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Engineering Conference

Following on from the success of the student Medical Conference in January a similar event was arranged focussing on careers in engineering and coinciding with “Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2016”.

Students, not only from Oswestry School but from Shrewsbury School, The Corbet School, Sir John Talbot’s School, Thomas Adams, The Marches and Bishop Heber arrived to take part in the conference.

Speakers ran sessions that allowed students to get an insight into their particular area of engineering as well as giving them an opportunity at a hands-on practical activity to put everything into context.

Magnificent women and their flying machines

A session by Natalie Ford, representative from the Women’s Engineering Society (WES). Natalie commemorated the work of early women engineering pioneers who were involved in engineering activities during the First World War, including aircraft wing building and munitions work and the activity aimed to empower female students about the role of women in engineering and encourage them to consider engineering as a possible career path. The emphasis was exploring engineering through history and providing meaningful careers advice for students and by the end of the session each small group of students had created a large model of an aircraft wing based on their own design.

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Motorsports engineering and the racing driver

The outreach team from Bolton University’s National Centre for Motorsport Engineering joined the conference, led by Anna Walewska (2016 Dubai 24hr winner and 2014 Britcar Endurance Class 3 Champion). Anna combined engineering with a love of racing and was keen to share her experiences with students. The session started with a presentation from Anna about the life of a racing driver and how her engineering background has supported her role. Students then moved on to an interactive session to highlight the engineering principles that a driver needs to convey to the race engineer to enhance race performance. For those of our students who attended this term’s earlier Science Society talk from Ed Bellamy (Force India team engineer) this was a great opportunity to see things from the other angle.

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Engineering geology and hydrogeology

This session was led by Mike Brennan, Technical Manager Landfill at Sita UK and he allowed students to find out more about the fascinating world of engineering geology and hydrogeology including how their work affects all of us in everyday life. Students had the opportunity to take part in a practical activity looking at cross sections and applying what they had learned.

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Superyacht design and ship safety

Led by Phil Noad, Deputy Director of Cayman Registry (and brother of our Headmaster), this was a really informative session on the path his engineering career has took him and how he entered the world of superyacht design. Phil discussed with students the fundamentals of superyacht design (including hull, main and auxillary machinery, accommodation and environmental factors) and regulation with students then having the opportunity to do a desktop evaluation of a yacht’s centre of gravity.

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Aircraft risk management

This session was led by Wg Cdr Richard Osselton from the Aerosystems Engineer and Management Training School at RAF Cosford. He and his team gave students an insight into the various engineering roles within the RAF as well as the different routes to those careers. This session was split into two practical activities, firstly Aircraft Detachment Planning - a problem solving exercise in how to deploy and park a number of different aircraft types onto an airfield where there will be a number of constraints that needed to be met. Secondly a bow tie analysis (a diagram for analysing risk) for an Aircraft Engine Fire. This analytical exercise saw students consider the factors (Threats) in an aircraft that could lead to an engine fire (top Event) and how they could be mitigated / eliminated prior to the event happening and if it does happen, what measures does the aircraft have to prevent the loss of the aircraft (Consequence)?

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