Birmingham’s technical talent to be illustrated at festival


While Europe’s top footballers battle it out in the group stages of the Euro 2012 tournament, the potential super-athletes of the future, competitive robots, will be showcased in Birmingham on Saturday 16th June.

Birmingham City University is to hold its second annual Birmingham TechFest event this month which includes projects in gaming, film, motorsports, 3D architectural modelling and an international robotics competition featuring races and even robot football.

Following on from the success of last year’s first Birmingham TechFest, this year’s event takes on an employability theme, with students, staff and industry partners highlighting the importance of developing knowledge and creativity skills to thrive within the technology, engineering and science industries.

Run by the University’s faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment, Birmingham TechFest welcomes businesses, schools, colleges and members of the public to engage in its celebration of technology, engineering and science as it highlights the wealth of technical expertise and innovation within Birmingham. All four schools within the faculty will be showcasing work and activities, including cutting-edge research and demonstrations.

The day-long event being held at Millennium Point includes workshops and exhibits from the University and some of its industry partners; leading technical companies that include Apple, Microsoft and Jaguar Land Rover.

Dr Kathleen Maitland, academic and TechFest Co-ordinator at Birmingham City University, said: “I’m delighted that we will be welcoming to TechFest some of the leading names in global business and industry including: SAS, Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Oracle, CISCO, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and others.

“Their active involvement in this event demonstrates not only the importance of TechFest as a showcase for Birmingham’s new talent, but also the increasing importance of employability to graduates and industry alike.”

The festival will also incorporate the UK Micromouse championship, an international robotics competition which the University has hosted for the past nine years. Micromouse includes separate competitions for maze solvers, wall and line followers, drag racers and even robot sumo!

Competitors aged from eight to eighty are drawn from all over the UK and Europe and this year’s international competitors include a team from St Joseph’s Institution, Singapore – visiting for the fourth time in five years.

A highlight of the day will be the on-going rivalry between US Micromouse champion David Otten (from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) and current and former UK champions Derek Hall and Peter Harrison in the UK Micromouse maze-solver competition. The three champions have done battle on various occasions in the past 12 months including Japan, Taiwan and US.

As well as competitions, UK Micromouse includes demonstrations of antweight robot-wars, bipeds and robot football, creating events that are great for spectators as well as competitors.

The event coincides with Birmingham City University’s open day, taking place on the same day from 9am until 3pm at campuses across Birmingham. The open day will provide prospective students with a valuable opportunity to get a taste of University life, with chance to take part in subject taster sessions and meet staff and current students from the University.

Birmingham TechFest is a free event, running from 9am until 4pm on Saturday 16th June 2012 at Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG.

Further information on the University’s open day can be found online at

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