Birmingham City Repair Lab

The aim is to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic waste that ends up in landfill by giving broken items a new lease of life, whilst also saving money and resources, and providing an interesting and engaging learning opportunity. What makes BCU Repair Lab unique is that students are able to re-design and improve faulty parts and can use in-house facilities and equipment such as computer aided design (CAD) and 3D printers to produce replacement parts.

We are planning to run Repair Lab once a month from February onwards.

If you would like to be alerted when new employers like our society, please follow us.
Members typically study
Aerospace
Chemical/Process
Civil/Building
Computing/Technology
Electronic/Electrical
Maths/Business
Mechanical/Manufacturing
Science
The facts
The aim is to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic waste that ends up in landfill by giving broken items a new lease of life.
In Repair Lab, students are fully supervised and learn practical skills that are transferable to the workplace.
The primary objective of the Repair Lab is to combat the growing issue of electronic waste.
The repair lab at BCU stands out by providing students with a distinctive learning experience.
Employers Who Like Our Society
If you would like to be alerted when new
employers like our society, please follow us.
These live Gradcracker employers have shown they are particularly interested in members of our Society. You can click on their logos to visit their Company Hubs, 'Follow' them to be alerted to their new opportunities. (Roll over the logos to see which opportunities are currently live.)
Placements/Internships
Placements/Internships
Placements/Internships
Graduate Jobs
Graduate Jobs
Placements/Internships
Graduate Jobs
Graduate Jobs
Placements/Internships
Graduate Jobs
Degree Apprenticeships
Graduate Jobs
Degree Apprenticeships
Graduate Jobs
Graduate Jobs
Placements/Internships
Graduate Jobs
Graduate Jobs
Who are we

What is Repair Lab all about?

The aim is to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic waste that ends up in landfill by giving broken items a new lease of life, whilst also saving money and resources, and providing an interesting and engaging learning opportunity. What makes BCU Repair Lab unique is that students are able to re-design and improve faulty parts and can use in-house facilities and equipment such as computer aided design (CAD) and 3D printers to produce replacement parts.

The concept for Repair Labs was inspired by Repair Café which is established in the wider community where neighbours get together and bring their broken electronics or appliances and have them diagnosed and fixed, for free, while enjoying a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. These café’s help build a sense of community and offer an opportunity to socialise and meet people. Repair Lab at BCU has similar ambitions to build student network groups and help technicians and academics provide more direct support.

In Repair Lab, we have repaired a number of articles including headphones, an electric skateboard, Playstation 4 controller, coffee maker, fan heater and have also printed broken parts using the in-house 3D printer. We are aiming to target small domestic appliances and gadgets only, which is easy to carry and handle.

What benefits does Repair Lab have?

There are also clear environmental advantages to be gained by running Repair Lab. According to the BBC, businesses and households in the UK generate 1.45 million tonnes of electrical waste annually (Southampton University, 2020). Replacing these failed articles with new, requires more metals and minerals that have to be mined or recycled which is energy intensive. In the UK, 35% of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels which are damaging to the climate and our plant. However, through initiatives such as Repair Lab we can all make small, individual changes which together can add up to a significant benefit with BCU leading by example.

What happens in Repair Lab?

In Repair Lab, students are fully supervised and learn practical skills that are transferable to the workplace be learning how to safely disassemble and reassemble a product, how to complete a PAT test, how to diagnose faults using test equipment and working out how they work and how they are manufactured.

In autumn 2022, we conducted some pilot sessions, and our repair success rate was 75%. The items repaired included two broken headphones. On the first set of headphones, we found the wiring was damaged; the student diagnosed the issue with a multi meter and repaired it with a jumper wire. The second pair of headphones had a broken pivot hinges, so the student re-designed and improved the broken plastic part using Fusion 360 CAD software, and then 3D printed new parts using our in-house 3D printer. The new parts were then successfully fitted, and the headphones went back into service instead of landfill!

How can I get involved?

This year, we are running a series of Repair Labs at Level 0, Millennium Point. Repair Labs are ran yearly, so please stay tuned for information about the next one.

Our Mission

Mission to Reduce Electronic Waste:

  • The primary objective of the Repair Lab is to combat the growing issue of electronic waste. By giving life to broken items, the lab actively contributes to reducing the amount of electrical and electronic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.
  • It has been observed from the previous repair lab session that 70% of the electronics that fail require a small repair job, which only requires basic skills.

Unique Learning Environment for Students:

  • The repair lab at BCU stands out by providing students with a distinctive learning experience. Unlike traditional repair workshops, students can not only fix broken items but also reverse engineer the parts and redesign and enhance faulty parts performance using advanced tools such as CAD software and rapid prototype using in-house 3D printers.

Inspired by Community-Based Repair Initiatives:

  • The concept of Repair Lab draws inspiration from community-based repair initiatives like Repair Café. By emulating the community-building aspect, Repair Lab at BCU aspires to create a sense of belonging among students, fostering socialisation, and providing a platform for direct support from technicians and academics.

Positive Environmental Impact:

  • Repair Lab contributes to sustainability by addressing the environmental impact of electronic waste. The lab's efforts align with global goals to minimise resource consumption, as evidenced by the reduction in the need for new metals and minerals, along with the associated energy-intensive processes, required to replace faulty items.

And it is free.

How to Join

If you would like some more information about our society please email us at Khushmeet.Singh@bcu.ac.uk

If students have any queries prior to the repair, you can submit these queries here.

Follow your favourite employers
Save jobs to your shortlist
Receive personalised alerts
Access our live webinars
Register now
On the move? Download The App
Gradcracker Logo
Gradcracker Limited, October House, Long Street, Easingwold, York, YO61 3HX
01347 823822 | info@gradcracker.com | Company registration number: 6370348
© 2007 - 2024 Gradcracker Limited
Gradcracker and Cookies
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.
If you continue we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from Gradcracker.
Continue
Learn more