Event: Unimaker

Thursday 12th September - Friday 13th September

The First UK Academic Makerspace Forum at The University of Sheffield.

The makerspace community in the UK has been growing rapidly, and many universities are seeing the benefits to their students of academic makerspaces. UNIMAKER is a chance to gather people from across the UK and beyond who run makerspaces, are interested in makerspaces, or are just starting out on their makerspace journey.

Come and be a part of this growing community; see The iForge, the UK’s first student-led makerspace; share what you are doing; and learn from global leaders in the makerspace movement!

You can find more information about the event here.


12th September
Time Session Speaker
9.00am Registration
9.30am Introductory Talk

Welcome to the University of Sheffield and introduction to some of the themes of the forum.

Prof. Stephen Beck – Head of Multidisciplinary Engineering Education at The University of Sheffield
10.00am The iForge Story

Having started the iForge in 2017, some of our founding Reps have come back to talk about how it came about.

iForge Founding Reps
10.15am Q&A

An opportunity to ask the iForge founding team about their experiences with The iForge and beyond.

iForge Founding Reps
Pete Mylon, Academic Lead, The iForge
Ryan Jones, Technical Lead, The iForge
10.45am Break

There will be an opportunity to tour The iForge and The Diamond, and to explore the exhibition space.

11.15am Makerspaces Beyond the Curriculum

An exploration of the ways makerspaces can support extracurricular learning, public engagement and outreach, including an introduction to Hackcessible, the assistive technology hackathon.

Aejaz Zahid, Innovation Hub – SYB Integrated Care System
12.15pm Lunch Break
1.15pm Keynote Speech

Craig Forest, founder of The Invention Studio at Georgia Tech, will deliver this keynote speech detailing how the facility has taken on a life and culture of its own, far beyond a capstone design prototyping lab.

Craig Forest
2.30pm Setting up and Running a Makerspace

An opportunity to discuss various topics related to the setting up and running of a student-led makerspace, including training and supervision, equipment selection, and funding, with insight from students and staff.

Pete Mylon, Ryan Jones and iForge Student Reps
3.30pm Employability Opportunities

How can makerspaces engage employers and contribute to creating more employable graduates?

Courtney Algar, Dyson
4.30pm Drinks Reception Mike Hounslow
13th September
9.00am Breakfast
9.15am Workshop

Craig will help those starting out on their makerspace journey with insights into: the different types of makerspaces, the importance of culture and community, optimising access while minimising boundaries, creating effective safety systems, assessing impact, and more.

Craig Forest
10.30am Break

There will be an opportunity to tour The iForge and The Diamond, and to explore the exhibition space.

11.00am Workshop Continued Craig Forest
12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm Talk – The Institute of Making

Having co-founded the Institute of Making at UCL in 2013, Zoe will share some of their journey, and lessons learned along the way.

Zoe Laughlin
2.00pm Break
2.30pm Quick fire presentations followed by Q&A

This will be an opportunity for a range of delegates to briefly share what they are doing around makerspaces so that we can learn from each other and develop a supportive community across UK higher education.

3.30pm Closing Speeches

Pete will draw together the various themes emerging from the forum and discuss next steps for the HE makerspace community.

Pete Mylon


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  • On-campus

The Diamond,
The University of Sheffield,
32 Leavygreave Road,
S3 7RD

Relive the best moments of our HeppFest higher education festival from February 2023 here!