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Meet the team at the Innovation Lab

James Ownsworth – Innovation Lab Technician

I am a qualified engineer, with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering (specialising in control systems). I have extensive workshop experience which has given me a deep understanding of modern mechanical and electrical systems, along with high competence in CAD and Simulation software. My experience of delivering projects in prototyping from initial concept designs, through to the final product and marketing, has given me the confidence to assist others through the development process.

How I got to Allia

Having completed my master’s degree earlier this year, I was due to start an engineering graduate scheme, however the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic meant this was not possible.

Finding the technician role at Allia Future Business Centre in Peterborough, I was instantly amazed by the lab and the impact that it could make. I was delighted to join the team, not only to have employment during these difficult times, but to be in a role that is thoroughly enjoyable, relevant to my degree, and working with a great team that made me feel welcome from day one.

Best bits of the lab

My favourite equipment in the lab has got to be the Polyjet 3D printer. If you can think of a design, create it in CAD – then you can have an amazing, professional quality model, built within a day. The only limitations are your imagination! I also enjoy working with equipment I am less familiar with – using the Canon cameras and editing software to document the lab activities has been really fun and allowed me to showcase the positive atmosphere and creative people we have using the lab.

Favourite thing about working here

What makes the lab great is the people that use the space – and their imaginations.

It’s exciting being on board to help relaunch the Lab, as it enables people to turn their innovations into reality. The focus of the Innovation Lab is to help create impact, to support people and teams in their aims to test and develop new ideas and innovations that address local and global issues. So, I am excited to see what the future holds.

First year of the Lab

I think the lab relaunch will help support new and exciting innovation ideas to get off the ground. On a personal note, I hope to bring a welcoming and friendly vibe to create a comfortable atmosphere for people, ensuring they not only get a final product they’re proud and happy with but have also enjoyed their time within the lab.

I am excited for more people to join us in the Innovation Lab, to utilise our Covid-safe space where people can benefit from using the equipment and network with the people here. If we work together (and keep safe!) there is so much we can do through encouraging open innovation in the Peterborough area.