Visits, projects and guest lectures: spring term with NOVUS

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NOVUS students have enjoyed an action packed few weeks during a busy term at the University of Huddersfield.

In addition to a Netherlands field trip, an annual fixture in the second year calendar where students visit key logistics facilities in the Netherlands, such as Rotterdam port and Schipol airport, students have been out and about visiting sites with their mentors and through organised trips.

One particular highlight was a trip to adjacent Brakes and Travis Perkins facilities at the brand new Omega distribution park at Warrington. Students were treated to insights in to site design and operation from senior managers at both sites and were able to tour the operational facilities. Some even experienced what it is like to work in a cold store.

Commenting on the visit to Brakes, NOVUS student James Scrivens said that it gave a "great insight into how Brakes works, from warehouse management to outbound logistics". He added: "All of the staff were accommodating and friendly, showing a great deal of interest in our future development. Tony Appleyard (Network Integration Manager at Brakes Group) showed a great deal of passion for his job which ignited my interest further in the logistics and supply chain management industry."

Fellow NOVUS student, Zain Rehman, said of the tour round the Travis Perkins facility: "It was fantastic to visit the Travis Perkins' brand new warehouse. They showed us how everything worked and the different systems in place - they were very accommodating."

Students have also been hard at work on live company projects, gaining real world experience in the work place and building effective working relationships with people at NOVUS companies. At Cummins, first year students have been working on an improvement project with Six Sigma specialists – looking at ways to improve the manufacturing process for turbochargers.

Meanwhile at PZ Cussons, students have been tackling a global sourcing project – looking at the best place in the world to manufacture a product to satisfy global demand. The second year group has been working on a warehouse design project, supported by Gist, and designing a facility fit for the storage and distribution of technology products. Proposals will be presented back to business development specialists from Gist. The final year students have been playing the Fresh Connection supply chain simulation game, taking on the role of a management team at a manufacturing business and taking a series of supply chain decisions aimed at improving financial performance.

There has been a wealth of visitors to campus providing guest lectures and industry insight for students, with visitors from Wincanton, Hermes, Gist, DHL, Clipper and Travis Perkins. Students are looking forward to a one day problem solving workshop at Arla.

"The NOVUS scheme is providing outstanding opportunities to enrich the education of our students," commented David Leach, NOVUS Programme Director. "The companies have been brilliant, helping to build the students' knowledge and experience."

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