Congratulations to our staff members whose appointments as the new Foundation, Honorary and Associate Fellows have been announced by The Warwick Institute of Engagement (WIE).
The role of the Fellows will be to establish the Institute as an interdisciplinary hub for the whole university, and work together to create exciting new engagement opportunities for staff and students.
Over the next few months the Institute will be creating a series of Learning Circles with the new Engagement Fellows. These Circles will cover a range of topics such as the future of engagement in HE, collaborating with communities and student training in Public Engagement. Longer term they are committed to supporting staff and students in providing up to date training and development opportunities and supporting institutional level engagement events such as City of Culture.
Professor Michael Scott and Jane Furze, Directors of the Warwick Institute of Engagement, said:
“Congratulations to all our new Fellows! We’re delighted to have attracted such a diverse, multi-disciplinary range of colleagues and students to join the Institute. Engagement is all about universities working with people and listening to voices outside academia to create and share knowledge collaboratively. Collectively, we have a great foundation to build on the fantastic engagement work already happening at Warwick and drive forward our genuinely new and exciting approach to engagement.”
WMG staff WIE fellows:
Young engineers from a total of 15 local schools have been sent parcels with card templates of stars, stags, sleighs and baubles; a mini laser-cut Christmas tree and 3D printed cubes, octopuses and dinosaurs.
The year five and six children were also set some special STEM challenges including creating their own 3D Christmas decorations but without the use of glue.
WMG Outreach Project Officer, Phil Jemmett explained: “These boxes use the expertise of engineers at WMG to create exciting activities to engage children with ‘engineering’ - without a car in sight. We want to provide children with a chance to see creativity and engineering as two parts of the same approach to solving a problem.
“Inside the boxes are templates to build Christmas decorations out of paper – and once they have made a few they will notice the advantages of flat-packing the items we see in shops because they won’t all fit back in the box they came from!
“Last year, this resource box was the most fun activity we worked on. It has been a bit different this year and without the help of our fantastic technicians Beth Haynes; Joe Benjamin and Ehman Altaf, it would not have been possible to laser cut or 3D print any items to go in these boxes.”
WMG Director of Outreach and Widening Participation , Professor Margaret Low added: “I’m delighted that WMG is again able to share the engineering activity boxes with local primary schools. It’s important that we work in partnership with teaching colleagues at all stages of education, to raise awareness of engineering and how it contributes to our society.”
Find out more about WMG’s Outreach programme here.
*In total 25 boxes were sent out. Local schools involved were:
· St Giles Junior School, Bedworth
· Charter Primary School, Coventry
· St Joseph, Kings Norton, Birmingham
· St Columba, Rednal, Birmingham
· St James, Rednal, Birmingham
· St Thomas More, Sheldon, Birmingham
· St Brigid, Northfield, Birmingham
· St Paul, Birmingham
· Arley Primary School, Nuneaton
· Burton Green Primary School, Coventry
· Balsall Common Primary School, Balsall Common
· Burbage Junior School
· Dorridge Primary School, Solihull
· Shottery St Andrews Primary School
· Clifford Bridge Academy, Coventry
Around 1000 face masks, donated by Beijing City University in China to the University of Warwick, will be given to NHS key workers across Warwickshire on the front line against COVID-19.
The University of Warwick community is now working to distribute these masks to social care services in North and South Warwickshire, via the NHS Incident Management Teams.
The face masks will be utilised in care homes, hospices, and district care services, where the current supply of personal protective equipment is very low.
Some of the masks will also be used to keep students and frontline workers who remain on the Warwick campus safe.
This weekend, the British Medical Association declared that all key workers should be given a face mask to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
This donation was made by Professor Liu Lin, President of Beijing City University — an institution with which WMG has a long-standing education partnership.
WMG has collaborated with Beijing City University since 2012 to deliver its Programme and Project Management Masters courses in China.
Professor Stuart Croft, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, said: “The Warwick community of students, staff, and partners stretches to every continent on the planet, and its heart is here in Coventry and Warwickshire. On behalf of this community, I thank Professor Liu Lin for the supply of face masks, which will enable us to help keep our neighbours who are most in need safe during this pandemic.
“Together, we are striving to beat the virus – and we will achieve this through co-operation across international borders, driving forward vital research, and supporting our local healthcare workers.”
Margot James is the newly appointed Executive Chair of WMG at the University of Warwick. She commented: “The struggle against this pandemic is global, and it is local. We will only succeed in the fight against COVID-19 by collaborating with our partners around the world, and by protecting key workers in our communities who are on the front line.
“We at WMG and the wider University of Warwick are very grateful for the generosity of Professor Liu Lin and our friends at Beijing City University — and we are proud to draw upon our established international links to support the health and welfare of our region, at a time when the need is greater than ever.”
This is one of numerous ways in which the University of Warwick has worked with its Chinese partners to support the fight against COVID-19 in the UK.
Last week, it was announced that Professors from Warwick’s Department of Engineering have been working with the Association of British Chinese Professors in raising funds to purchase personal protective equipment for ten UK hospitals.
They secured 2400 face masks for hospitals in London, as well as 3500 safety goggles and 7000 full face visors, which were donated to seven hospitals in London, Cambridge, Birmingham and Coventry.
The outreach team from WMG, University of Warwick, want to encourage children and their parents and carers to use this time to explore some of the fun, creative STEM learning opportunities which are available online. With support from WMG centre HVM Catapult, the outreach team at WMG has produced a number of online activities for children of all ages to get involved and learn something new.
Professor Margaret Low, Director of Outreach and Widening Participation for WMG, explains:
"With schools closing it’s a real opportunity to engage parents and carers with online teaching resources, to ensure children are getting an education at home during these uncertain times.”
“We hope these resources, which are suitable for young people of all ages, will inspire children to take up careers in STEM. Many children may think of engineering as physically making things, but don't realise the maths or computer design skills required, which could open up a great career for them in the future.”
The first resource suggested by WMG outreach team is Turtlestitch, which is great for children in school years 5 to 9. Turtlestitch is a free website on which users can write a program to control a digital embroidery machine. It is used by WMG for outreach activities, as a means of raising awareness of the breadth of engineering. Young people really enjoy using Turtlestitch for pattern design, with or without access to a digital embroidery machine, which makes it ideal for learning at home while schools are closed.
Helen Luckhurst, a Project Officer at WMG, University of Warwick comments: “Turtlestitch is great for children learning at home because it gives them a fun context for applying maths skills. It is interactive and engaging as children discover the patterns they can make using maths.”
“We have created a number of resource cards and video tutorials to support its use, so I hope that parents and carers will encourage their children to use this as a different way of learning.”
Find WMG video tutorials, how-to cards and maths tasks to guide users through Turtlestitch here. Explore the learning materials on basic programming skills, year 5 and 6 maths, craft projects and further mathematical investigations.
Another fun activity for both primary and secondary school children is Tinkercad, a colourful, easy to use computer-aided design software, which is free to use in the web browser and suitable for children from around 8 years of age. Teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers use it to imagine, design, and make anything. It is used by WMG outreach as part of the Warwick Bright Stars programme in primary schools. Parents can find video tutorials and ideas for several projects here, including keyrings, money pots and lolly drip trays.
Diane Burton, a Project Officer at WMG, University of Warwick explains: "These Tinkercad projects engage children in the design process, and get them using measurements and maths as an essential part of their design work.”
Autodesk Fusion 360 is a powerful, professional CAD package. It is used in secondary schools and is suitable for ages 14+, and a free download is available to students, educators and enthusiasts. WMG video and written tutorials are available here, where you will find projects including design of assistive technology.
Parents may also want to do some experiments at home with their children, which are fun and educational for any age.
WMG staff have made videos available of demonstrating experiments to do at home, using household items and toys you might already have. It is advisable that children are supervised during these experiments.
Watch Graduate Trainee Engineers Lauren, Jacob, Josh and Lucas demonstrating STEM experiments, and follow a guide to building a pulley from a toy construction set. There are many more experiments to come, telling the engineering story behind household objects.
Dr Phil Jemmett, a Project Officer at WMG, University of Warwick comments: “Every product in your house has been made by engineers and shaped by scientists. We want to tell the story behind those items and show you experiments that you can do with everyday stuff. Now that we are all staying in our homes, we just have to find a way to do STEM with what we’ve got!”
Parental supervision is advised when accessing external websites.
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.