Sustainability solutions show from UWE Bristol chosen to take part in COP26

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A new planetarium show designed with the Engineering department at UWE Bristol has been chosen to showcase sustainability solutions as part of the Green Zone at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.

The team will be exhibiting “We Make Our Future”, an interactive, educational & entertaining science show for the next generation of engineers. The show has been designed with planetarium experts Explorer Dome, and is part of the Inspire educational work from the Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation (DETI) team at UWE Bristol. 

Full-dome projections allow attendees to visit engineering marvels from history and explore the pros and cons of modern life. The team aims to celebrate the ingenuity of human engineering, address current issues around Climate Change, and introduce engineering as a relevant and attainable aspiration for all young people.

Guests will learn how the Engineering Design Process can spark our imagination for sustainability solutions to the greatest challenges of our time.

Cllr Toby Savage enjoyed a sneak peak of the show at UWE’s recent Zero Carbon Tour event

Inspiring climate action

To achieve net zero and a low carbon global economy, everything we make and use will need to be completely re-imagined and re-engineered. The digital revolution is boosting the potential for engineers’ design thinking to optimise not only the development process but also the potential for collaborative citizen engagement. That’s where DETI comes in, bringing together industry, academia, and education from across the West of England region. The research collaboration aims to identify and develop the tools, technologies, processes, and skills needed to rapidly accelerate and embed digital engineering to deliver energy transition and clean transport.

We are so pleased to be selected to attend COP26 – at such a critical time in history, all industries need to come together to make a difference for our future. Our new show celebrates the ingenuity of human engineering and shows how we can harness our creativity to implement sustainability solutions. Thinking like an engineer offers hope to solve global problems and bring about real change. We see this as a call to action for the diverse and socially conscious engineers of today – and tomorrow.

Project Lead Dr Laura Fogg Rogers, Senior Lecturer in STEM Education and Communication, UWE Bristol

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The theme is #TogetherForOurPlanet, and UWE Bristol will also be highlighting our climate action through the new linked Climate Action Hub on the Frenchay Campus.

The ‘We Make Our Future’ show is available to tour schools after COP26 in Explorer Dome’s mobile planetarium. To book the show please look at the resources here: https://digitaltrailblazers.co.uk/resources

Blog written by Anna Jones, Research Business and Innovation Unit, UWE Bristol

New Community STEM Club in Eastville launched

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A new Community STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) Club run by UWE Bristol academics and local volunteers has launched at the Old Library Community Hub in Eastville.

The first session was incredibly well attended, with around 60 children and their parents and carers getting involved in the various activities on offer.

The Bristol version of Minecraft was especially popular at the club. Developed by the DETI Inspire team, local design and engineering consultancy Atkins, and Science Hunters, it gives children the opportunity to digitally explore, build, re-design and re-engineer their city and the surrounding area.

The Thymio robots were also very well received during the session. The small androids are designed to introduce children to programming and coding through interactive play. There were also a range of “analogue” STEM themed activities available, including construction sets, games, craft and books.

The sessions take place every Thursday 3.30-6pm and are free of charge. They are run on a drop-in basis with no prior booking required. The activities vary from week to week, depending on volunteer and equipment availability.

The club is co-developed by Old Library volunteers and the DETI Inspire Team at UWE. It receives further support from the STEM Ambassador Hub for the West of England. For more information on how to get involved or how to support the club, please get in touch with hello@theoldlibrary.org.uk or deti@uwe.ac.uk.

UWE Launches Climate Action Hub

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The #ZeroCarbonTour made a stop at UWE Bristol earlier this month, on its way through the UK to COP26 in Glasgow this November. Its aim is to share the net zero message and raise awareness of the UN Race to Zero and the UK’s #TogetherForOurPlanet campaign.

The event brought together local companies and UWE researchers to showcase their low or zero carbon technologies, campaigns and initiatives, through a series of talks and exhibitions – the perfect launch event for UWE’s new Climate Action Hub!

The School of Engineering atrium was transformed, with several stalls exhibiting staff and student projects, including teams from ClairCity, WeCount, Bristol BioEnergy and many more! We also had a visit from Explorer Dome – a large inflatable planetarium with 360 video projection.

Explorer Dome have been developing a new sustainability solutions science show with the DETI Inspire team, which will begin touring local schools this Autumn term.

South Glos Councillor Toby Savage and Metro Mayor Dan Norris enjoyed a sneak peak of the new show We Make Our Future which celebrates the ingenuity of human engineering, addresses current issues around Climate Change and introduces Digital Engineering as a relevant and attainable aspiration for all young people.

The Z block foyer will continue to host the Climate Action Hub throughout the 2021/22 academic year, providing a dedicated space to showcase the work of UWE staff and students and inspire others to take action on the climate and ecological emergency.

We want to hear from you!

Are you doing something cool for the planet? If you would like to host a take-over of the Climate Action Hub or get involved with UWE’s Green Week this October please email engineeringourfuture@uwe.ac.uk

Say YEESS to climate action!

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DETI Inspire at UWE Bristol have partnered with I’m an Engineer to host an online sustainability and engineering youth summit this October, ahead of the UN climate change summit COP26 taking place in Glasgow this November.

The Youth Engineering for Environmental Sustainability Summit (YEESS) will enable young people from the West of England region to connect with local engineers and policymakers, to explore how engineering can help tackle the Climate Emergency and discuss the interconnected solutions needed for future sustainability.

On the 11, 12 and 13 October, sixth form students from across the region will come together to discuss potential solutions, using the engineering design process to explore ideas.

The summit will focus on three key themes from the Bristol Climate Action Plan to reach net zero by 2030: Transport, Energy and Waste.

Through a series of videos and live chats, students can visualise what climate solutions look like, from engineering innovation to societal change, discover what green jobs and career paths are available, and have the opportunity to ask questions of our four West of England political leaders, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, Councillor Toby Savage of South Gloucestershire Council, Councillor Sarah Warren of Bath and North East Somerset Council, and West of England Mayor Dan Norris.

See the full programme here.

Register your interest

If you are a teacher, parent, carer, or young person, and would like to know more or register your place at the summit, please sign up here.

If you are a West of England engineer and would like to take part in a live chat during the summit, please register your interest here.

Each evening will also see a green jobs panel to discuss routes into these industries. This will also form part of Bristol Technology Festival on Tuesday 12th October at 19:30 – find out more about the live talk here.  


YEESS is a joint project by I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here and UWE Bristol, with funding from the initiative for Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation (DETI) as part of the DETI Inspire programme.


Empowering WECA pupils with data for sustainable school streets

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Speeding cars, traffic jams, air pollution… these are but a few of the grievances the average city dweller contends with on a daily basis. Below the driving age, children in the West of England do not contribute to these problems, yet they are among the most vulnerable to their consequences.

To allow children to safely make their way to school, without the need to breathe in polluted air and to arrive in a timely manner, EU citizen science project WeCount, together with DETI Inspire, has launched a series of educational resources for KS2 and KS4 pupils.

Covering a wide range of subjects, all curriculum linked, children are able to learn about the grand challenges’ cities face in relation to urban travel, and the steps they can take collectively to make their school streets, and cities, safer, healthier and happier.

By taking part, schools can gain points towards Modeshift STARS Travel Plan accreditation.

This collaborative project is coordinated by UWE researchers from the Science Communication Unit. Project manager Laura Fogg-Rogers explains why these resources are so important:

Road transport is a leading cause of air pollution and climate change within the West of England. For our cities to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030, the date which scientist warn is our deadline to keep global warming below 1.5°C and prevent runaway climate change, drastic changes need to be made to every aspect of life, not least driving. WeCount sensors and associated school resources are one piece of the puzzle in helping citizens to create the changes they wish to see.

Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, Senior Lecturer for the Science Communication Unit and Engineering Design & Mathematics Department, UWE Bristol

What is WeCount?

WeCount, led by UWE Bristol, is a project that equips households, community centres and schools with low-cost traffic sensors to count cars, bikes, pedestrians and heavy vehicles, as well as the speed of cars. Over time, the citizen scientists can observe trends and use the evidence to lobby for changes on their roads. Among the successes with WeCount data so far, citizens across Europe have convinced their councils to install speed cameras and reduce road speeds, and consider bike lanes and pedestrianisation, spread awareness among residents and contributed to consultations on new housing developments.

How do we get involved?

WeCount is giving away 20 sensors to schools across the West of England. Contact engineeringourfuture@uwe.ac.uk to apply.

KS2 resources are freely available here. KS4 due for release early Autumn term. Email the above email address if you would like to be sent a KS4 pack directly to your school when available. All resources can be delivered without a sensor, using the data available at https://www.telraam.net/en

You are also able to buy all of the components required for the sensor at PiHut. More details on the equipment you need are included in the component list below.

What’s inside the KS2 pack?

A whole school assembly

Fifteen curriculum-linked worksheets, with instructions and PowerPoint for teachers, covering Geography, IT, Maths, Science, Art and English, Design and Technology. These include tasks to: collect and analyse data; understand different urban travel views; design a bike for the future; vision a healthier, happier school street; and persuade the mayor to consider your proposals.

Lessons can be delivered independently or combined for after-school clubs or themed curriculum, and can be teacher-led or with the support of UWE or STEM Ambassadors.

What’s inside the KS4 pack?

A whole school assembly

Ten curriculum-linked worksheets, with instructions and PowerPoint for teachers, covering nearly all GCSE subjects – Geography, Computer Science, Maths, Science, Citizenship and English, Design and Technology, History and Engineering. These activities include tasks to: learn about the influence of powerful actors on the proliferation of the car; collect and analyse data; explore the science behind the sensors; debate the role of AI in solving the climate crisis; research local travel issues and viewpoints; design interventions and deliver action projects; creatively write about their experiences.

Lessons can be delivered independently or combined for after-school clubs or themed curriculum, and can be teacher-led or with the support of UWE or STEM Ambassadors.

DETI announces key research results

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DETI has announced key research highlights and results from the partners collaborating on the programme, developed to help UK manufacturers achieve engineering leadership and better sustainability. 

Digital Now presents nine key research highlights; from a visualisation tool that displays carbon emissions, and an industry first with sustainable prototyping to a novel software system used to improve fault detection  –  these are just a snapshot of the digital technologies and research showcased.

The work of UWE Bristol research teams are featured, including our research into automating and digitalising the inspection process of composite materials using a novel software system and state-of-the-art machine learning techniques, and bringing digitalisation to the manufacturing process using immersive technologies such as augmented reality.

Our DETI Skills programme is also featured, highlighting the successful launch of our educational resource packs and recent outreach events including the Big Beam In.

Read the full results report here.


New Digital Trailblazers App Launched for West of England

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The University of the West of England’s Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics have today launched their new mobile app, Digital Trailblazers, as part of their work for the Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation (DETI) Skills programme.  

Digital Trailblazers highlights the West’s best engineering inventions of the past, present, and future, and showcases the organisations and people that create them. 

The West of England has a rich engineering heritage and is also home to businesses and organisations pioneering the latest in digital technologies. With the new Digital Trailblazers app, you can now explore famous engineering landmarks, businesses, and institutions via a series of trails throughout the West of England, digitally or on foot. 

The app features an interactive map of the West of England, with key engineering locations highlighted, each with its own information page, allowing users to quickly and easily explore what is on offer in their locality as well as discovering engineering landmarks from further afield. 

Several of the locations have been grouped into themed trails, allowing users to visit engineering attractions in person, using the mobile app to navigate through a series of locations by foot, bike or e-scooter.  

Trails include the Bristol Harbourside Trail, a 5km family-friendly walk around the floating harbour, and the Bristol Brunel Loop, a longer and more challenging trail that weaves through the city centre from Temple Meads station up to the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. 

Designed to be a hub for all things engineering in the region, Digital Trailblazers links to other successful projects led by UWE Bristol’s EDM department, as part of the West of England Combined Authority’s DETI programme, including Curiosity ConnectionsDiversity Demonstrator, and Women Like Me, and hosts locally relevant educational resources, including the new school resource packs from UWE Bristol: The West in Minecraft, WeCount Schools and Engineering Curiosity

DETI is a strategic programme of the West of England Combined Authority, delivered by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with the Centre for Modelling & Simulation, Digital Catapult, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. 

These educational packs link curriculum learning to real-world projects and people in the West of England, engaging children with local engineering career opportunities. They have been developed by the DETI Inspire team at UWE Bristol with the aim of inspiring the next generation of digital engineers. 

The resources are designed to be delivered or supplemented with a visit from a local STEM Ambassador or engineering professional, and it is hoped that through positive role modelling experiences like these, that more children, particularly those from underrepresented groups within engineering, will choose to study and pursue a career in the field. 

The West of England is well known as a hive of historic engineering activity, from Brunel to Concorde.  This new app highlights the digital trailblazers around our region, continuing this tradition of ingenuity with green and digital innovation. We aim to showcase the West’s future for sustainable engineering, connecting up our innovators and inspiring engineering curiosity for young people.

Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, Senior Lecturer and DETI Inspire lead, UWE Bristol

Digital Trailblazers has been developed by the DETI Inspire team at UWE Bristol’s Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics with funding from the Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation initiative (DETI). For more information, please visit https://www.digitaltrailblazers.net/about or contact engineeringourfuture@uwe.ac.uk  

UWE Bristol EDM Department – Innovation Enablers

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INNOVATE™ BRISTOL & BATH, the latest edition from Global Village Publishing, is a 380-page premium coffee-table book complete with augmented reality videos showcasing all the people, companies, products, and services that are leading the race within Bristol & Bath’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

You can pre-order your copy now, or view the e-book and an online platform.

Our very own Engineering Design and Mathematics (EDM) Department at UWE Bristol were featured in the Innovation Enablers chapter (pages 265-266), showcasing our new state of the art engineering building which recently achieved an Excellent rating for its green credentials from the international scheme BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

Our hugely successful Project Week receives a well deserved mention, highlighting our unique approach to teaching through project-based learning and live industry briefs, along with our department’s focus on introducing sustainability to all areas of our curriculum.

The book also highlights our work as strategic lead for the DETI Skills programme, drawing particular attention to our Inspire programme events and activities undertaken in recent months, engaging local pupils with engineering careers and opportunities in the West of England.

This book is a celebration of the region’s most exciting innovations and its entrepreneurial ecosystem. Every single one of the stories within the publication has been carefully chosen to guide you on a journey across the region and offer you a glimpse into the future.

Natalia Rodríguez Novás, Publishing Partner for Global Village Publishing

You can read more, including opinion pieces from some of the leading innovators in our region, including our very own Steven West, Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer for UWE Bristol, in the online e-book by visiting https://innovationsoftheworld.com/ecosystems/bristol-bath/

Formula Student – Our Best Year Yet!

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Formula student is the world’s largest Engineering design competition, organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, with the challenge of designing, manufacturing and racing a single seat race car.

Through multiple events, cars are judged on their acceleration, handling and efficiency, while engineers are assessed for their design, costing and business presentation skills.

Current UWE student engineers and alumni from 2020 took part in the UK event which was held at the Silverstone race circuit in Northampton between the 21st and 25th of July.

Although hampered by a few technical issues, a successful event was had by the team. Including a 1st place in skid pad, runner-up in both the 1km sprint, and cost & manufacture events, and 5th in the business plan presentation. Resulting in a final placing of 6th overall and a fantastic time being had by all.

Congratulations #teamUWE we’re extremely proud of your achievements this year!

IET Prize awarded to UWE student engineer!

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UWE student engineer Oliver Németh has been recognised for his hard work by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). 

The IET Prize is awarded annually to outstanding students who are completing a course of study which has been accredited by the IET. Prize winners are nominated by their university based on having shown distinction in their course leading to the award of a first degree. 

As part of his win Oliver will receive a certificate and two years free student membership of the IET. 

I am honoured to receive the IET Prize from the University of the West of England for my outstanding performance during my MEng degree. I am extremely grateful for the recognition I have received for my work. I would like to thank my lecturers, project supervisor, and the laboratory technicians at the university who have provided me with the necessary support, knowledge, and guidance throughout my degree.

Oliver Németh, Electronic Engineering Graduate, UWE Bristol

Our IET Prizes are a fantastic way for talented engineering students to be recognised for their outstanding ability in the early stages of their engineering journey. IET Membership provides early career professionals with the opportunity to connect with a global community, grow their networks and develop their technical knowledge.

The IET is passionate about promoting engineering excellence and our awards and prizes showcase some of the very best engineering talent. All of the winners should be incredibly proud of their achievements. I wish them all the best for a very fulfilling and successful career – they are all difference makers of the future.

Professor Danielle George MBE, President of the IET

To find out more information about the range of prizes and awards available to young and aspiring engineers through the IET, please visit: www.theiet.org/awards