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.
Dr 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; 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)
The WMG Outreach team has been making special Christmas deliveries to children across the West Midlands and Warwickshire.
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
WMG Senior Research Fellow, Dr Mona Faraji-Niri, has been announced as a winner of a prestigious 2021 TechWoman100 award.
Dr Faraji-Niri started her career at Iran University of Science and Technology, and then continued as a lecturer at Pooyesh Institute of Higher Education, before joining WMG in 2018.
Dr Faraji-Niri is currently based in WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre specialising in battery modelling, battery management algorithms, electric vehicle powertrain modelling and control, and machine learning algorithms.
Dr Faraji-Niri explains: “It is an honour to be included in such a fantastic list! We need women at all levels to reshape the tech world. There’s no longer a mindset of ‘I can’t because I am a woman,’ all is possible by recognising and embracing your uniqueness, and having the passion and love for what you do.”
The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and to also recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way for future generations of tech talent. Highlighting the achievements of these women is part of the WeAreTechWomen’s campaign to shine a spotlight on 1,000 future female leaders in technology by 2025.
See the full list of 2021 TechWoman winners here: TechWomen100 Awards | Winners 2020 (wearetechwomen.com)
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 WMG team used Kitronik project boxes to introduce the ideas of intelligent vehicles, calibrating components, coding, algorithms, and to 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)
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.
There are satellites from WUSat, the student team who are building nanosatellites to explore space and improve communications on earth. The students are 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
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.
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.
Sharing 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
Congratulations 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)
Join the WMG Outreach Team on Tuesday 1st June for a free science based workshop, inspired by Coventry’s textiles history, at The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.
Stitch In Time is a collaborative project between WMG and local primary schools for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
The educational workshop will introduce the children to fun science activities while building their maths and computing skills.
Director of Outreach and Widening Participation for WMG, Professor Margaret Low, explains: This project aims to give children an insight into how technology can be used creatively to design and make physical objects.”
The event is aimed at 9+ year olds . Book your child’s free place here: Stitch In Time - The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
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
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 Heritage 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.
Dr 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
Today, 11th February, WMG is joining the world in celebrating International Women and Girls in Science Day 2021.
Science is everywhere in today’s world. Part of our daily lives and never far from news headlines.
Evé explains: “Across my engagement work, I often meet girls and young women who do not think that science is an option to them, this saddens me and spurs me on. I work in an environment with some amazing female researchers, technicians, teachers and academics, and I wish I could share a glimpse of this to all the young people out there.
“Science is great place of learning and creativity, and also a place for all types of people. Diversity enhances science as it brings so many different ideas to the table, this is why it’s so important for young women to embrace science and, in turn, to be welcomed with open arms.”
The WMG Outreach Team has also created a virtual lesson for Year 9 pupils featuring female scientists and researchers including Evé. This was distributed to local schools via the University’s Central Outreach Widening Participation Team.
You can view the lesson here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/about/outreach/resources/battery-lesson/
The University of Warwick will also be hosting a Women at Warwick Q&A Panel this evening. Find more details here.
While the Summer months are used for relaxing and revision for most students, a group of students who form Warwick Racing stayed behind to continue their work on the single-seater electric race car, ready for the Formula Student events later in the academic year.
The Warwick Racing team consists of students from the School of Engineering, Warwick Business School and the Department of Computer Science, with support and facilities courtesy of WMG. The team comprises members of different gender, race, nationality and degree, with an expansion to the business team in term one adding 12 additional new members to the fold, overseeing the website, marketing and social media.
Due to the pandemic the students worked remotely to design the second race car, WRe2. But as labs reopened over the summer it was time to start putting the real-world production of components into action.
Following social distancing guidelines, wearing protective equipment and ensuring that workstations are properly sanitized, Warwick Racing has been able to successfully ensure that component production was able to continue safely.
They were able to focus on two critical components of the car, the front upright and the wiring harness.
Watch videos documenting the creation of these two components at https://youtu.be/IF2RFvn5pYE and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSQqVBKCD5Y
Angel Marco Ansenjo, Chief Chassis Engineer at Warwick Racing comments:
“The front uprights are the real workhorses of the vehicle: holding the front wheels in place and resisting the various dynamic loads that affect the car whilst cornering, braking and moving over bumps. As such the uprights must be one of the sturdiest and most resilient parts of the whole car.
“The process of creating an upright begins in the telemetry of last year’s car. By understanding what loads are going through the car at various points in the drive, we can better design the updated component in line with the needs of the new car. From there, the entire suspension system is digitally recreated on Autodesk Fusion 360 and simulated against a variety of stresses and load combinations to test how the suspension holds up against them. These include a hard braking scenario where the steering is put on full lock and the car hits a bump at the most loaded corner of the vehicle. This is to ensure that even in the most extreme of circumstances the part remains intact and the driver is safe.”
From here, the engineers decide on many of the intricate specifics of the upright, such as deciding on the component volume, the wheel bearings and the seals. Then, the exact material for the upright is chosen in order to allow the component to perform its job in the optimal manner. In this case, the team chose to use an aluminium-silicon alloy.
Once the volume and material are chosen, the design is run through a second phase of CAD tests to optimize the efficiency of the component and to ensure that any additional weight is shed. The engineers will then re-subject the part to digital testing and produce the toolpath which is sent to the computer-controlled manufacturing machines (CNC).
Once the part has been machined, it will be cut and measured to exact specifications and the additional bracketry will be manufactured. The wheel bearings are pressed in, followed by all the mounting hardware and the wheel hub, before the component is eventually mounted onto the chassis.
The wiring harness of a race car connects and controls various electronic components of the vehicle and ensures that wires are connected in the shortest, safest and most efficient ways possible.
Rens Bossers, Chief Powertrain Engineer at Warwick Racing comments:
“The first stage of designing a wiring harness is identifying what sensors, control units and actuators need to be connected to the circuit. On the WRe2 this contains over 50 components including, but not limited to: Battery Monitoring Systems (BMS), Inverter Data, Coolant monitors, speed sensors, steering wheel position sensors, brake pressure sensors and GPS.
“Once the components are decided on, we used smart wiring software to add all the connectors in and all the shielding and seals to protect the wiring from water and dust. The system must also be designed to ensure that it can survive the vibrations and stresses of racing without braking or compromising the safety of the car. Once the design is decided upon it is refined to ensure maximum efficiency (both in terms of cost and performance) by reducing the length of wires where possible and saving weight. “
Once the digital section of the design stage is complete, the team map out the building process using a Nailboard Wiring Diagram and begin cutting and crimping the wires to motorsport grade standards. In total there are over 5 meters of wires cut for the harness and over 200 separate connections which must be individually tested and validated. Once the tests are certified, the loom is sealed to make it both waterproof and fireproof, ensuring the elements can’t get into the circuit even in the event of a crash. Once the loom is completed, it is carefully installed and secured within the chassis.
20 JANUARY 2021
NOTES TO EDITORS
High-res images available at:
Caption: A render of WRe2 spaceframe.
Credit: Warwick Racing, University of Warwick
Video available to view at:
Credit: Warwick Racing
For further information please contact:
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221