Summer of Engineering 24th July 2017

This summer GG students have been getting to know all about engineering and gaining the opportunity to experience ‘hands on’ workshops that enable them to put theory into practise.

In early July a group of GG’s engineering enthusiasts attended a day run in partnership with The Smallpeice Trust. The challenge was based on very real issues that the world is facing today: access to clean water and energy supplies. Given a scenario brief, teams worked together to design and build model pumping stations and turbines to supply a remote village.

The students learnt the value of testing and retesting their theories, which really challenged their problem solving abilities:

“It was interesting having to look for faults and overcoming it. – we had to come up with solutions and find the areas where there were faults.”

Later in the month they were similarly tested but this time with a bridge build in a brief given to them at Imperial College. With the help of current engineering students, GG teams designed, planned and constructed balsa wood bridge models. At the end of the day each team’s bridge was tested for it’s weight and capacity by our host, Dr Sunday Popo -Ola.

Getting the brief from Dr Sunday

There were some spectacular bridge failures and surprising successes, all of which students learnt from, as the Engineering Faculty team explained structural design theory and the physics behind balancing efficiency with load bearing capacity.

“My favourite bit was testing the bridges to destruction! It was fascinating watching the bridges hold the weights and watch them slowly buckling.”

As well as this great ‘hands on’ activity students gained an insight into Imperial College’s engineering department and learnt about the interdisciplinary nature of the subject as Dr Mark Richards spoke about how both physics and maths underpin much engineering theory.
We also heard the stories of some students and professors working across the university including Professor Sara Rankin who spoke about her journey to becoming Professor of Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology at The National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial.

Many thanks to all involved across these two inspiring days, including The Smallpeice Trust and Imperial College.