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Inspiring young engineers with STEM masterclasses

Image of Ri Masterclasses opening slide

The WMG Outreach Team has successfully completed another series of Royal Institution Engineering Masterclasses.

This series was a little different to those in years gone by with the Masterclasses forced online by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Professor Margaret Low, WMG’s Director of Outreach and Widening Participation said: “WMG has supported the Ri with masterclasses, since 2013, with workshops and activities that put our cutting-edge engineering research into context for young people. Our masterclasses have been run in person each year since 2013 so we were determined not to miss a year for 2021, finding a way to deliver the activities online instead.

“These experiences allow students to see how their school learning applies to complicated and world-changing technologies. Through our outreach programmes we hope to inspire young people to pursue careers in STEM, widen participation in Higher Education and make the STEM workforce more diverse.”

The project was run virtually, by WMG staff and students, for two local schools; Nicholas Chamberlaine in Bedworth, and Northleigh House in Warwick, with a special focus on intelligent vehicles.

The WMG team used Kitronik project boxes to introduce the ideas of intelligent vehicles, calibrating components, coding, algorithms, and toImage of Kitronik box explore how design technology is used to balance the pros and cons of any creation.

The children were tasked with making, testing and then improving a car that a computer can control.

The teacher said: “The students were really engaged and got so much out of it. Considering it was video link and the first event they've been able to do like that in ages.”

Rachel Dorris, Masterclass Programme Manager at the Royal Institution added: “The Royal Institution (Ri) has been collaborating with Warwick University for many years to bring hands-on workshops to school students, and we are very pleased to be working with Northleigh and Nicholas Chamberlaine schools this year. Ri Masterclasses offer students an engaging, collaborative taste of STEM subjects involving mathematics, engineering and technology. We aim for Masterclasses to increase interest and confidence in STEM subjects, creating a sense of engagement to last throughout students’ school careers and beyond.”

Find out more about the WMG 2021 Ri Engineering Masterclasses here: Ri Engineering Masterclasses 2021 (warwick.ac.uk)

Wed 27 Oct 2021, 15:01 | Tags: HVM Catapult STEM Partnerships Public engagement Outreach

Warwick student projects showcased at Our Future Moves

Students from across WMG and the School of Engineering have been showcasing their work at the Our Future Moves exhibition at the Coventry Transport Museum.

The exhibition is filled with contraptions, inventions, innovations and demonstrations showing the mechanisms and machinations of all things that move. The students have contributed several pieces to the exhibition that showcase their skills and imagination when it comes to futuristic transport.

Satellites

There are satellites from WUSat, the student team who are building nanosatellites to explore space and improve communications on earth. The students areImage one Warwick student projects at Our Future Moves working on satellites that can orient themselves in space accurately enough to monitor wildlife populations on earth. Find out more here: OFM5: City Ecology // Our Environment — Culture Space Coventry

 

Racing carsImage Warwick racing student project

There are racing car components from Warwick Racing, the team that build a functioning electric race vehicle to compete in the Formula Student competition each year.

Submarines

The third student project on display is the Warwick Sub Team’s human-powered submarine. The students are tasked with designed and building the submarine to compete against other universities. The competition is usually held every-other-year at the US Naval Base in Cardarock, Maryland in the US, but due to the Covid19 pandemic it was held virtually this year. The students have won many accolades throughout the years. This year the team received Honourable Mentions’ in the ‘Manoeuvring and Control Subsystem Design Challenge’ and the ‘Thrust Production Subsystem Design Challenge’ categories.

 

Image of Warwick SubSharing her experiences of the Warwick Sub team, Verena Oetzmann, Team Leader in 2016-2017, says: “In addition to all the challenges that we women in engineering face, being the female leader of an otherwise all male team was a demanding but very rewarding role. The lessons I have learnt throughout my time, coupled with the many skills procured along the way, have been invaluable as preparation for working life after university.

“Despite being the most difficult venture that I have undertaken at university, it is certainly among the most enjoyable, rewarding and memorable experiences I have ever had.”

Professor Ian Tuersley, Project Director for Warwick Sub, adds: “It is clear that our students who are fortunate enough to be involved in the International Submarine Race (ISR) competitions enjoy the experience immensely and value the additional benefits that these unique opportunities provide them.

“However, from the point of view of an educator, in addition to the excellent experience there is tangible empirical evidence that the requirements of the competitions – including the necessary enforcement of real-world deadlines and constraints focuses their work and personal development on areas that more traditional University learning is not easily able to deliver. Skills such as team-working, project management, problem solving, budgetary awareness and leadership are essential if success is to be achieved in the competitions – and these are exactly the skills and behaviours that are most highly valued by potential employers.”

The students involved in all these projects learn how to apply their knowledge and gain experience of a real project, run in an industrial style. They make fantastic role models for young people, including Jack Moore (a former Sub Team member) whose profile is also part of the exhibition.

Our Future Moves runs until 31st October at the Coventry Transport Museum, or explore the online exhibition here: https://transport-museum.com/events/1491/our_future_moves

Fri 08 Oct 2021, 11:47 | Tags: HVM Catapult STEM Partnerships Public engagement Outreach

Student success at international marine engineering competition

Image of Warwick Sub Student Team AwardsCongratulations to the Warwick Human Powered Submarine Team who received two awards and an overall commendation at the International Submarine Races (ISR16).

The competition is usually held every-other-year at the US Naval Base in Cardarock, Maryland in the US, but due to the Covid19 pandemic it was held virtually this year.

The Team was made up of seven final year engineering students, from the University of Warwick, including Gavin Ho; Phil Leiser; Jack Moore; James Grant; Alex Oortman; Karishma Patel and Vivek Suresh-Babu. The students had access to the engineering research and facilities within WMG’s engineering hall, and were supervised by WMG’s Professor Ian Tuersley and Senior Teaching Fellow Nigel Denton.

The Team competed against students from Universities across the globe and were delighted to receive ‘Honourable Mentions’ in the ‘Manoeuvring and Control Subsystem Design Challenge’ and the ‘Thrust Production Subsystem Design Challenge’ categories.

Professor Ian Tuersley said: “This is another great result from the Godiva Submarine student team. Once again they have brought back awards from the ISR, in competition against considerably more experienced international institutions. This consolidates the Warwick team as the UK champions in this hotly contended, high-profile event.”

Charlie Behrle, President of the competition organisers, the ‘Foundation for Underwater Research and Education’ (FURE) said: “With over 250 contestants representing 12 teams from three different countries participating, it was a busy and challenging event. Your team’s participation and performance were outstanding. We very much appreciate the effort your team put forth to participate in this event. Well done to Team Godiva!”

The Godiva Submarine is currently displayed, along with other University of Warwick student projects, at the Coventry Transport Museum as part of the ‘Our Future Moves’ exhibition.

Our Future Moves runs until 31st October 2021 - find out more here: Our Future Moves - Coventry Transport Museum (transport-museum.com)


Warwick Boring team unveil tunnelling machine at Elon Musk competition in Las Vegas

· The Warwick Boring Team is a student-led project designing, creating and building a tunnelling machine, which they are currently racing at Elon Musk’sThe Warwick Boring team in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA tunnelling competition organised by the boring company

· Whilst at the competition in Las Vegas, the team are able to unveil their innovative machine

· The team head home on the 12th September, and hope to bring home an award with them

A team of students called The Warwick Boring Team are in Las Vegas, Nevada to competing in Elon Musk’s the Boring Company’s tunnelling competition, where they are showcasing their innovative machine for the first time.

A group of 27 students, known as the Warwick Boring Team are in Nevada, USA, competing in Elon Musk’s the Boring Company Tunnelling competition.

Current tunnelling machines are 14x slower than a snail, and cost from $100million to $1billion per mile, therefore the race to make a faster and cheaper machine is heating up.

Having been shortlisted as one of 12 teams out of nearly 400, the Warwick Boring Team aim to make our transport greener, cheaper and faster in future with their novel tunnelling machine, which will be competing against other top Universities including MIT, TUM and ETH Zurich, and industry tunnelling professionals.

With support from the School of Engineering, WMG, numerous other sponsors in the industry and the University of Warwick the students have made a machine that once scaled up the design is expected to be 80% faster than standard machines that typically dig one mile in 8-12 weeks. Moreover, the aim is to dig at a cost that is 10X cheaper than traditional machines that typically would cost $100m - $1bn per mile to construct tunnels we use today.

Sanzhar Taizhan, Founder and Co-Project Lead at Warwick Boring comments:
“After almost a year of creating, designing and building we are thrilled to see the machine here in the flesh and finished and finally in Vegas competing. The entire team have worked flat out for the last few months to get it together once we were allowed in the labs after the COVID-19 restrictions eased.

“We are so excited to see our machine working and see how it compares to other competitors. I am so proud of the team to making it to this stage no matter what the outcome is once we are out there.”

Tanner Hatzmann, the technical director at Warwick Boring adds:
“It would typically take years to create, design and build a novel machine, however we have been able to do it over the last year, even during lockdowns. The Warwick Boring tunnelling machine is exciting as it has – unique features here –. We cannot wait to see it in action and have everything crossed for a win.”

ENDS

10 SEPTEMBER 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/image_3-_warwick_boring.jpeg
Caption: The Warwick Boring team in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA with their tunnelling machine
Credit: University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/image_4-_warwick_boring.jpeg
Caption: The Warwick Boring team in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Credit: University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/image_2-_warwick_boring.jpeg
Caption: The Warwick Boring team in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Credit: University of Warwick

For further information please contact:

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

Fri 10 Sep 2021, 13:00 | Tags: Public engagement Undergraduate Full-time Warwick News

Bringing battery research to life at Our Future Moves

WMG is proud to play a part in the Our Future Moves exhibition at the Coventry Transport Museum.

The interactive exhibition tells the stories of the objects on display by envisioning how future cities may look and explores how pioneering developments in transport and technology could affect the environment and the way we live.

It features a range of exhibits that highlight the region’s pioneering work in transport innovation – from autonomous vehicles to one-person submarines.

Image of Coventry VLR at Our Future Moves exhibitionAs well as showcasing the Coventry Very Light Rail Project, engineers from WMG’s Automation Systems Group have also created a display using a UR5 collaborative robot, or cobot, to show and explain how automation plays an important part in battery assembly and manufacturing.

The cobot, which is the centrepiece of the display, was the brainchild of WMG Project Engineer Rohin Titmarsh. AfterImage of cobot display at Our Future Moves exhibition working on AMPLIFII , a research project which delivered novel and leading designs for high power and high energy modules, along with the manufacturing methods to deliver them to medium volume production, Rohin started to investigate ways to bring the project to life for a younger audience. The team collaborated with Schunk, suppliers of gripping systems for industrial robots, who have generously loaned a gripper to the team for use in this exhibition, highlighting WMG’s strength in industry and breath of partners we work with.

Rohin explains: “This project is a shining example of the fantastic ability we have between our research and technical teams, to help bring projects to life. I am very appreciative of the support of Engineering Technician, Bethany Haynes, and thankful to Phil Jemmett and Margaret Low in the Outreach Team for the opportunity and assistance to develop this extension of the ‘Battery Builder’ activity.

“It is always important to explain why automation is crucial in producing the number of batteries we need for the future. The ‘Battery Builder’ activity does that for school students by introducing robots in manufacturing, why we use them and some basics about programming them. The gamification of this activity means we’re communicating the key points about our research in a fun and engaging way. Being able to have a real cobot running in the museum is a fabulous example of modern day engineering and in turn a great way to inspire the next generation of young engineers

“We look forward to working with Schunk and other partners in the future on more exciting and innovative uses for cobots.”

Our Future Moves runs until 31st October 2021 - find out more here: Our Future Moves - Coventry Transport Museum (transport-museum.com)

Mon 09 Aug 2021, 14:35 | Tags: HVM Catapult Public engagement Research Outreach

Fully electric masterclass created for the next generation of engineers

WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre is working with the Smallpeice Trust and the Faraday Institution to create and deliver a Fully Electric Challenge for year 11 students.

The online course has been created by a team of four WMG graduate trainee engineers, including Ben Hunt; Lauren Cooper; Irma Houmadi and Joshua Wallis, with support from the WMG Outreach team.

Picture electric vehicleIt aims to deliver key insights into the battery industry, provide an overview of transport electrification and explain how this translates to wider areas of society.

Students will have the opportunity to design and build an automotive product using engineering concepts and processes, before presenting their designs and ideas to their peers.

The course will also provide details on a variety of STEM career paths that can help contribute to a morePicture of young engineer sustainable future.

Ben Hunt explained: “This is another great event to be involved in which highlights the exciting range of careers in STEM. I hope we manage to capture the multi-disciplinary nature of electrification during the four-day course, it really is a one-stop-workshop!

“It has been great to work alongside some fantastic professionals in designing the event and I’m looking forward to listening to their lectures myself. The event content is derived from their real-world experience across various industries so I am confident students will be as informed as they could be, certainly more than I was in my final school years!”

Lauren Cooper added: One of my favourite parts of my job at WMG is inspiring the engineers of the future by designing and delivering events like the Fully Electric Challenge. I think it is important to give students a taste of how exciting a career in engineering can be, and demonstrate the importance of STEM in the future world. Through the Fully Electric challenge, we aim to show how broad the subject of electrification is including aspects of battery technology, economics and policy for sustainability in transport as well as wider society. STEM careers provide so many opportunities to learn and make impact in society through the development of technology for electrification. Having studied chemistry and started my career as a graduate at WMG, I have really enjoyed learning how underlying battery chemistries are developed manufactured and implemented utilising knowledge and skills from other areas of STEM.”

Each year 124,000 new engineers and technicians are needed to meet current and future demands. The Smallpeice Trust is an educational charity that inspires young people to pursue careers in science and engineering through events and workshops.

It takes place from 9-13th August (except on 12th August - GCSE results day) from 9.30am to 1.30pm. Once registered each student is sent instructions, a guide to the activities and a kit enabling them to build a battery powered vehicle.

To register your place visit: https://www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk/course-page/8cbb5b40-ae76-eb11-a812-0022481a98e1

Tue 20 Apr 2021, 13:26 | Tags: HVM Catapult Partnerships Public engagement Outreach

Innovating the Future: British Science Week at WMG

Between 5-14 March, WMG will be supporting British Science Week 2021 - a ten-day celebration of science, technology, maths and engineering. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Innovating the Future.’

WMG has a programme of activities that will showcase the work of its scientists and engineers. You can see more here: WMG - The University of Warwick

MozFest

On 8th March, Professor Margaret Low, WMG’s Director of Outreach and Widening Participation, will be taking part, virtually, in MozFest. The Mozilla Festival, affectionately known as MozFest, is hosted by the Mozilla Foundation, with themed ‘spaces’ akin to mini-festivals.

Professor Low will join other experts to present “Exploring Coding, Stitching Culture,” through a series of tutorials and workshops in the Global Culture and Picture: TurtlestitchHeritage Space. Participants will have the opportunity to create designs with Turtlestitch coding. The designs will them be exhibited in the Mozfest gallery.

Turtlestitch is freely available software that enables the generation and stitching of patterns using a digital embroidery machine. WMG has a series of free tutorials and lesson plans for Turtlestitch available online.

You can register for MozFest here: Mozilla Festival - Tickets

WMG Talks Science

On Friday 12th March, WMG’s Outreach Project Officer, Dr Phil Jemmett will be hosting a live ‘WMG Talks’ event aimed at Year 9 and 10 pupils.

The youngsters will have the chance to hear from four WMG scientists – Amar Gohil, Ben Hunt, Katerina Gonos and Kevin Couling, who will share their expertise on driverless vehicles, transport electrification, battery chemistry and 3D printing, respectively.

Picture: WMG ExpertimentsDr Phil Jemmett explains: “British Science Week takes cutting-edge, awe-inspiring work, usually hidden in university buildings, and shares it with the people who will end up using that technology.

“Futuristic concepts belong in the classroom because those students will be the people who end up designing, making, and improving the technology we are talking about today. Our Outreach activity links the school curriculum to our leading research.

“Amar is teaching cars to drive themselves to make transport accessible and safe; Katerina and Ben are making it possible to generate and store energy in a 'green' way, and Kevin is 3D printing body parts for surgeons to train on. These topics will have huge impacts on all of us and they need future STEM experts to turn these concepts into real products. The next leader in STEM is probably in school somewhere right now - could it be you?”

To find out more or to register a place for your child visit: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/about/outreach/opportunities/wmgtalks

Thu 04 Mar 2021, 17:37 | Tags: STEM Education Public engagement

WMG staff appointed as Fellows in the new Warwick Institute of Engagement

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:

Foundation Fellows:

Evé Wheeler-Jones

Ian Tuersley

Phil Jemmett

Honorary Fellows:

Caroline Meyer

Lisa Harding

Margaret Low

Associate Fellows:

Dave Harvey

Mark Williams

Thu 11 Feb 2021, 18:38 | Tags: Margaret Low Public engagement Mark Williams Our People

WMG delivers special STEM parcels to local schools

WMG delivers STEM parcel to Arley Primary SchoolThe WMG Outreach team has been making special Christmas deliveries to children across the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

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

 

Wed 16 Dec 2020, 09:35 | Tags: HVM Catapult STEM Public engagement Outreach

Face masks from Beijing to University of Warwick will equip local NHS

Face masksAround 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.

 

Wed 29 Apr 2020, 15:11 | Tags: Partnerships Public engagement Warwick News

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