Christmas celebrations at the University of Lincoln

This year, OAL celebrated Christmas at our long-term strategic partner, the University of Lincoln. The whole OAL team visited the university’s new Sir Isaac Newton building on Friday, 8th of December for a day of learning, reflection and refreshment. The team had the opportunity to see the latest computer science, maths, physics and engineering developments, giving them an insight into how these facilities, equipment and technologies are used in our collaborative research and development projects.

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We have been working with the University of Lincoln for five years on a number of projects. During our partnership, we have invested over £4.5 million into developments aimed at future-proofing the food manufacturing industry, with support from UK government funding.

Our successes include Steam Infusion cooking, developed and available for testing at the University’s prestigious National Centre of Food Manufacturing. This unique method provides food manufacturers with a faster, more controlled heating and mixing technology, using steam as the motive force.

And more recently, leading professors and researchers have helped develop the APRIL robotic micro-weighing system, emulating and outperforming human weighing of powders. 

The day included several presentations from university staff, a tour of the new facilities, and festive refreshments in the university foyer. Hearing from prominent professors – including Professor Stefanos Kollias, the founding professor of machine learning – was very inspiring for our team. The unique expertise and the state-of-the-art facilities have been essential to helping us develop forward-thinking solutions to industry challenges.

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Not everyone at OAL is directly involved with these disruptive innovation projects. By bringing the whole team together, we were able to see first-hand the step change that these projects represent for the UK’s largest manufacturing industry. In addition to nurturing relationships within our teams, we were able to see how they have contributed to these successes.

Feedback from the event was positive. Stephen Webster, an automation engineer, enthused,

“I really enjoyed the day; it was good to spend time with my colleagues and see what we’ve been doing with the University. I now get how what I do fits into the bigger picture.”

Harry Norman, Owner/Managing Director at OAL, commented:

“This was a great day and we’d love to do it again. It was the perfect opportunity to share the work that we’ve done with the University and get the whole business involved.”

The day was a fantastic way to end the year: strengthening our relationship with the University, reminiscing on the year’s achievements, and inspiring the OAL team for what promises to be an eventful – and extremely exciting – year ahead.

Thank you to Sue and the University team for organising and running such a great day!

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