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.

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

UNIMAKER ’21: Agenda*

Wed 15th September
9.30amConference opening
Welcome to the University of Sheffield and introduction to some of the themes of the conference.
Pete Mylon, Conference Chair
10.00amTales from the UNIMAKER community: stories of starting makerspaces
This session will consist of lightning talks followed by small group discussions with staff and students.
Staff and students from Imperial, Newcastle, Exeter and Salford universities
There will be an opportunity to tour The iForge and The Diamond, and to explore the exhibition space.
11.30amRemote Making
- 3D printing Stirling engines
- Experiences as members of an international Makers community
- How European universities have integrated making-based learning into higher education despite the pandemic
Tim Baker, UCL
Dan Garner et al., Derby

Bonny Brandenburger, Potsdam
12.30pmLunch Break
There will be an opportunity to make one of UCL's 3D printed Stirling engines!
2.00pmKEYNOTE: Working with artisan makers in Zimbabwe and EcuadorPam Samasuwo-Nyawiri, Vanhu Vamwe
2.45pmBuilding a Community of Makers
- Implementing EDI within an Engineering Maker Space
- Fostering Culture in a student volunteer-run makerspace
Avalon Cory & Corrina Cory, Exeter
Amit Jariwala, Georgia Tech
3.25pmHighlights from the Project Impactive Accessibility HackathonStudents from UCL
3.45pmTech demos/poster session
- MakerPresence
- Autonomous Mobile Robot
- Coding the Bard
- Design for laser cutting
- Screenbow
Tim Felbinger, Georgia Tech
Ahmed Al Ghadani, NUST (Oman)
Polly Lancaster, Lincoln
Trotec Laser
John Barbrook, Lancaster
5.00pmDrinks Reception
Including a tour of the iTEC student-led activity labs
Stephen Beck, Sheffield
Thu 16th September
9.15amStarting and running makerspaces (cont.)
This session will consist of lightning talks followed by a panel discussion.
Staff and students from UCL, Warwick, Northumbria, NUST (Oman) and Georgia Tech
There will be an opportunity to tour The iForge and The Diamond, and to explore the exhibition space.
11.00amKEYNOTE: UnternehmerTUM
- A visual history of UnternehmerTUM MakerSpace and their journey
- Demonstrating commercial value to and collaborating with industry
- The role of makerspaces/fablabs in the next wave of innovation – smart cities, sustainability and climate change
Vincent Zenkner, UnternehmerTUM MakerSpace (Technical University of Munich)
12.00pmLunch Break
There will be an opportunity to try some of the maker activities used in the Maker{Futures} schools outreach
Alison Buxton, Sheffield
1.00pmProject-based Learning
- Industry collaboration at the heart of the Morson Maker Space
- Wind tunnel project
- The PDE Collection: ‘Retail therapy’
Maria Stukoff, Salford
Paul Watson et al., Newcastle
Craig Whittet & Hugh Pizey, Glasgow School of Art
2.00pmTech demos/poster session
- CAD/CAM workshop and showcase
- Planetary Rover Wheels
- SunrIde Rocket Development
- Using ProjectBoard for Project-based learning
CREATE Education & Ultimaker
Sanjay Kumar, Sheffield
Team SunrIde, Sheffield
Nyssa Rubinsztajn, Engineering.com
3.00pmKEYNOTE: Which prototyping skills should we be teaching novice designers? As few as possible.Matthew Wettergreen, Rice University
4.00pmConference close
Drawing together the various themes emerging from the conference and discussing next steps for the HE makerspace community.
Pete Mylon, Conference Chair

*This agenda is subject to change depending on Covid restrictions and speaker availability.

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.


PA Hilton is a global market leader in the research, design, and manufacture of engineering undergraduate laboratory teaching equipment. 

Backed by half a century of experience, this British manufacturer is renowned across the world for their commitment to quality, durable teaching products and an exceptional standard of after-sales support.


Visitor Information

Sheffield’s central location means that it is within easy reach of many parts of the UK. The city is well served by national road and rail networks and has excellent local transport. The University campus is on the western edge of the city centre and is easy to get to by car, bus and tram.

Contact Us

For any queries relating to this event please contact