LCM’s Senior Process Engineer inspires engineering students at Cheshire College – South and West

LCM’s Senior Process Engineer inspires engineering students at Cheshire College – South and West

It is becoming increasingly important for companies in the manufacturing industry to engage with young people throughout their learning journey to inspire them and contribute to their growth and development. This is especially true when it comes to companies within the critical mineral sector, as critical minerals are crucial for ‘green’ technology and the projected growth for the likes of electric vehicles and wind turbines globally is huge.

As a company who values and invests in education across various outlets and age groups, Less Common Metals (LCM) took the opportunity to speak with second year engineering T-level students who are focusing on design and development for engineering and manufacturing at Cheshire College in Ellesmere Port.

The session was delivered by Nik Tankov, Senior Process Engineer at LCM who recently joined the Technical Department and is responsible for various projects and manufacturing processes. Nik provided insights, experiences, and advice aiming to help shape career paths and highlight different routes into the industry.

Nik also highlighted the PASSENGER (Pilot Action for Securing a Sustainable European Next Generation of Efficient RE-free Magnets) project which is a 4-year project funded by the European Union. The project plans to resolve Europe’s dependence on rare earth elements (REEs) imports for the fabrication of permanent magnets.

The project targets the substitution of REE-permanent magnets in e-vehicles and water management systems (key “green” technological applications) with REE-free alternatives.  LCM is one of the major contributors to this technological objective, being the manufacturer of one of the REE-free magnetic material investigated within the project, manganese-aluminium-carbon (Mn-Al-C).

Besides scientific and technological objectives, the project aims to address societal targets as well by engaging in activities aimed at increasing public awareness on the importance of the REE-free permanent magnets. This includes active engagement with high school and undergraduate students to educate future generations of users and raise their awareness about the technological, economical and environmental issues related to REEs supply and use.

Rose Gaffney, Work Experience Placement Co-Ordinator at Cheshire College said: “It was a great session. The feedback I received from the learners was all very positive and they found it really informative.”