Experiments with ground-penetrating radar and computer-aided design to create prototype models were just two of many treats enjoyed by aspiring young engineers and designers when they visited the University of Greenwich at Medway.
The GCSE and A-level students from Kent and Medway schools took part in an engineering experience day organised by The Arkwright Scholarships Trust in partnership with the university’s School of Engineering, the Royal Engineers Museum, and the Rochester Bridge Trust.
The university and Rochester Bridge Trust are keen supporters of The Arkwright Scholarships Trust, a national charity dedicated to raising funds from businesses, institutions and individuals to sponsor talented would-be engineers through their sixth-form studies and into university.
Students interested in mathematics, physics, and design and technology from Newstead Wood School for Girls in Orpington, Borden Grammar School in Sittingbourne, St Olave’s Grammar School in Orpington, Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, Dartford Grammar School, Judd School, Rainham Mark Grammar School in Gillingham, The Robert Napier School in Gillingham, and Wilmington Grammar School in Dartford took part in an action-packed day and met current Arkwright Scholars from across the county.
They were introduced to the School of Engineering by Professor Ndy Ekere, told about the development of bridge design and the challenges facing 21st century engineers by Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk for Rochester Bridge Trust, and taken to the Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham, to find out more about innovative engineering solutions past and present.
Professor Amir Alani, who holds the Rochester Bridge Trust Chair in Bridge and Tunnel Engineering at the university, provided participants with insights into new techniques, which use radar to identify and analyse damage and decay in bridges and other structures
“There was an incredible buzz throughout the day,” says Stuart Ashenden, Director of Academic Planning at the University of Greenwich. “The students were keen to find out more about the many exciting career opportunities that are now available with engineering qualifications and just how much demand there is for good engineers in Kent and Medway.”
Mrs Threader says: “Talented engineers are in huge demand now and that demand is going to grow. The Rochester Bridge Trust is currently supporting two Arkwright Scholars – Joshua Mudie, of Dartford Grammar School, and Jessica Salisbury, of Newstead Wood School, Orpington. We have been able to provide financial support and enrich their understanding of engineering through site visits and opportunities to talk to professional engineers about their work.”
The Arkwright Scholarship Trust identifies and nurtures future leaders in engineering and design by awarding sixth-form Scholarships to high-calibre year 11 candidates. Arkwright is currently supporting 562 Scholars across Britain, of which 32 are based in Kent schools.
Georgina Hare, Arkwright’s Charity Relations Manager, said: “We are delighted to have worked in partnership with the University of Greenwich and the Rochester Bridge Trust on this event for our Scholars and other students. We were particularly pleased to welcome students and parents from schools which have not been involved with Arkwright in the past. This is the first time we have supported an engineering experience day hosted at a university. The day was a tremendous success and will enable us to plan similar events in the future to help our Scholars learn about engineering.”
Arkwright Scholarships are designed to stop finance being a barrier to talented young people pursuing their passions for engineering and design, and also to provide opportunities for these students to enhance their knowledge of engineering and design careers.
1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.
2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.
For more information:
The Rochester Bridge Trust
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125