MetLase, a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Unipart Group, is supporting the University of Sheffield’s Formula Student race team to help with their aspiration to be one of the top 10 UK teams in the competition.

The race is the world’s largest student engineering competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and provides a development platform for aspiring young talent.

MetLase, which is based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sheffield, has supported the students by showing them how to use their patented technology to build the tools to develop the vehicle.

Using highly skilled and creative engineers, MetLase is able to deliver engineering solutions to complex issues where precision and speed are critical. Starting with understanding the customer’s needs and finishing with a solution, tooling and component parts are designed, cut and assembled in-house, using high precision laser-cutting technology, combined with patented assembly and joining systems.

This unique process delivers cost-effective finished products in days that would normally take weeks or months, bringing products to market faster and saving costs. By working with MetLase, the students were able to learn new engineering skills and put together a chassis with speed and to accuracy normally only seen in the aerospace sector.

Isabel Brown, 4th year Mechanical Engineering Student - Team Principal said: "We really want to be one of the top 10 UK teams in the Formula Student Race this year, so we have placed a major focus on designing and ensuring parts are manufactured right first time. Our partnership with MetLase this year has been a significant help towards this as it has enabled us to manufacture the chassis within extremely tight tolerances to the design. This has not only allowed us to assemble the car in record time it has also improved handling of the vehicle."

Matt Allen, 2nd year AerospaceEngineering Student on our Chassis and Vehicle Dynamics sub-team said:"The support from MetLase not only resulted in our most accurate chassis yet, but also provided the team with the opportunity to engage first hand with a business. During our time at MetLase, we were directly involved in both the design and manufacture of the chassis fixture with support from their team. This gave us a taster of what it would be like to work within the company so the entire experience was also extremely useful in preparing us for the workplace.”

Steve Dunn, Managing Director of MetLase said: “It’s been a pleasure to get involved in this project this year. We think this is really important as if we want to increase our pool of engineering talent in the UK, it is essential that we help to nurture talent. The event is a fantastic opportunity for students to get hands-on experience of engineering in the real-world and it also gives UK engineering a chance to get industry ready graduates to work in our companies.”

The Sheffield University team will be up against 128 universities from 25 countries and takes place at Silverstone on 21st July. The teams will be judged on a number of factors including design, build and race time.

Further information about MetLase can be found at www.metlase.com.