Watch it Made® Wins Royal Academy of Engineering Funding


News Release

Watch it Made® wins funding to engage audiences with engineering

15 April 2015

Engineers are to be given the opportunity to engage the public in innovative new ways thanks to 22 new projects funded through the Royal Academy of Engineering’s public engagement grant scheme, Ingenious.

Ingenious supports projects across the UK that creatively engage the public with engineering. Among the projects funded this year is the Ultra Precision Centre’s educational programme Watch it Made®.

Watch It Made® is an educational precision engineering experience developed for 12-14 year olds. The experience is based on bringing children into special purpose Manufacturing Learning Studios. Housed in these studios are a number of specially tailored precision engineering small scale computer controlled machine tools. These high technology machines are adapted and operated through special (simple) design/manufacturing CAD/CAM software which enables 12-14 year olds without training to design, fabricate and assemble the major (high quality) components of a precision engineered watch. The studio comprises: lathe, high resolution UV printer, fine engraver and watch component assembly tools.

The Watch It Made® concept and its first Manufacturing Learning Studio was funded by the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Ultra Precision. Its long term goal is to enable all 650,000 12 year olds in the UK to experience being “proud of producing” a high quality engineered product, and to do so prior to selecting GCSE options. In this way the special “self-creation” pride of engineering may be instilled in youngsters, stimulating their eagerness for our profession.

This Royal Academy of Engineering project will enable 500 UK school children to undertake the Watch it Made® experience taking home their own designed/produced high quality watch.

Other projects funded this year include artist-engineer collaborations, robotic workshops for schools and a project run by Jodrell Bank to engage the public with the Square Kilometre Array.

Professor Sarah Spurgeon FREng, Chair of the Ingenious funding panel and Professor of Control Engineering and Head of School, University of Kent, said: “The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious projects are finding new and innovative ways to get the public – whether student, family, or adult-audiences – engaged with engineering. Our projects don’t just showcase the diversity of engineering – they also give the public a meaningful opportunity to interact with engineers, ask questions and share their views.”

Ingenious is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. A full list of projects funded by the scheme this year can be found at the following link:


Notes for Editors:

1. Ingenious is the Royal Academy of Engineering’s public engagement grants scheme for creative public engagement with engineering projects. The scheme is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Further information on the scheme is at:

2. About the Royal Academy of Engineering.

As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook. We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.

Contact at Cranfield University is Prof Paul Shore: