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Warwick pupils gain insight into real engineering

Young people taking part in the Smallpeice Trust's engineering placements on the HMS Sultan. Picture by Dave Jenkins.

Young people taking part in the Smallpeice Trust's engineering placements on the HMS Sultan. Picture by Dave Jenkins.

Warwick pupils have been given an insight into careers in engineering by taking part in summer placements organised by educational charity the Smallpeice Trust.

Warwick School sixth former Thomas Maycock took part in a course at Birmingham University to learn about how technologies come together to create new railway transport systems, during which he explored a range of subjects including aerodynamics, signalling, train control and wheel rail adhesion. He was then involved in a project in which the students built 1:30 scale crashworthy vehicles and devised an automatic train control system.

Dr Kevin Stenson, chief executive of the Smallpeice Trust, said: “In its fourth year of running, this course has proved a great success, and in an industry that is struggling to recruit engineers it is important to expose young people to this vital sector in a bid to bridge the skills gap and make this type of engineering more attractive and accessible to today’s youth.”

Douglas Boyle and Ed Perkin, who are both joining Warwick School this September, also took part in summer placements funded by the charity. Douglas spent four days staying in the Royal Navy Destroyer HMS Bristol, which is moored at Portsmouth Harbour where the Royal Navy trains its marine and nuclear engineers. He learnt about nuclear power and how a nuclear reactor works and helped to design and make a crane to lift spent fuel rods out of a nuclear reactor.

Claire Fisher of the Smallpeice Trust said: “This is real engineering: solving challenges and refining solutions and there is always a real engineer on hand to encourage and support the students.”

Ed got involved in real-life design-and-make challenges at Coventry University with engineers from Aston Martin, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover, took part in off-road challenges and learnt about designs for a new BMW electric car.

 

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