sure it could be remotely controlled by the user so they could chose the direction, the power and the angle at which the catapult lets go of the projectile, so they can score points by hitting targets.
“It has been quite a complicated process but the skills I learnt while on my course and then on the work placement have been invaluable.”
Clive Mockford, Managing Director of the company, said: “This is a big project for the company, and it was essential that I could find the calibre of staff I needed to be able to design and develop these unique systems.
“There is no way we could have done this without the input of the graduates from Newcastle. The skill and enthusiasm they have brought to the table have been invaluable.
“I received tremendous support from both the Mechanical Engineering department and the Careers Service at the University. I had very specific needs and the University responded to develop these specialist skills in the North East.
“These designs are state of the art and nothing like this is being made anywhere else. We are leading the world in this type of creative development. It’s very exciting to see the designs come together and the team working so well to deliver the whole project.”
Marc Lintern, Director of the Careers Service at Newcastle University said: “This just shows the value that work placements and work experience can have and it is something that the University is very proactive in developing. We have several programmes which allow regional companies of all sizes to take our students on temporary work placements. The company benefits from the fresh knowledge and new ideas of a student and the student can develop their own skills in a real workplace environment.
“Kevin took his opportunity, impressed the company with his skills and secured a permanent position, which is a great start to his career.”
published on: 25 October 2013