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WMG supports Kenilworth school children in national STEM competition

The FirecrackersStaff 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. Best Engineered Car

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.

Thu 11 Jul 2019, 12:32 | Tags: STEM Public engagement

Warwick submarine team are winners in the US

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.

Warwick SubThe Warwick Submarine team have entered the international competition six times since 2013, which this year was held in Maryland in the US, and won the award for ‘Smooth Operator’.

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.”

 

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

High-res images and videos are available.

Full list of sponsors include:

The principal external/industry sponsors:

· Babcock

· Stratasys

· 3M

 Others who have provided very welcome support or advice are:

· Diab,

· GRM Consulting,

· Stoney Cove Diving Centre

· ELG Carbon Fibre

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

 

Fri 05 Jul 2019, 13:05 | Tags: Education Public engagement

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Lancaster University technician

HETS conference 2019Yesterday (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.

Wed 26 Jun 2019, 17:06 | Tags: Public engagement

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day

Eve Wheeler JonesWMG 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.

Fri 21 Jun 2019, 12:21 | Tags: Public engagement

Dr Kogila Balakrishnan joins expert line-up at prestigious Chevening Conference

Dr Kogila BalakrishnanDr 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.

Wed 10 Apr 2019, 10:38 | Tags: Public engagement

WMG researcher takes research to Parliament

Sid-Ali AmamraWMG 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 build electric racing cars with help from WMG Warwick

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 from St Mary's building the car

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.Children at The Howard Primary School

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!”

Tue 12 Feb 2019, 11:52 | Tags: Public engagement

MIA Motorsport Conference and Business Excellence Awards 2019

The WMG centre HVM Catapult team attended the esteemed MIA Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference, earlier this month.

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.

AProfessor David Greenwoodt 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.


It’s a hat trick!

Three WMG Professors have now joined the The Alan Turing Institute as Fellows.

Carsten MapleOur Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering Carsten Maple, Professor of Data Science, Giovanni Montana, and Professor of Marketing and Giovanni MontanaService Systems Irene Ng; are now all part of the prestigious line-up of expert Fellows.

The Alan Turing Institute is a national body championing data science and artificial intelligence research. It was created by five founding universities - Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, UCL and the University of Warwick plus the EPSRC, with a further eight new universities – Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Queen Mary University of London, Birmingham, Exeter, Bristol, and Southampton – joining in 2018.


Budding young engineers pick up four awards

RC School On 11 July, our Dr Antony Allen and students from Richard Crosse Primary School in Staffordshire went to Rockingham Speedway to compete in the Greenpower Formula Goblin event. We first met the children from class five back in January when they won a competition ran by the Advanced Propulsion Centre to become one of eight schools presented with a Greenpower Goblin kit car. Each winning school was then partnered with an APC Spoke, in this case WMG as the Energy Spoke, who provide financial support and mentoring throughout the electric vehicle build along with driver training ahead of race day.

On race day the team competed in six Slaloms, six Sprints and one Grandprix event. They picked up a fantastic four awards: IET Formula Goblin Participation Award; Rockingham Goblins 2018 Slalom: 3rd place; Rockingham Goblins 2018 Best Presented Team; and Rockingham Goblins 2018 Spirit of Greenpower Award.

The Spirit of Greenpower was awarded in recognition of the way the school have embraced the Greenpower project this year, involving the whole school in the carRACING 2 bodywork design, entering individual and group portfolios of their work, their weekly video-diaries on YouTube, their twitter account, and articles in the village magazine and local district newspaper.

Maria Farrington, a parent of one of the students said ‘I just wish to express my thanks to Dr Allen and the School, for supporting the Rockingham Raceway Project. It was a pleasure to accompany the children today and feel that they also should be congratulated on their behaviour away from school. It was a thoroughly enjoyable outing and an experience the children will remember for a long while’.

Check out the video on their YouTube channel.

Tue 17 Jul 2018, 09:53 | Tags: STEM Partnerships Public engagement

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