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  

How to deliver effective engineering work experience virtually: a West of England Knowledge Share

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Last month the DETI Inspire team at UWE Bristol held an online webinar with local engineers from organisations throughout the West of England, to share learnings from the past year with regards to delivering online engineering work experience events.

As can be seen in the above word cloud, there are many benefits to virtual engagement activities. The benefit of increased accessibility due to the lack of travel requirements was highlighted by several participants, along with an increase in the number of young people reached due to increased capacity when delivering activities online.

The graphs below show the variety of different activities delivered by our participants and their organisations over the past year, with more informal Q&A sessions with employees being a popular choice that seems to have had the most success so far, much like our recent Big Beam In event.

Participants discussed what has been working well and what could be improved, barriers to online experiences and how to overcome these, and what work experience will look like for their organisation in the future – a hybrid combining the best bits of online and in-person experiences.

You can view a recording of the session on the DETI Inspire YouTube channel (linked below), including talks by Fiona Doughton from the West of England Combined Authority Careers Hub, Rebecca Bound from Renishaw, Ceri Bowers from Ablaze and Rhona Phelps from the STEM Ambassador hub West England.

Thanks to all our speakers and participants for attending, it was great to hear what you’ve been up to over the past year and share ideas for improving our engineering work experience events to make sure we are all delivering careers engagement activities with real impact.

DETI is a strategic programme of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), delivered by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with the Centre for Modelling & SimulationDigital Catapult, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. DETI is funded by £5m from WECA, with co-investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

Crafting our Future – Engineering the West in Minecraft

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If you could completely re-design your city, your street, your home, what would you do differently?

DETI Inspire at UWE have been exploring digitally engineering the West with local children, using the incredibly popular block-building video game Minecraft.

Why Minecraft?

Minecraft is the second-best selling video game of all time and extremely popular with children. Players place and break blocks with a wide range of appearances and properties, to build a huge variety of constructions. It’s easy to make changes to your builds and quickly visualise new ideas, much like computer-aided design (CAD) software used for digital engineering.

The game has proven to be a successful science communication tool, and evaluations undertaken by the Science Hunters project, based at UWE’s Science Communication Unit and Lancaster University, indicate that use of Minecraft both attracts children who might not otherwise have engaged with science learning, and successfully improves scientific knowledge and understanding after participating in sessions.

The West in Minecraft

The DETI Inspire team have taken things one step further, partnering with local design & engineering consultancy Atkins, and Science Hunters including Minecraft experts Dr Laura Hobbs and Jonathan Kim, to create a scale recreation of Bristol and Bath within the game, allowing local children to explore, build, re-design and re-engineer their very own cities!

The Roman Baths, an engineering highlight of the West in Minecraft world

Lewis Mould and Sam Collier, senior GIS consultants from Atkins, created a programme to convert Ordnance Survey data into a to-scale Minecraft world, allowing a highly detailed Bristol and Bath to be created – the West in Minecraft.

This new world was then populated with famous engineering landmarks such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Temple Meads station and the SS Great Britain, all expertly crafted by Jonathan Kim.

I enjoyed adapting and creating many of the real-life Bristol landmarks in Minecraft. I hope that exploring these landmarks will encourage students to develop their own ways of tackling engineering problems

Jonathan Kim, Science Hunters

STEM in the Community

DETI Inspire have been using this new Minecraft world at after school STEM clubs recently established in Lawrence Weston and Easton as part of a STEM in the Community project funded by UWE and the STEM Ambassador hub West England, in collaboration with local community groups in both areas.

The Bristol and Bath worlds are so detailed and thoughtfully created. The children have been discovering the area they live in and other iconic places such as Temple Meads and the Roman Baths. Most children already have a lot of experience with Minecraft so they adapted well to it. During our Pride themed week, the children built giant flags, rainbow farms and buildings.’

Cilpha James, STEM Ambassador
Enjoying sunset views of Bristol Harbour and the SS Great Britain

By re-creating these areas of Bristol within the game, children from both Lawrence Weston and Easton are able to explore the parts of their community that are familiar to them, piquing their interest and giving them power to reshape where they live.

Exploring new areas of the city through Minecraft also opens up opportunities for children to visit and talk about some of the city’s famous landmarks, many of which they may never have seen before, strengthening their knowledge and cultural connection with these areas and our city as a whole.

So far the new Minecraft world has been a huge success amongst the young people attending these STEM clubs. There has been much excitement at finding their own homes within the model city, re-building structures and adding to existing ones. Farms have been built on rooftops as the children have been encouraged to think about how they would re-design their city for a net zero future.

Giving young people access to these places and giving them power to reshape them, even if it is just in Minecraft, offers them the opportunity to imagine their world as being different to what it is now. We hope that planting the idea that we can have some control over our own environment will lead some young people to think about the relevance of design and engineering to their lives, and then perhaps on to thinking of themselves as designers and engineers of the future.

Liz Lister, STEM Ambassador Hub West England

A set of school resources to explore digital engineering this new Minecraft world are currently being developed by the DETI Inspire team for release next academic year. These 1-2 hour Minecraft lessons are currently being trialled with local primary schools, linking activities to the curriculum and drawing on several different subject areas to allow for a cross-curricular and rather unique learning experience.

For more information on The West in Minecraft please contact deti@uwe.ac.uk


DETI is a strategic programme of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), delivered by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with the Centre for Modelling & SimulationDigital Catapult, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. DETI is funded by £5m from WECA, with co-investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

Bristol families say hello to Pepper the Robot and friends!

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Bristol Robofest is an annual city wide initiative taking place in June to celebrate the UK Festival of Robotics and raise the profile of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) in our local communities.

The week of activity is delivered by teams from DETI Inspire at UWE Bristol, Bristol Robotics Lab and the University of Bristol’s Digimakers, with support from our local STEM Ambassador hub.

This year, robots popped up in various locations throughout the city, including the University of Bristol’s Micro-Campus at Wellspring Settlement which played host to several robotics inspired workshops where 24 enthusiastic 10 – 14 year olds from the local area took the opportunity to explore and play with MicroBit BitBots, and Thymio Robots. They learnt about cutting edge research in the field of Swarm Robotics, while honing their skills in programming and problem solving.

Children exploring how a Thymio robot follows a drawn track

Over at the Old Library in Easton, Pepper the robot gave a warm welcome to all of the visiting families. Over 100 visitors took part in family-friendly robot workshops which were on offer throughout the day, led by researchers from the Bristol Robotics Lab, with support from FARSCOPE PhD students and MSc students from UWE Bristol.

Children were able to get hands on with lots of different robots including Naos, Thymios, Vectors and of course Pepper! There was plenty of programming robots and exploring how they move and interact with each other and with people too.

At at UWE Bristol School of Engineering, the DETI Inspire team had a fun day building robots for the Prototype and Play lab, getting the space in tip top shape for hosting school groups next academic year.

The team also partnered with Explorer Dome to host a virtual viewing of their new interactive show, We Make Our Future, in celebration of this year’s regional Lego League teams, who have been busy building and programming their Lego robots to complete this year’s challenges.

Prototype & Play Lab (outreach classroom) at UWE Bristol

And over at community STEM clubs in Easton and Lawrence Weston, the theme continued, with lots of robot racing and children having fun exploring the many different behaviours of the Thymio robots.

Thymio robots at STEM @ Baggator, a community STEM Club in Easton

Bristol RoboFest was a great success and we’re already looking forward to doing it again next year, hopefully it can be even bigger and better in 2022.

If you would like more information about how to get involved with Bristol RoboFest or STEM outreach at UWE Bristol, please contact the DETI Inspire team deti@uwe.ac.uk


DETI is a strategic programme of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), delivered by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with the Centre for Modelling & SimulationDigital Catapult, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. DETI is funded by £5m from WECA, with co-investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

New community STEM club launched in Easton

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STEM @ Baggator is a community STEM club for young people in Easton that takes place after school on Mondays (3-8.30pm) and welcomes all young people in the area to drop by and join in!

The club was co-developed with members of the local community, with support from the STEM Ambassador hub for the West of England and the DETI Inspire team at UWE Bristol, as part of a STEM in the community project funded by UWE, which aims to help STEM Ambassadors and UWE students collaborate to run STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) initiatives that are relevant to their local communities.

Lego Mindstorms being assembled at STEM @ Baggator

STEM @ Baggator had a hugely successful launch event last week, with over 30 local young people joining in for some robot building and racing! There was a wonderfully positive atmosphere throughout the evening with everyone keen to get involved and even help tidy up all the stray pieces of Lego that had found their way onto the floor, as Lego tends to do!

At the next session, the team will be trialling a brand new activity which will have young people re-designing their local areas digitally, using the popular game Minecraft and a specially designed scale model of Bristol city.

A swarm of robots at STEM @ Baggator!

STEM in the community is an ongoing project based at UWE Bristol and we’ll be sharing more news of the initiatives that are being co-developed with other communities in the West of England region. If you would like to know more about STEM @ Baggator or would like to collaborate on a new community STEM project, please contact the team at deti@uwe.ac.uk

DETI is a strategic programme of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), delivered by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with the Centre for Modelling & SimulationDigital Catapult, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. DETI is funded by £5m from WECA, with co-investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

Women Like Me engineers inspire Bristol primary school students

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Based in the Science Communication Unit and Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics at UWE Bristol and organised by Dr Laura Hobbs and Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, Women Like Me is a peer mentoring and outreach project, aimed at boosting female representation in engineering. It is supported by the initiative for Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation (DETI).

Engineers on our Women Like Me programme are currently undertaking engineering outreach and engagement with children in the Southwest. Recently, Whitehall Primary School in Bristol asked if our engineers could answer questions from their Year 2 pupils as part of their ‘Amazing Engineers’ topic.

The children’s perceptive questions ranged from ‘Why did you want to be an engineer?’ to ‘Did you play with Lego when you were 7 years old?’:

  • Why did you want to be an engineer? 
  • Do you know what your next invention/work will be? 
  • How hard is engineering? 
  • Did you play with Lego when you were 7 years old? 
  • What kind of things do you use at work? 
  • What kind of engineer are you? 
  • Do you like your job? 
  • Did anyone help you with your first project? 

Four women in engineering, three from our current cohort and one a Women Like Me alumna, produced videos in which they answered the children’s questions, giving them both insights into the varied roles in engineering, and representation of diversity within the sector.

With women making up only 12% of engineers in the UK, more girls need to connect with engineering as a career, with positive female role models, and more women need to be supported to make a difference in the workplace. Find out more about the importance of diversity in engineering here.

More ‘meet an engineer’ videos can be found in our playlist.

The school described the connection with engineers as a “great experience for the children”. They really enjoyed watching the videos and hearing from real-life engineers answering their questions.

The children absolutely LOVED the videos! They were talking about them for days – really excited and buzzing! We’re so grateful for the time taken by your engineers to record them.

Kathie Cooke, Whitehall Primary School

Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation (DETI) is a strategic programme of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), delivered by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with the Centre for Modelling & SimulationDigital Catapult, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. Industry partners include Airbus, GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, and CFMS, with in kind contributions from UWE, Digital Catapult and Siemens. DETI is funded by £5m from WECA, with co-investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

A digital future is coming. Let’s make it an inclusive one.

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Are you an engineer or someone who works in, or is interested in, digital engineering and technology sectors in the West of England, UK?   

What would make the sector more inclusive for you?

Come to our Listening Workshops this summer to share with us your hopes and the challenges you face.

These listening workshops are for individuals, underrepresented/ underserved people, so we can work with and for you, as part of the Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation (DETI) Skills and Workforce Development Programme led by the Engineering Design and Mathematics department at UWE Bristol, helping remove barriers and open up access to digital skills, jobs and technologies.

The technology and engineering sectors have some of the biggest skills shortages in the UK, but also some of the greatest opportunities for future jobs. We want to proactively include as many people as possible in the future of digital.

We will be hosting several listening workshops throughout June and July, for different groups of individuals currently underrepresented or underserved in engineering. Each workshop will provide opportunities for you to share your voice, participate in discussions and network with like-minded people.

Register your interest here.


A big thanks to This is Engineering for the use of their image. For more diverse engineering images, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/thisisengineering/


DETI is a strategic programme of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), delivered by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with the Centre for Modelling & SimulationDigital Catapult, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. DETI is funded by £5m from WECA, with co-investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.