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Bloodhound Supersonic Car team inspires at WMG

On Wednesday 15 January, WMG welcomed members of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) project team for a series of events held in the International Manufacturing Centre.

The Bloodhound SSC is a jet and rocket powered car and is being designed and built to achieve 1,000 mph (just over 1,600 kph) - which would break the land speed record by 33%, the largest ever margin. The project is being directed by Richard Noble OBE, who also attended and spoke during the event on Wednesday.

Jo Finch from Bloodhound SCC talks to studentsDuring a busy visit, the Bloodhound team were a feature of an Engineering Careers afternoon which was run in collaboration with the School of Engineering. In the afternoon, 95 pupils from 8 local schools in Coventry and Warwickshire visited the university to find out more about the variety of exciting careers offered through studying Engineering. From the Bloodhound team, the students heard about the many challenges involved in creating and developing a car capable of breaking the land speed record and the skills needed to take this on. Pupils also had the opportunity to meet engineers from a range of different professions, to hear about apprenticeships and to see some technical demonstrations of engineering in action from teams of staff and current students at the University of Warwick.

Richard Noble presenting at WMGThe Bloodhound team also held a talk for the Computing At School (CAS) association, which aims to support excellence in Computer Science education. Trevor Wadham and Jo Finch from the Bloodhound team gave a presentation on the team’s commitment to use their project to inspire the next generation of engineers and technologists. The project is, first and foremost, an education project designed to inspire future generations to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by showcasing these subjects in the most exciting way possible. The education programme, Bloodhound Blast, covers all ages of education from primary through to secondary and further and higher education. Any school, teacher, youth group or home educated family in the world can register their details on the Bloodhound SSC website and download the free curriculum resource materials. Through this, students can learn how systems, such as the car telemetry, work in real life scenarios.

Richard Noble signs posters at WMGAn evening talk, organised by the BCS Coventry branch (the Chartered Institute for IT), also took place and was given by Richard Noble OBE. Noble is an entrepreneur who was holder of the land speed record between 1983 and 1997. He was also the project director of ThrustSSC, the vehicle which holds the current land speed record, set at Black Rock Desert, Nevada in 1997. Thrust2, the record-breaking car driven by Noble in 1983, travelled at 633.468 mph. The accomplishment won Noble the 1983 Segrave Trophy, an award recognising the most outstanding demonstration of the possibilities of transport by land, sea, air or water. Both former record-breaking cars, Thrust2 and ThrustSSC, are on permanent display at the Coventry Transport Museum.

At his fascinating talk, Richard Noble gave a brief history of the land speed record, covering the achievements of his earlier projects and he talked about the future of the current Bloodhound SSC project. The car is currently being prepared for land speed trial runs, which are expected to take place in South Africa in 2015 and 2016.