3M Industrial Site Visit

By Jannat Sultana Ambia

Find our winning blog post on our Instagram.

The entrance to 3M UK headquarters 

Journey to 3M

Towering infrastructure that echoes the spirit of innovation. The rhythm of machinery humming progress and ingenuity. This was the scene that graced me when I had the privilege to attend the 3M Technology industrial site visit on the 8th of March 2024.

After being greeted by the impressive building, we were split into three groups, to experience the company. My group started with being treated to refreshments, where we had the opportunity to network with Jo, a senior administrator for traffic safety and security division. Jo was incredibly welcoming, telling us about her experience at 3M, detailing a day at work and telling us about the company’s key innovations. She was very welcoming and I enjoyed having the opportunity to network with her before we headed to the dry lab tour.

A statue saying

Dry Lab Tour

After refreshments, I had the opportunity to tour the dry lab where material and safety analysis is performed. The tour was led by Damien, an analytical specialist at 3M who described in depth what tests are done at the dry lab and what each piece of instrumentation is used for, even showing us some of the scans from the scanning electron microscope. This was particularly interesting to me as a future engineer since most of these machines were equipment I had not had the opportunity to see before. Damien was also kind enough to answer our questions, telling us about his background and how ended up working at 3M and giving us insight into life as an analyst. It was super cool when he told us about how he uses 3D printing models in his work and how he worked past the limitations of one his instruments by building a barrier. It was really insightful since he was genuinely passionate about his work and I’m glad I had the chance to speak to him.

A white and glass box with shoe printsWindow film that reduces heatVHB super strong tape being shown to the camera by two hands

Customer Innovation Centre

Now to talk about perhaps my favourite part of the whole experience, the customer innovation centre tour! The centre was like a museum depicting 3M’s key innovations. Sarah, a senior manager in EMEA product compliance lead the tour was extremely pleasant and interactive and taught us a lot about the company’s innovations. For example, the famous Post-It note! Did you know that the post it note was thought of by Art Fry who wanted to put bookmarks in his hymn book so he enlisted his friend at 3M Spencer Silver who used an adhesive he had made to
create it? Hearing about this plus the other innovations was fascinating, and it was so cool to interact with them in the innovation centre.

Two students giving thumbs-up on a coach

And so it ended...

After the tour, we had a quick lunch and headed back to campus. Visiting 3M was an amazing experience, the
staff were interactive, and I learned so much about the company and its values. It was an incredible opportunity
and has given me insight into what the manufacturing and technology industry is like and I look forward to hopefully working at such a wonderful company in the future.