Student success at WorldSkills and FANUC contest

Hannah Currie and Peter O’Neill from Northern Regional College in Northern Ireland took gold at the national finals of the 2023 WorldSkills UK Industrial Robotics competition
Hannah Currie and Peter O’Neill from Northern Regional College in Northern Ireland took gold at the national finals of the 2023 WorldSkills UK Industrial Robotics competition

The winners of the 2023 WorldSkills UK Industrial Robotics competition, held in conjunction with FANUC UK, have been announced at an awards ceremony in Manchester.

Representing the best of the UK’s rising robotics talent, Hannah Currie and Peter O’Neill from Northern Regional College in Northern Ireland beat over 50 talented young apprentices and students to take gold at the national finals, which were held over three days in November at FANUC’s UK headquarters in Coventry.

The duo now have the chance to represent Team UK at the WorldSkills International Industrial Robotics competition in 2024.

The five teams that made it to the UK national finals were tasked with accurately programming a FANUC ER4-iA robot according to a brief set by the company’s technical team. This involved picking and placing parts and incorporated sensors and pneumatics components, as well as an extension task to create a digital twin. The teams were judged on a variety of skills such as accuracy of programming and equipment installation, as well as teamwork, safety, time management and documentation. The winning team triumphed with an incredible overall score of 97%.

Winner Hannah Currie is currently in the second year of a Foundation Degree in Engineering and is pursuing a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Engineering with Wrightbus, where she is employed as a Manufacturing Technician.

She said: “It involved a lot of extra work, but it was well worth the effort as the skills we developed and the knowledge we picked up along the way will always stay with us and help us in our careers.”

Teammate Peter O’Neill trained as a welder with McAuley Engineering and completed a Foundation Degree in Engineering at Northern Regional College. He is now a second-year BEng Mechanical Engineering student with Ulster University and has encouraged other students to get involved in the WorldSkills UK competition.

He commented: “You will learn new skills which could open future job opportunities. Participating in WorldSkills and qualifying for the national finals is something that will stand out on a CV.”

The finals were judged by a panel of experts from FANUC UK comprising competition organiser and Technical Manager, Paul Coombes; Technical Sales Support Engineer Dan Dunn; Fintan Collins, FANUC UK Academy Trainer; and former WorldSkills UK finalist Hara Konstantelia, now a FANUC Technical Sales Support Engineer.

WorldSkills UK Industrial Robotics finalists at the FANUC UK with Managing Director, Tom Bouchier and FANUC Europe & President CEO, Marco Ghirardello

As a WorldSkills UK partner, FANUC is keen to inspire the next generation of robotics engineers: “We want to engage with young people and enthuse them about robotics engineering as a career choice, so it was great to see so many talented entrants for this year’s contest.” said Paul Coombes.

Ben Blackledge, chief executive, WorldSkills UK said: “This is a life-changing moment for these young engineers. They are the new generation of high flyers that will give UK employers a competitive edge. Our finals, in partnership with FANUC UK, not only celebrate the best in young talent, but also provide a vital opportunity to see how skill development in the UK stacks up both domestically and against our international neighbours.”

To find out more about the 2024 WorldSkills UK Industrial Robotics competition, including how to enter, go to:



Fanuc UK

Related Articles

Box clever

The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company has installed a second custom-designed automated production cell from Unison to help meet huge demand for its 'barrow in a box' product. Solutions reports.
8 years ago Features

Automated benefits

In-Situ Oilfield Services, a leading provider of specialist CNC machine tools for the oil and gas industry based in Scotland, identified a different approach to the threading of Oil Country Tubular Goods
8 years ago Features
Most recent Articles

Group Rhodes goes for growth in its 200th year

Group Rhodes, a Wakefield-based OEM active in the metalforming, composite forming and heavy ceramic sectors, has significantly expanded its workforce over the last six months to meet the needs of its ever-growing customer base across its four divisions.
1 day ago News

AI advances for CAM programming

In this Q&A, Dr Andy Cheadle, chief technology officer at CloudNC discusses the latest advances of its CAM Assist manufacturing software, designed to end the bottleneck created by manual CAM programming.
1 day ago Features

Login / Sign up