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GMIoT inaugural Student Conference +

Learner news

Hosted by The University of Salford +

On Tuesday 12th December 2023, the University of Salford was proud to host our first ever inaugural Greater Manchester Institute of Technology (GMIoT) Student Conference in the state-of-the-art Science, Engineering and Environment (SEE) Building. The event was exclusive to all GMIoT students, course leaders and tutors across our education partnership, including Ada, the National College of Digital Skills, Bury College, Tameside College, Wigan & Leigh College and the University of Salford.

Key speakers included Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Development Jo Purves, GMIoT Director Claire Foreman, Employer partner GCHQ and headline speaker and Chair in Science Communication and Future Media Professor Andy Miah.

The event focused on how the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology (GMIoT) aim to deliver enriching experiences for HE students, build strong partnerships between our institutions and provide opportunity for our guests to learn about the future of immersive technology and the metaverse.

Student Conference Speakers

Opening the conference, Jo Purves addressed the audience of students, commenting:

“One of the reasons why the University of Salford wanted play a key role in the GMIoT was because our research into the future will inform what you learn and what employers are going to need.

“Recently we’ve been delighted to offer our partner colleges the chance to visit facilities at Salford like Energy House 2.0 where we are building energy efficient houses of the future and our North or England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC). It’s great that you can really see how what you are learning might relate to our research here and now.”

Director of the GMIoT Claire Foreman went on to introduce the conference’s theme for the day, Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“AI is no doubt going to be a life-changer and will affect every industry and every technology,” she said. “I’m passionate that you will go away not just with your expertise, whether that’s in engineering or electronics, but that you also see the whole picture and are digitally competent – that is our direction of travel.”

Andy Miah then took to the stage to deliver a keynote talk on how immersive technologies are changing our world, from creating new world class events and experiences to creating a whole new generation of virtual influencers. Attendees discovered how Generation AI are making use of creative tools to reimagine our digital and physical worlds.

Our learners explored future career paths with employer partner GCHQ – the UK’s intelligence, security and cyber agency. Students were later given exclusive access to enter the national Christmas challenge.

Students also had the opportunity to play competitive gaming on the latest VR headsets in a breakout area and learn about how AI links to everyday life.

The event closed with a special session for the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, with attendees hearing about all things AI from a selection of Salford academics.

If you’re interested in getting involved with the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology, please email

Students playing on VR headsets