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Celebrating British Science Week 2022

The WMG team had a busy, fun-packed British Science Week, taking part in six special STEM events reaching out to more than 2015 young scientists andPicture shows Yiduo Wang presenting a science experiment at the Slice of Science event engineers.

British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths; and is a chance to look into the future and celebrate the impact scientific ideas can make on society. In support, the Team took part in the University of Warwick’s ‘Slice of Science;’ attended the Royal Institution’s Powering our Sustainable Future event, where Rohin Titmarsh and Phil Jemmett shared their expertise on battery tech and robotics; and conducted experiments at a library science fair in Staffordshire.

Picture shows Phil Jemmett and Rohin Titmarsh at Royal Institution eventDr Phil Jemmett, Outreach Project Officer at WMG, said: “Presenters at the events noticed students building in confidence as they engaged with our staff, and we have received some really positive feedback from both organisers and parents.”

The team at Perton Library said the ‘experiments were great – excellent explanations for the children.’

A parent at the Ri event said it was an ‘excellent event. Having the booths from universities/companies after the event was a great bonus for my son. He had the chance to discuss not only about batteries but about different courses to study as he is still undecided as to which course to choose.’

Another parent added: ‘It gave my 17-year-old a frame of reference to where a career in STEM could lead.’

Phil explained: “For the UK to remain at the forefront of innovation, a strong and diverse workforce will be needed. We believe that events such as these can give youngsters the information and the inspiration, they need to pursue a STEM career.”

The Outreach team would like to say a huge thank you to Bethany Haynes; Rebecca Swan-McAdam; Mucahit Ozden; Veronika Majherova; Yiduo Wang;Picture shows Bethany Haynes at Slice of Science Zeina Rihawi; Jianhua Yang; Rohin Titmarsh; Tom Goodman; Rachael Kirwan; Eugene Prout; Nilavan Thipaharan; Bianca Agapito; and Claire Davis, for their help and support at the events.

Find out more about WMG’s Outreach programme, including the Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme and the Resonate Festival, taking place in April, here: Public engagement and Outreach (warwick.ac.uk)

Fri 01 Apr 2022, 09:37 | Tags: STEM Public engagement Our People Outreach

Festive outreach gifts for young engineers

The WMG Outreach team has been making special Christmas deliveries to children across the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

A total of 45 festive STEM parcels have been delivered to young engineers at primary schools, community groups, Coventry’s Hospital Education Service, Coventry Transport Museum andPicture of the Christmas-in-a-Box package IntoUniversity. 

Each parcel contained printed templates of Christmas-themed decorations on a flat sheet of card, along with instructions and a link to a video tutorial.

Phil Jemmett, WMG Outreach Project Officer, explained: “The activity teaches young people how 3D objects can be made from flat materials. This is often how real-world items are made and stocked in shops because it takes up so much less space. We’re all used to the idea of ‘flat-pack’ now – it's time to show young people why it’s so common. 

 To cement the learning for our young audience, there is a final challenge! This is a creative activity where students design and make their own 3D item from paper or materials. The children then bring all their creations together around a central stand to make a festive display.

Sophie Meeson, Brown Owl at Berkswell Brownies Brown Owl said: “Berkswell Brownies were thrilled to use the Christmas-in-a- box resource. The children enjoyed seeing their hard work become a 3D final product, and it was a great way of combining reading comprehension skills with fine motor skills and problem solving to ensure they had made the necessary cuts and folds for their final piece to fit together. Being able to tie it into our Christmas craft evening was a bonus for the leaders too, fitting the theme perfectly. Our thanks go to the outreach team at WMG.” 

Professor Margaret Low, WMG’s Director of Outreach and Widening Participation added: “These boxes are only possible thanks to the support of our staff designing the items in the boxes, packing and delivering boxes to their local schools, as well as the support of WMG and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. The contributions of our entire team, during a busy festive period, show our commitment as a department to inspiring the next generation of engineers.”

All of the resources are also available online for free here: www.warwick.ac.uk/wmgoutreach/resources/flatpack 

Mon 13 Dec 2021, 10:46 | Tags: HVM Catapult STEM Public engagement Outreach

Coventry schools to build future cities from recycled household items

Children at Courthouse Green primary school listening to the online workshop

· TeenTech is a national charity working with school children to help them consider a future in digital, science technology and engineering.

· Their TeenTech City of Tomorrow initiative is working with nine Coventry schools with the help of WMG, University of Warwick

· Experts from WMG will deliver advice to children on sustainable materials, and inspire them as they design and build their city of the future out of recyclable household items

· A few Cities will then be exhibited at The Coventry Transport Museum

TeenTech City of Tomorrow will see Coventry school children make a city of recyclable household items, with help from researchers at WMG, University of Warwick who will teach them all about sustainability. A select few ideas – buildings and technology- will then be exhibited at the Coventry Transport Museum.

TeenTech is a national charity engaging children and teenagers in Digital, Science, Engineering and Technology and their latest initiative has launched today, the 11th November, in Coventry, which will see nine schools in Coventry build a futuristic sustainable city out of recyclable household items.

As it’s ‘Cities, Regions and Built Environment’ day at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick are helping children understand sustainability and its importance, by delivering an online session about sustainable materials and why it’s important we use them more for a greener future, thanks to funding from the University’s Innovative Manufacturing and Future Materials GRP.

The children will then have two weeks to build their cities from recyclable household items. Three researchers from WMG, University of Warwick will run workshops, educating the children in using natural products for sustainable solutions and how to dispose of products.

On the 25th November the researchers from will then provide feedback, before selecting a few of the buildings and ideas to be exhibited at the Coventry Transport Museum from the end of the month.

Dr Stuart Coles from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

Malik, Jody and Christian from Mrs Barretts class.

“Having spent my career researching how to reduce, reuse and recycle materials I am honoured to be a part of the TeenTech City of Tomorrow initiative, and look forward to seeing how creative the children can be in making a futuristic and environmentally friendly city.

“It is our children that will suffer from the damage we have caused and are causing to the planet, therefore it is imperative that we educate them from young age about sustainability and how they can create a cleaner and greener future for themselves and future generations, whilst we work out how we can change our ways to further prevent the climate crisis.”

Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech comments:

“We want young people in Coventry to understand they can shape the future with their ideas. Young people think boldly, differently and inclusively and this is the thinking we need for a sustainable future. Tomorrow is very much a two-way event – experts will be sharing their knowledge, but we know that it will be the children who surprise everyone with their creativity, honesty and who will be the ones to challenge outdated thinking.

“Their buildings may be constructed from cardboard boxes but their ideas will be sophisticated and ones which should be seriously considered. They really are the architects, the engineers and the designers of the future. Let’s listen to them.”

Mrs Kaur, Class Teacher at Courthouse Green primary school comments:

"TeenTech is a great project to engage and enthuse the children and encourages them to consider how to be responsible about improving their environment. It has given the children the opportunity to think big about their world. their future and their role within it.

"The children are learning life skills, teamwork and are thinking outside the box to design and create cities that could effect change. The project is amazing! If I could give up a whole week to work on this, I would...it's real-life skills in the classroom."

Two children from year 5 at Courthouse Green Primary school have said:

"I love the project because it will help the future. It has made me think about climate change and how it is affecting our cities. In Coventry I see lots of litter and it gives our city a bad reputation. My team, Team Queen Tech are designing a treehouse from recycled materials that filters wastewater to use again." - Bhavika age 9

"We have designed a hotel for homeless people which is made from sustainable materials like bamboo." Sanjot Age 9


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

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