What is UNIMAKER?

UNIMAKER is a conference for anyone working or studying in and around Higher Education who loves making, creating, designing, inventing, building and exploring using a range of different tools and materials. 

Starting in 2019, this exciting forum attracted delegates from over 20 institutions from across the UK with a diverse and dynamic programme. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, UNIMAKER 2020 went online, attracting over 100 delegates from across the world over two days.

UNIMAKER is open to anyone, from academic staff, students and alumni to technical and professional services staff, whether you are running an established makerspace or just starting out on your making journey.

Be a part of the UNIMAKER community — join us on LinkedIn.

Our Speakers

Dale Dougherty

President of Make: Community

Prof Andrew Maxwell

Bergeron Chair in Technology Entrepreneurship at Lassonde School of Engineering 

Lauren Baldesarra

Chief Creative Officer at engineering.com

Dr Matthew Wettergreen

Associate Teaching Professor at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice University

Dr Pete Mylon

Senior University Teacher, Academic Lead for the iForge

Taylor Dixon

Technical Writer and Teardown Engineer at iFixit.com

Dr Alison Buxton

Educational Makerspace Developer at The University of Sheffield

Prof Tony Ryan OBE

Director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures

UNIMAKER 2020: Watch Again

Session 1: Environment and Health

Mon 7th September 10:00-12:00 BST

  • OPENING ADDRESS | Refugees Making the Desert Green — Professor Tony Ryan OBE📧, University of Sheffield 
  • The Maker Response to Covid-19 — Dr Pete Mylon📧, University of Sheffield
  • Developing a Prosthetic Arm — Thomas Thomas, Nicholas Hagis & Alex Pop, Sheffield Bionics📧


Session 2: Co/Extra-Curricular Making

Mon 7th September 15:00-17:00 BST

  • Curricular vs. Co-Curricular Projects — Dr Simon Hayes📧, University of Sheffield
  • Maker{Futures}: maker resources for primary engagement — Dr Alison Buxton📧, University of Sheffield
  • Lessons from an online IoT Making event during Lockdown — Richard Waterstone📧, SERAS
  • KEYNOTE | Creating a repair culture; making engaging online content for your makerspace — Taylor Dixon📧, iFixit

Session 3: Knowledge Exchange

Tue 8th September 10:00-12:00 BST

How can makerspaces and maker sessions adapt to Covid-19? What other topics are top of mind? Delegates share their experience and discuss next steps. Discussions are led by Ryan Jones📧 and a team of iForge student Reps 


Session 4: Making in the Curriculum

Tue 8th September 15:00-17:00 BST

  • Fast paced making: Developing confidence in Foundation Year Art and Design studentsMarie Judge📧, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Facilitating online collaboration and building 21st Century skills in studentsAvalon Cory📧, University of Exeter
  • Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen: A hub for undergraduate engineering innovationDr Matthew Wettergreen📧
  • KEYNOTE | Make:Projects: Digital tool for collaboration and student engagement — Dale Dougherty📧, Lauren Baldesarra📧 & Matthew Wettergreen📧

Session 5: Making for Enterprise

Tue 8th September 17:15-19:00 BST

  • Makerlab @ DMCTracey Johnson & Paul Bennett📧, Barnsley DMC
  • Creating hardware/software sensor prototypesAmmar Aboagwa, Onyeka Obidiegwu (SELA) and Alex Kelly📧 (Tinsley Bridge)
  • Leading the Way with Integrative Projects to support Skills DevelopmentDaniel Habbershaw & Dr Gary Wood📧
  • Bringing a “Hacker Mentality” to Health & CareAejaz Zahid📧, South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System
  • KEYNOTE | Universities as Mega Maker Spaces – Prof Andrew Maxwell📧, Lassonde School of Engineering


For more great content from the UNIMAKER community, check out UNIMAKER 2020 – Bonus Content

UNIMAKER 2020: Bonus Content

As well as our live sessions, we also have some great content to share with you from the UNIMAKER community:

Ideas Lab – Imperial College, London, UK

A team of students at Imperial College have spent the summer creating the Ideas Lab, a new makerspace linked with Imperial’s Dyson School of Design Engineering. In this video, they outline the software system they have made for the space.

For more information, contact: ideaslab@imperial.ac.uk


D:DREAM Hall – TU Delft, Netherlands

The Delft University of Technology is well known for its successful student competition teams, which they call D:DREAM teams. These include Formula Student, Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) and many more. All teams consist of highly motivated students, who are solely responsible for all tasks, from team management to the design and production of their inventions. The D:DREAM Hall, the building on the TU Delft Campus that never sleeps, forms most teams’ home base. This video gives an overview of the D:DREAM programme.

Brandon and Pete visited Delft and the D:DREAM Hall in February 2020 and would highly recommend a visit!

D:Dream Hall

A new academic year has started, which can only mean one thing: a new year full of D-Dream experiences is about to begin! Designing, producing, racing, and sometimes winning are on the agenda for the new team members. But before it all starts, let’s have a look at what it means to be part of the D:DREAM…

Posted by TU Delft on Thursday, 6 September 2018

For more information, contact: Halbeheer.ddream@tudelft.nl


Machine Access Control System (MACS) – MARMIK

MARMIK are a Devon-based machinery company. They have produced the Machine Access Control System for use in workshops and makerspaces, which may be of interest to the UNIMAKER community. It allows individual RFID-based access control to machines.

For more information, contact: marmikltd@btinternet.com


Lockdown Project: Making a home wind tunnel – Edward J Dawtrey, The University of Sheffield

Ed, a second year aerospace engineering student, decided to build a small wind tunnel over the summer to visualise the effects of air flow and ‘angle of attack’ on various aerofoils. Being on lockdown, Ed only used materials he could find around the house.

The result is impressive! This is a great example of low/medium-fidelity prototyping, ingenuity, and how Making can be used to support theoretical learning.

For more information, contact: ejdawtrey1@sheffield.ac.uk

UNIMAKER 2019: Highlights

Contact Us

For any queries relating to this event please contact 
unimaker@sheffield.ac.uk