REVERSE engineering is the way forwards for Tom Furness.
After completing is MSc degree in mechanical engineering at Huddersfield University, the 25-year-old landed a post as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate with Wetherby-based firm NTR Ltd – Europe’s leading specialist in the repair of cutting tools used for turning, boring, milling and drilling.
Under the terms of a KTP, a firm collaborates with university experts and an associate is appointed to carry out research in the ground and act as a link.
Tom, who hails from Huddersfield, pays frequent return visits to the university, where his KTP supervisor is Dr Simon Fletcher.
But he is principally based at NTR, working on a project to automate the process of repairing damaged tools – using a procedure known as reverse engineering to learn as much about the existing, manual processes and then using the knowledge gained to create computer numerical control programs.
Tom said companies already make big savings by coming to NTR to buy reconditioned tools.
The new automated techniques he is working on will cut costs further by increasing volumes and reducing turnaround times.
Tom began work at NTR while he was still completing his masters degree. Now he is concentrating on his work with the two-year KTP and has recently been helping to integrate a new CNC machine into the Wetherby factory.
He said the experience of being a KTP associate was an excellent start to his engineering career: “It bridges the gap between university and working life,” said Tom.
“I am based at the company but still in contact with the university and get all the support I need.”
As for the future, he is keeping his options open but one of his goals is to travel and work in Europe.