WMG’s Outreach team was pleased to play a part in the University of Warwick’s Winter Wonderland Family Day early this month.
The Team put together a series of STEM activities each with a special festive twist including:
Professor Margaret Low and Helen Luckhurst hosted a festive craft drop-in session introducing the public to coding in a creative context, with children and their families used Turtlestitch to write a computer program. This was then inputted into WMG’s digital embroidery machine. They watched the machine stitch their designs onto felt, then cut them out and added a loop of string to make tree decorations.
There’s never a better time to tinker with some science and engineering than over the Christmas holidays. Everyone is inside and there’s plenty of things in the kitchen cupboards to raid for experiments.
Phil Jemmett put on a show of science and engineering tricks that young people could recreate at home over the Christmas holidays. Volunteers learned how to do tricks like making a rainbow pattern on a water surface, creating a tornado in a bottle, turning a jar full of water upside down without a lid and (usually) without making a mess, and how to do rocket science with fuel from the kitchen.
Miniature Race Track
Staff from the WMG Graduate Development Scheme gave children and their families an introduction to autonomous technology with children guiding their driverless vehicles around a festive miniature racetrack. The vehicle was a self-driving reindeer robot pulling a 3D-printed sleigh that the children had decorated. They were given an insight into the technology inside autonomous vehicles and how they worked, exploring how objects were identified and tackling winter driving scenarios.
Find out more about WMG’s Outreach activities here.
WMG is delighted to be supporting the Engineering section at STEM for Britain 2020, a poster competition at Westminster for early career researchers, for the fourth year.
Applications are now open for posters in one of five categories - Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences and Physics.
The event itself takes place at the Houses of Parliament on Monday 9th March during British Science Week. There will be two poster exhibition and judging sessions during the day, each ending with a reception and prize-giving.
This prestigious annual event is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak directly to some of the UK’s best young researchers.
You can find out more about STEM for Britain 2020 here.
Staff from WMG have been supporting the Firecrackers, a team of five Year 4 children from Crackley Hall School in Kenilworth, at the Jaguar Primary School Challenge.
The Jaguar Primary School Challenge is a STEM competition, with the aim being to inspire children to consider engineering as a career.
Professor Alan Chalmers, Dr Ali Asadipour and Maria Vasquez Caropres supported the Firecrackers throughout the project to research, design, manufacture, test, promote and race the fastest car possible using standard chassis and engine housing nets to create a car body made only from card.
The team’s achievements were first put to the test at the Regional Finals at Princethorpe College in May. The standard was incredibly high, with the Firecrackers taking second place overall and qualifying for the National Finals. The team also won the awards for Best Engineered Car, Best Portfolio and Best Pit Display.
The WMG team then set about helping the Firecrackers to prepare and modify their car for the National Finals which was held in June at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon.
Each car was judged by a panel of experts from Jaguar Land Rover with the design, portfolio and pit display all examined in detail. The children were also required to give a presentation, before the car was plugged into a compressed air canister and raced down a special track.
Although not the fastest on the day, the judges were highly impressed by the final design, and the clear and articulate manner in which the children were able to present their design decisions. The Firecrackers were delighted to be awarded the “Best Engineered Car” title ahead of 38 other teams from across the country.
Professor Alan Chalmers said: “The collaboration has been rewarding for all involved. The children have on many occasions expressed their enthusiasm for engineering. We’re looking forward to supporting next year’s team, and perhaps even winning the title of Fastest Car!”
Find out more about the Jaguar Primary School Challenge here.
The Warwick Submarine team which consists of six 4th year engineering students, have won the ‘Smooth Operator’ award for their human powered submarine, at the International Submarine Races (ISR-15) in Maryland, USA.
The six 4th year engineering students Helen Boyle, Sarah Kemp, Rebecca Seal, Ash Leonard, Giles Collee and Lewis Robbins had to design and build a human powered submarine and race it in an underwater course against other top science and marine engineering students from across the world.
In the racing, Godiva was able to achieve a speed of 2.88 knots – the best yet for the Warwick team and possibly a UK record. Godiva remains the UK champions in this competition.
The team had access to cutting-edge engineering research from WMG and the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick as well as help from their sponsorship partners, which include Babcock, Stratasys and 3M.
Nigel Denton from WMG (a Nationally-Qualified Diving Instructor) enabled the students on the team to become qualified divers. This is a requirement of all participants in the competition; notably, the pilot of the submarine breaths from on-board scuba equipment.
The pilot lies prone in the submarine and propels the submarine by pedalling. Derived from a bicycle, the pedal power transfers through a bevel-gearbox powertrain connected to the contra-rotating propellers. To steer the submarine, the pilot manipulates levers, which control dive-planes for pitch (up and down) and yaw (left and right).
To ensure the safety of the pilot, an emergency buoy is released to the surface if the pilot lets go of the spring-loaded ‘dead man's switch’. A light attached to the hull helps the support team locate the submarine in low light conditions. These measures alert the US Navy divers who provide close support.
The ‘Smooth Operator’ award recognises the team that was best organised in terms of race preparation, efficiency of operation (including on-the-startline pilot ‘lock-and-load’ drill), problem solving, effecting running repairs and overall reliability. It is a huge accolade for the Godiva team to have won this against very significant competition, notably from the Omer team (from the École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal) and Delft’s WASUB team.
Ian Tuersley, from WMG, who has been the Project Director on the Warwick Submarine project for the past seven years said:
“Once again the Warwick Submarine ‘Godiva’ team have achieved an excellent result at the International Submarine Races. The ‘Smooth Operator’ award is testament to the hard work that the team have put in all year, not just to the engineering aspects of the project but also to such necessities as gathering the support of sponsors and the logistics of simply attending the competition with a viable racing submarine. In this project they have received support and advice from many people but the end result places us in a strong position for future development. I am immensely proud of all that they have achieved”.
Rebecca Seal, University of Warwick engineering student from the Godiva Warwick Submarine Team explains:
“Getting involved with ISR has helped translate theoretical knowledge of engineering to more practical and hands on skills. This sort of experience is exactly what I need to help pursue a career as a professional engineer.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
High-res images and videos are available.
Full list of sponsors include:
The principal external/industry sponsors:
Others who have provided very welcome support or advice are:
· GRM Consulting,
· Stoney Cove Diving Centre
· ELG Carbon Fibre
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Lancaster University technician
Yesterday (Tuesday 25th June) Jane Coleman, Chief Operating Officer at WMG, presented John Baum from Lancaster University with the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Lifetime Achievement Award for Technical Excellence, at the Papin Prize Awards at The Higher Education Technicians Summit.
The Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Lifetime Achievement Award recognises continued excellence and/or significant achievements across an individual's technical career.
John was given the award for his strong commitment to Chemistry outreach, running activities for over 1000 kids and members of the community. He has been a lab technician since 1978 in Higher Education and industry. His nominator commented that “his devotion to outreach is outstanding, working weekends and long hours to prepare.”
The Summit is the largest event held specifically for UK Higher Education technical staff with sessions focused on technical skills and education including the importance of technical skills in driving forward innovation, and current initiatives to ensure the future provision of technical education to young people.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya was passionate about tackling the UK’s skills shortage and highlighting the important role of technicians in contributing to internationally-leading education and research. He also recognised their role as ambassadors for science and engineering.
The Summit, hosted by Midlands Innovation in collaboration with Science Council, took place at the University of Birmingham. Find out more about the awards here.
WMG is pleased to be helping the #TransformTheFuture campaign supporting International Women in Engineering Day this Sunday (23 June).
International Women in Engineering Day is an awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering, and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in the industry.
In June, there will be a number of special events at WMG. On 25th June, Chemical Engineer Dr Katie Sizeland will be giving a talk to staff and students and sharing her career highlights and passion for science.
Katie is a Research Programme Manager at ANSTO investigating the nanostructure and mechanical properties of collagen using advanced imaging techniques and synchrotron-based small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). She is one of only a few female X-ray scientists.
Inspiring young engineers
On 28th June, 58 girls from the WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Coventry and Solihull will be visiting WMG and taking part in a ‘People Like Me Session’ – “a WISE initiative and revolutionary approach to engaging girls with careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)”.
The day will be supported by some of WMG’s own inspiring women Eve Wheeler-Jones, Puja Unadkat, Jennie Murray, Lydia Adigun, Beth Haynes and Anisha Patel who will share their experiences of working in STEM.
WMG Women in STEM
At WMG there is a community of women working in STEM from teaching and technicians to researchers and project managers.
Professor Jan Godsell, who is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the IMechE; and has been appointed to advise the UK government on manufacturing policy as a member of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills' Manufacturing Advisory Group, shares her career advice:
“Think big and grab the opportunities you are given. When I was in the sixth form I had the opportunity to attend an Insight programme to encourage Women into Engineering at Brunel University, which confirmed to me what I wanted to do. I’d also say keep your options open – going down the Mechanical Engineering route gave me very varied experiences.”
You can find out more about some of our inspiring women in STEM here.
Dr Kogila Balakrishnan Director of Client and Business Development at WMG, University of Warwick, Dr Kogila Balakrishnan, is on the expert panel on Friday (12th April) at the Chevening Conference 2019.
She joins senior academics from across the world, Chevening Alumni, and inspiring community leaders for Chevening’s 35th annual conference entitled ‘Pushing boundaries and shaping the future.’
Dr Balakrishnan, a Chevening Alumnus herself, will discuss, debate, and share ideas on pushing boundaries and the importance of building international networks, as well as those documented in her recent book ‘Technology Offsets in International Defence Procurement.’ The book is the first to focus on both the theory and practice of offsets, combining developmental economic theories, technology theories, business and management theories and international business practice.
Dr Balakrishnan is responsible for international business development, research in defence management and offsets as well as teaching at WMG. Her specific role is to develop and enhance education and research collaboration focused in Malaysia and South East Asia.
Find out more and book your place here.
WMG Research Fellow, Sid-Ali Amamra, has been selected to present his work at the prestigious STEM for BRITAIN event on Wednesday 13th March.
The event takes place at Westminster with around 100 MPs in attendance to hear more about the current science, engineering and mathematics research by early-stage and early-career researchers in the UK.
Sid-Ali works within WMG’s Intelligent Vehicles research team focusing on the advanced energy management systems for electrical networks and power systems integrating plug-in electric vehicle with Li-ion battery technologies.
Sid-Ali’s poster on research about the Vehicle-To-Grid (V2G) technology supervision using internet of things (IoT) will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind. He was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.
Sid-Ali explains: “I feel happy to present WMG at this event. It is a fantastic opportunity for me to communicate my research to an interesting audience and to present the high impact of my project for helping government to reach the net-zero emissions UK’s target in near future.
“It gives me a chance to go to Parliament and be in the company of MPs, policymakers and key figures, as well as others researchers from around the country. At STEM for BRITAIN, I want to explain the promising results of using V2G technology to help achieve the UK’s zero emission target.”
Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said:
“This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.
“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”
Sid-Ali’s research has been entered into the engineering session of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony.
Judged by leading academics, the gold medalist receives £2,000, while silver and bronze receive £1,250 and £750 respectively.
The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology, The Physiological Society and the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, with financial support from the Clay Mathematics Institute, United Kingdom Research and Innovation, WMG, Society of Chemical Industry, the Nutrition Society, Institute of Biomedical Science, the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research and the Comino Foundation.
WMG is proud to be sponsoring the Engineering section for the third year.
Find out more about STEM for Britain here.
Primary school children from three TSSMAT (The Small Schools Multi-Academy Trust) schools from Staffordshire will be building and racing their own Greenpower Formula Goblin electric cars with support from WMG at the University of Warwick. All three schools will compete at a national Greenpower race-day event in June.
Children in years 5 and 6 at The Howard Primary School in Elford and St Mary’s CofE Primary in Colton will join pupils at The Richard Crosse School in Kings Bromley in this challenge, building on the successful launch of the initiative at Richard Crosse in 2018.
The children, aged 9-11, began assembling their cars from a kit of parts received back in January. When the kit is complete they will design and construct bespoke bodywork for their cars before moving on to driver training in the school playgrounds to ensure they are fully prepared for race day in the summer term.
The project embodies key practical engineering skills, working together as a team, and writing up their progress in their individual project portfolios to earn Greenpower STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) awards from the AQA examination board.
Each school team also produces regular video diary updates to share their progress online with peers, siblings, parents and the wider community. Their Twitter handles are @StMarysRacing, @TheHowardRacing and @RCrosseRacing.
Formula Goblin is one of a series of age-graded motor-racing challenges set up by the Greenpower Education Trust to address the skills gap that is growing in the UK automotive industry. It is designed to engage students with maths, science and design technology, at early age and promoting equality and team working regardless of economic background or gender. The project aims to raise pupils’ awareness and enjoyment of STEM subjects and inspire them to consider STEM careers in their future.
This year TSSMAT wanted to expand the project across more of their schools to create a larger local community of budding young engineers. The project is funded by the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre, a government body established to support and promote the development of next generation automotive technology here in the UK. Direct support for the schools is delivered by WMG at The University of Warwick who are a member of the APC’s higher-education spoke community.
Dr Antony Allen from WMG who will be working closely with the schools comments:
“It’s fantastic to expand this project to two more schools within TSSMAT. One of the best aspects of my role here at WMG is the wonderful experience of working with future engineers of all ages, from my post-graduate Warwick automotive students through to excited year 5 and 6 pupils at our local primary schools. It’s a very rewarding experience for everyone involved”
Executive head teacher of the trust, Mr Paul Lovern, comments:
“I am thrilled that once again, The Small Schools Multi Academy Trust is involved in the Greenpower initiative.
“The children at all three schools have been inspired to take part and develop their engineering skills. This project embraces so many areas of the curriculum and demonstrates a curriculum that is enriching, at its best! I hope that from the ‘green shoots’ that are emerging, the children are inspired to become engineers of the future.
“I look forward to Race Day, however I will have to remain very neutral with regards to who becomes the overall winning school!”
The event showcases leading figures from motorsport, automotive and beyond to discuss current and future technology development, and explores the many opportunities for business growth and success.
At the conference, our Professor Dave Greenwood joined other experts for a lively panel discussion entitled 'What's in it for me? Electric Power in Motorsport and Automotive'.
In the evening, the MIA held its prestigious Business Excellence Awards. WMG sponsored the ‘Export Achievement Award,’ with AP Racing crowned much-deserved winners. The AP Racing team were presented with their award by the CEO of our WMG centre HVM Catapult, Archie MacPherson.
You can read more about MIA events here.