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.

Started 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 2021 will be held in The Diamond Building in Sheffield, UK on 15 and 16 September 2021. We are still in the planning stages, so specific details are yet to be decided.

We are now calling for Proposals.  If you are interested in participating in the conference, please complete a Call for Proposals form by Midnight on Friday 14 May 2021.

We are also asking for potential attendees, sponsors and exhibitors to register your interest here to receive news and updates as planning progresses.

We are planning for the conference to be in-person however sessions will be available to viewed remotely via our digital media so in-person attendance is not compulsory.

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

Calling all student makers!

It’s been a challenging year, but Making continued to make a difference during lockdown.  Students across the UK and beyond responded to the PPE shortage, with home 3D printers on overdrive printing face shields, but some of you also made the most of the time at home to get creative.  Makerspaces popped up at bedroom desks, in back rooms and garages.  Whether you were part of a team finding a new way to make your existing project, or you came up with something innovative or fun on your own, we want to hear all about and celebrate your lockdown Making!  

Tell us your story in a 2 minute video with a 200 word written description.  We’re happy to accept individual or group submissions.  The more creative the better!

In return, we are offering £250 prize for the best entry, and £100 each for three runners up. All winners will also get free entry to UNIMAKER ‘21.

Consider the following questions in your video:

  • What did you make and why? 
  • Tell us about the process – what challenges did you encounter and what would you do differently?
  • Where did you make it? Show us your space and the kit you used!
  • What did you get out of it?

Or you can email you entry to unimaker@sheffield.ac.uk — don’t forget to include a 200-word written description with your video.

Closing Date: Sunday 18 July 2021

About UNIMAKER 2021

We are planning for the conference to be in-person however sessions will be available to view remotely via our digital media so in-person attendance is not compulsory.


Remote Making and learning outside the makerspace

The A to Z of Making – showcasing diverse applications from bioengineering to sewing

Starting and Running Makerspaces

The Impact of Making

Supporting and Developing Students and Staff

Building a Community of Makers

Speakers at UNIMAKER ’21

Vincent Zenkner

Technology Education Manager at UnternehmerTUM MakerSpace GmbH

Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri

Founder of Vanhu Vamwe

Matthew Wettergreen

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

Pete Mylon

Senior University Teacher, Academic Lead for the iForge

Official Sponsors

At Autodesk, we empower students, educators, and lifelong learners to develop the skills necessary today to help solve tomorrow’s most pressing design and engineering challenges. In other words, we futureskill by providing the mindset, skillset, and toolset needed to accelerate careers and thrive in industry. Beyond simple upskilling and reskilling, futureskilling prepares designers, makers, and doers for tomorrow’s jobs.


Trotec manufactures and supplies a wide range of professional-grade laser cutters and engravers alongside a variety of sheet materials and laser supplies, trusted by universities and commercial organisations around the world.

Trotec customers benefit from local UK-based technical service, support and advice direct from the manufacturer.


RS Components is a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions for designers, builders and maintainers of industrial equipment and operations. 

Our purpose is ‘making amazing happen’. We plan to inspire a more sustainable world through education and innovative solutions that improve lives. Through a range of projects and activities we’re supporting the engineers of today and tomorrow, ensuring that they have all they require – from a broad product range to a number of core services that help to add real value to our customers.

RS doesn’t simply supply customers with products; we collaborate with organisations to help identify better working practices that will help them to achieve sustainable efficiencies.


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

Contact Us

For any queries relating to this event please contact