Engineering Academy aimed at developing industry wide skills is rolled out

ENGINEERS are developing their capabilities across all industries through a new skills academy launched by a young entrepreneur.

The inaugural Engineering Academy hosted by Co-Lab Engineering, a new start-up venture launched this year by 26-year-old Clyne Albertelli, was rolled out this week with up to five engineers working together to solve a real-life challenge posed by industry.

The academy challenges participants to work collaboratively to find a rapid solution to a live problem within a six-week, ‘sprint’ period, from identifying the challenge, designing a model and then developing a prototype to present to the challenge owner.

The first cohort has been tasked with finding methods of cleaning unwanted biofouling from the hulls of submarines and boats for the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), on behalf of the Royal Navy.

Clyne, a former Solutions Manager at Sellafield, said: “When I started Co-Lab Engineering, the main focus was placed on collaborative working across all industries and developing skills to benefit industry as a whole.

“By launching the Engineering Academy, we are bringing together large industry organisations, academic institutions, SMEs and individuals to develop their skills and pool their capabilities together to find solutions to real-life industry problems, all within a six-week time frame.

“Collectively, we are committed to upskilling the current workforce and teaching individuals new skills to ensure that the talent within Cumbria can continue to provide working solutions to worldwide challenges for years to come.

“Professional development is something that I am personally very passionate about, and being able to provide a platform for developing skills while assisting industry at the same time is extremely satisfying.”

The Engineering Academy is being supported by delivery partners the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), University of Cumbria, the Centre for Leadership Performance and TEDx speaker Jo Corbishley, who will all feature in the activities during the six-week programme.

Participants in the first instalment of the Engineering Academy have been provided from world renowned organisations such as Sellafield and Jacobs.

An end of programme presentation event will be held to allow participants to showcase their concepts to a select audience. 

A further five Engineering Academy programmes will be held by Co-Lab Engineering in 2023, starting in January.

Clyne said: “The support from industry has been overwhelming and I’m so thankful to all who have provided assistance and advice to get us into the position where we’re able to roll the sessions out.

“We’re keen to hear from anybody interested in participating or supporting the upcoming programmes to ensure more organisations and individuals can benefit from the unique approach.”

The launch of the Engineering Academy coincides with the recent relocation of Co-Lab Engineering into the Barclays Eagle Lab at the former site of Whitehaven Bus Station.

The creative hub was set up by Barclays in partnership with BEC and funded by Sellafield to support and encourage start-up and entrepreneurial businesses across Cumbria.

The venue offers communal use of its Maker Space facility which gives businesses the space, skills and access to emerging technologies, such as 3D printers, prototyping technology and laser cutting.

Clyne said: “The Eagle Lab has a great community feel to it and it’s a brilliant location to bring together start-ups and other businesses going through a similar entrepreneurial journey to me.

“Being in an environment which is highly professional, creative and digital-led is really important for a new start-up like myself and having use of the Maker Space area to assist in the work we want to provide is particularly beneficial.”

Places on the 2023 Engineering Academy programmes are now available. To find out more or to register an interest, contact or visit

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