Siemens apprentices and graduates have been at the cutting edge of the technology provided for The Biospheric Project, which has seen the transformation of a derelict mill in Salford into a sustainable agricultural space, laboratory and research centre. The site has been filled with innovative food systems, from agroforestry to aquaponics and hopes to tackle the issue of sustainable food supply and development in the 21st century.
Siemens has provided an automatic control and monitoring system for the facility to log experimental data to support future academic research. Apprentices and graduates, overseen by Siemens Industry project manager Martyn Catlow, were charged with designing and implementing the technology used in the project’s aquaponics system. They developed a system which controls the water circulation, monitors the temperature, pH and conductivity of the water in the fish tanks as well as providing climatic data and CO2, humidity, temperature and light levels within the polytunnel.
Catlow said: “We made a conscious decision to let apprentices and graduates lead the way for Siemens in constructing the technologies for The Biospheric Project. By doing this we want to show to young people that when you join a company like Siemens, you will be investing your time in projects that could transform the way in which we work with our ever changing environment. With the North West’s rich history in innovation and commitment to developing pioneering technologies, there is a sense of purpose, that is helping our apprentices and grads inject real passion into this project.”
Three apprentices and three graduates worked on developing the technologies over the past the six months. Siemens partnered with architects BDP to develop the site.
James Yeoman, an apprentice at Siemens Industry said: “It’s fantastic to join a company and be assigned to such an exciting project that can make a real difference to how we source and grow our food supplies in the UK. By working with the team on the technologies used for the project I have really enhanced my engineering skills.”