Vince Cable tours the laser department at TWI
'Remarkable and unique' is how Vince Cable described the organisations that make up the Cambridge Cluster during a breakfast event hosted at TWI on Monday 18 March to mark the launch of Cambridge Business Week - a celebration of success in technology and innovation with a focus on the achievements and market-leading strengths of local companies.
Dr Cable began the Business Week launch morning, by invitation from TWI Chief Executive Christoph Wiesner, with a look at current project work being carried out for the offshore and transport industries in TWI's engineering laboratory. This was followed by an demonstration of laser processing technologies under development for the nuclear industry, which focused on laser techniques for decommissioning, including use of a 'snake-arm' robotic manipulator for remote in-situ dismantling (LaserSnake collaborative project), and hand-operated laser cutting suitable for low-hazard environments.
Dr Cable spoke for some while with TWI laser technician Matt Spinks, asking him how he began working with lasers and about the protective suit he wore for the demonstration. Matt said, 'Vince Cable was very interested to know that I was part of an advanced apprenticeship scheme here, and that I had chosen to work with lasers after gaining the experience of working in a number of technology departments. I explained that the spacesuit and goggles were to protect my skin and eyes against laser light.'
The group comprising Dr Cable, Cambridge MP Dr Julian Huppert and Christoph Wiesner moved on to the TWI exhibition atrium to join nearly 200 leading entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Cambridge community for the launch of Cambridge Business Week.
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Vince Cable and Julian Huppert with Christoph Wiesner
Demonstrating hand-operated laser cutting for nuclear decommissioning - TWI's Matt Spinks talks with Vince Cable and Julian Huppert.