Join Us at our Green Skills Fayres in the South West!

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What are Green Skills Fayres?

The Inspire Sustainability team at UWE Engineering have organised several Green Skills Fayres to take place at three schools in the South West on the 24th and 30th of November, and 2nd of December. We are looking for people working in green jobs to join us in inspiring secondary school-aged students (11-16) at Hans Price Academy in Weston-Super-Mare, Bristol Brunel Academy in Speedwell, and Digitech Studio School in Warmley. We want to inspire young people to develop green skills that they can take with them into their future careers.

What are the Green Skills Fayres?

Anyone in a green job will have the opportunity to discuss how your work contributes to sustainability, the green skills that you’ve developed, and how you apply these to your job. You will be provided with a table to display items relevant to your job to engage young people and spark conversations. STEM ambassadors are also encouraged to bring along any promotional material and invite students to visit your place of work in future if possible. Afterwards, groups of students will have the opportunity to share the green skills and careers that most interest them and how they could develop these.

Read more here: Inspire young people at a Green Skills Fayre – Graphic Science

Woman writing the word career on a wall while standing on a step containing educational graphics.

We are particularly interested in hearing from people who either work in the fields of or have green skills related to climate science, decarbonisation, and climate adaptation. Green skills are skills that are needed to support a sustainable society and are, therefore, broad. These could include skills relating to research, technical aspects, operational management, and monitoring, as well as soft skills, such as creativity and resilience.

If you would like to get involved in the Green Skills Fayre, then please click the button below and fill in the form to register your interest!

How can we support young people to develop green skills?

Prior to the fayres, we will be leading assemblies for young people to get them to consider what green skills they could develop from the subjects they are studying at school, and how they might apply them in different jobs to help the West of England reach its goal of net zero carbon emissions.

We will also be providing workshops that tie-in to the Green Skills Fayres and allow young people to have a go at digital engineering, scientific research, undertaking a green audit of their school, establishing an eco committee, debating sustainability topics, and developing creative communication campaigns.

UWE’s Engineering Family Fun Day a Great Success!

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Families from around Bristol recently came to UWE’s brand new School of Engineering building to enjoy a range of free science and engineering-based activities.

The families that came to the event explored different aspects of engineering such as coding and robotics through LEGO Mindstorm and Pepper (our humanoid robot), digitally engineering solutions to citywide problems through Minecraft, designing the best wind turbine blade in our craft activity, and other stations featuring, eco-houses, crafting and a free planetarium show from Explorer Dome.

The visitors to UWE’s new Engineering building were wowed by the space available to student engineers and also by an exhibition of children’s inventions. The inventions were submitted to the Leaders Award competition – a nationwide scheme that encourages children to solve problems using engineering thinking.

The event was a perfect opportunity to inspire younger children to think like engineers whilst having fun along the way, as well as introducing them to technology that they may not have been able to interact with otherwise. One 13 year old visitor exclaimed how much she loved the fun day saying one day she “would like to come here herself (UWE) and learn more” whilst another couldn’t wait to get home and try to make their own robots.

We would like to thank all the staff of UWE, helpers, and students that made this event happen for making it an amazing day!

Shining a light on green job pathways for the next generation

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Today marks the launch of a new year-long programme that aims to inspire and motivate young people in the West of England to pursue green career pathways. Known as Inspire Sustainability, it is one of three West of England Combined Authority (WECA)-funded initiatives as part of the Green Futures Fund, that, if successful, could be replicated and scaled to meet the region’s Climate Emergency Plan and Net Zero ambition.

This announcement builds on recent WECA support of other green skills initiatives in local schools, with West of England Mayor Dan Norris awarding the first green jobs grant for three schools to develop a special environmental careers programme -read more here.

Inspire Sustainability: in a nutshell

Developed in collaboration with UWE-Bristol’s Science Communication Unit, Cabot Learning Federation, Avon Schools Eco Network and STEM Ambassadors West of England, the programme was developed as part of the initiative for Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation (DETI) Inspire programme. Inspire Sustainability will expand the region’s existing hub of sustainability skills education and training to highlight the region’s leading green skills and expertise in the labour market. Working in partnership, the consortium will deliver three areas of work to three pilot schools; Hans Price Academy in North Somerset, Bristol Brunel Academy in Bristol, and Digitech in South Gloucestershire.  The project includes:

  1. All-school engagement: tailored lessons, talks and careers events with diverse role models, culminating in a whole-school Sustainability Summit.
  2. Eco Council engagement: Eco Action Plan co-development to support the schools achieve Eco School status
  3. Teacher engagement: training so that teachers have the confidence to engage young people on these topics and support them to imagine a future where they can see themselves playing an active role in shaping development.

Once piloted, the outcomes will be shared widely to primary and secondary schools as well as to educational professionals and academics through the consortium’s networks.

West of England Mayor Dan Norris with Year 10 pupils from Orchard School at the Youth Engineering for Environmental Sustainability Summit in October 2021

Building on what works

The Inspire Sustainability approach builds on tried and tested methods explored in DETI Inspire, which has engaged over 7,000 children and young people in the West of England on engineering for sustainability.

Consortium member UWE-Bristol’s Science Communication Unit has a track record of working with and training diverse stakeholders to reach sustainability goals. In 2021, the Unit launched its Climate Action Hub to highlight the existing work of students and academics in this space, as well as to offer support and training to further amplify climate action. Currently it is delivering climate communications training to young people and supporting them to act on things that matter to them. The Youth Climate Communications toolkit will be used to develop the teacher engagement portion of Inspire Sustainability.

Meanwhile, the STEM Ambassador programme will be key to recruiting diverse green role models while Avon Schools Eco Network will use their expertise to support the schools to develop their action plans.

If you are interested to know more about any of this work, please contact project manager Sophie Laggan.

A toolkit and training for youth climate social action

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A toolkit and training for effective youth climate comms and social action

UWE Bristol’s Science Communication Unit (SCU) is launching a new Youth Climate Action Toolkit to empower young people to act on things that matter to them. The toolkit is suitable for 16-24-year-olds, and we encourage you to please download and share the kit with any (young) person you think may benefit from these tools!

The newly developed toolkit has been produced in partnership with young people from the Avon Schools Eco Network, following pilot training held with the DETI Inspire team in the School of Engineering.

The pilot involved 12 young climate activists who learnt how to be more effective with their own campaigning, whilst forming the foundations of this new toolkit to support other young people. As well as empowering young people to act, the toolkit aims to speak with and engage diverse audiences that may not otherwise take part (e.g., through filmmaking, persuasive writing and interactive stalls, etc).

What is inside the toolkit?

To allow any young person to use the materials independently of the training, the toolkit has been designed to stand-alone or complement the training. It consists of four sections:

  • Section one: lays the foundations for effective team working, with a skills audit for young people to assess their baseline entrepreneurial skills for sustainability, and time set aside to define their action project based on need
  • Section two: encourages readers to understand different worldviews – including those from different sides of the political spectrum, and people in positions of power and influence
  • Section three: drills down into the communication methods, allowing readers to select the right method for their audience and to prototype and test their communications
  • Section four: encourages readers to reflect on their learnings, re-assess their skills and evaluate the impact of their communications

Training in the community

The SCU team have also been delivering the Youth Climate Communications to local colleges and youth groups. The training is modular, which allows it to be adapted to suit the needs and interests of the organisations involved.

The training is already being modified to suit the needs of one college, where they have aims to support a more sustainable educational environment by delivering to their students over a two-week period at the end of term. Students will vote on a priority for action within their college and then work in teams, with the support of a coach, developing a communications and behaviour change campaign which could then be delivered in the following term.

The young people’s experience of the programme is being evaluated to better understand whether their attitudes, skills and behaviours relating to sustainability, change as a result of the training. Findings will be shared on this blog later this year.

For empowerment programmes

Meanwhile, aspects of the training are also being delivered to participants of more established empowerment programmes, such as this year’s Catalyse Change programme, Bristol Education Partnership’s Climate Challenge and The Global Goals Centre’s Groundbreakers awards, with the toolkit also featuring in the Groundbreakers’ action pack.

A future aim of the project is to deliver the training online to youth groups and educational establishments across the country, and beyond, with training provided to educators to deliver the programme themselves. For a taster of what this training could look like, head to our YouTube where you can access the social media component of the training.

Where it all began

The training emerged from conversations among the SCU and colleagues about the desire to share our knowledge on climate communications and active citizenship more broadly, so when a funding opportunity arose the Unit was quick to pull together a team to make their dream a reality. The all-female team consists of academics and researchers in disciplines ranging from human geography, engineering, and environmental anthropology – to building physics and entrepreneurship. What unites them is a common interest in supporting young people to develop the skills and confidence they need to take action about things that matter to them.

This training is the first offering from UWE’s Climate Action Hub, also established by the SCU. The Hub is a place for researchers and students to connect with communities for climate action. There is already some work on campus doing just this, such as the children’s workshops delivered by DETI Inspire and Inspire Sustainability, but this is the first time training has been put in place to support the University and communities to do more.

To find out more about the in-person and online toolkit or to connect to the Climate Action Hub, email project manager Sophie Laggan.

To download the toolkit click here.

How do you teach a class of pupils amidst lockdowns and school closures?

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British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) taking place this year between 5-14th March.

Despite the many challenges of taking part in Science Week during a global pandemic, schools around the country have been engaging with celebrations whole-heartedly, ensuring their pupils have the best opportunity possible to celebrate science and its role in society.

And here at UWE Bristol, our student engineers currently studying the Engineering and Society module have been working hard to find new ways of connecting with local schools despite lockdowns, school closures and a whole lot of uncertainty!

The module highlights the importance of professional development, lifelong learning, and the competencies and social responsibilities required in order to be a professional engineer.

Through experience of speaking to different groups of people, including teaching a class of school pupils, the module aims to improve the engineers’ communication skills and enable them to effectively communicate engineering and sustainability concepts to a variety of audiences in the future.

But how to teach a class of pupils during a time of school closures and remote learning?

Our student engineers solved that problem, collaborating with students studying Primary Education at UWE, to create their own set of digital educational resources that could be used remotely by teachers.

An exciting opportunity to gather an insight into engineering allowing us to inspire young minds and create opportunities for the future.

Elizabeth Hadlington, Student in Primary Education, UWE Bristol

Over 50 student engineers recorded a set of videos; the first to introduce themselves to the pupils, the area of engineering they study, their interests, what inspired them to become engineers, and advice about different engineering career pathways.

The second video was more subject-specific, helping teach the pupils some of their curriculum-linked learning using a combination of presentations, demonstrations and follow-along activities.

Here is student engineer Noble, introducing himself to KS1 and having some fun with forces.

Meet Noble, student engineer at UWE Bristol

The students then worked together to create a full package of teaching resources for local schools, including videos, lesson plans and activities. These resource packs are now being shared with the placement schools usually visited by the students of Primary Education, over 40 schools throughout Bristol, to use during British Science Week.

‘Draw an Engineer’ one of the activities from the pack sent to local primary schools

The resources will also be made available to all schools registered to take part in the DETI Inspire event – The Big Beam In for British Science Week, reaching a further 19 schools from across the West of England and over 1600 pupils!

From the feedback coming in so far from all students involved, it looks like the project has been a huge success! We’d like to thank all of the students and schools involved and we’re looking forward to seeing what our local schools make of the resource packs – watch this space for more updates!

Noble had the challenge of creating materials for KS1 which is always tricky especially when it comes to engineering however he quickly overcome this barrier and was able to assess the national curriculum to pinpoint were engineering would fit in.

Noble is a credit to the engineering team! We hope him the best in the future! Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to work with engineers. We have learnt a lot and explored a new way of teaching!

Megan Lili William, Student in Primary Education, UWE Bristol

If you are currently studying or working in an engineering field and would like to know more about the outreach opportunities available, please get in touch with the DETI Inspire team at

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.

UWE supports Aerospace Bristol return to flight

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Aerospace Bristol, which is run by a charity, is a museum in its infancy, having only been open a few years. With the loss of vital visitor and event income during the pandemic, the future of the museum and preservation of Bristol’s aviation heritage for future generations is in real jeopardy.

Which is why the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have been finding new ways to help Aerospace Bristol return to flight this Winter.

Teams from across the university have collaborated in a joint effort to support the museum in their plans for a safe reopening once regional lockdown measures are eased. Through the provision of 3D printed masks and visors for museum staff and volunteers, and the supply of hand gel for visitors, it is hoped that once Bristol moves out of Tier 3 restrictions, the museum will once again welcome families back to the birthplace of supersonic travel!

Despite being closed to the public, the museum has continued to provide free and fun educational experiences for people to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. At Home With Aerospace Bristol is a range of online educational activities & resources designed for use at home or in the classroom, and the Engineering Design and Mathematics (EDM) department at UWE Bristol have developed some new flight themed activities to get children’s imaginations soaring this Winter.

Aerospace Bristol tells the story of our region’s rich aviation heritage, celebrating the world class achievements of the aerospace industry in Bristol and the people who made it possible. UWE Bristol are committed in supporting the museum throughout these difficult times, to ensure they can continue to inspire the engineers of tomorrow.

Dr Lisa Brodie, Head of the Department of Engineering Mathematics and Design, and member of the Board of Trustees of Aerospace Bristol

Further support has been provided by the EDM department in the form of career inspiration videos – a series of interviews with staff, students and alumni from UWE Bristol, sharing stories of their experiences and insights into studying engineering at the University. The department have also developed an Aeroplane BoxEd for the education team at the museum, providing an engaging and interactive tool for use in future education sessions.

Aeroplane BoxEd, developed by UWE Bristol

It has been incredibly beneficial for Aerospace Bristol to work with students, researchers and teaching staff from UWE Bristol. We’d like to say a huge thank you to UWE Bristol for all of their support throughout this challenging time.

The partnership perfectly blends the story of our aerospace history with the inspirational stories and input of the next generation of engineers. Though the museum unfortunately remains closed, we have created ‘At Home With Aerospace Bristol’ and shared an amazing range of resources for everyone to enjoy.

Amy Seadon, Learning and Community Engagement Manager at Aerospace Bristol

If you would like to support Aerospace Bristol return to flight this Winter, please consider making a donation or buying someone special a gift ticket. For more information please visit the Aerospace Bristol website.

Engineering Solutions to Real World Problems – UWE Project Week 2020

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It’s Project Week here at UWE Bristol and 348 first-year student engineers are taking part in an Engineering for People Design Challenge, tackling real-life issues in Peru.

Both on a global and local scale, we are facing challenges that require urgent action. Engineering plays a key role in everyday life and our response to address current and future challenges. By participating in the Engineering for People Design Challenge developed by Engineers Without Borders, our students are investing their skills and talent to benefit the planet and its people.

The Design Challenge

This year’s challenge focusses on two neighbouring communities on the northern coast of Peru – Lobitos and Piedritas. Students will explore and tackle issues shared by local people living in these areas, focusing on one or more of the 8 challenge areas identified: Built Environment, Water, Waste, Food, Sanitation, Energy, Transport and Digital. Students are encouraged to use the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for the design challenge to help them explore and understand these issues from both a local and global perspective.

What’s unique about our approach to teaching design and project management is that we give our students a real-life context to work on. They get to develop design ideas that address environmental and social issues faced by communities across the globe. 

Engineers Without Borders has been instrumental in helping us integrate sustainability into our engineering curriculum. It’s always exciting to see students give their all during Project Week to come up with great designs. More importantly, they complete their projects feeling inspired to do well in their studies and to use their engineering skills to make a positive impact around them.

Maryam M. Lamere, Project Week Coordinator

Why Project Week?

This week-long challenge plays a central role in UWE Bristol’s Engineering Practise module, part of our Integrated Learning Framework focussed around project-based learning. Students are guided through the challenges using the new Innovation and Design Toolkit designed by Bristol-based software company Newicon. The toolkit helps students explore and define real human-centred problems and rapidly move through iterative solutions and visual prototypes to select the best solution.

The Engineers Without Borders Design Challenge represents everything that is good and positive about Engineering and how Design and Engineering can be used to improve our environment and the life of the people that live in it.

Technology has clearly caused much damage to our world and it is great that Engineering at UWE is now focussing on directing efforts towards using Technology to improve our world and its environment. The Engineers Without Borders Design Challenge is an important first step in reminding Student Engineers of their important role in society.

Dedicating a whole week of their first year studies to focus on this should remind them how important it is.

Dr David Richardson, co-module leader for Engineering Practice

What’s involved?

Project week looks a little different this year (as with most things it has moved online during the current pandemic) but module leads Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, Dr David Richardson and organiser of project week, Maryam Lamere, have put together a full programme of engaging online workshops, exercises and presentations to keep students engaged and focused throughout the challenge.

To kick things off this week students will hear from Dr Lisa Brodie, Head of the Department of Engineering, Design and Mathematics. Throughout the week they will also have access to videos of inspirational speakers from around the globe, including Felipe Gomez del Campo (CEO FGC Plasma Solutions), Brittany Harris (CEO, Co-Founder Qualis Flow), UWE Robotics alumni Silas Adekunle (CEO, Co-Founder ReachRobotics Ltd, Awari, R.I) and current UWE final-year student engineer Henry James (Winner of STEM Telegraph Innovation Award).

As part of the design challenge, students at UWE will have the opportunity to compete against universities around the globe for their chance to be awarded Engineering for People Design Challenge Winner! We’ll be following their progress throughout the week so stay tuned for more exciting news about UWE Project Week 2020.

It’s been an interesting year to welcome our 348 first year student engineers to both a new curriculum and a new Engineering School here at UWE Bristol! They have had a lot to contend with, but we have been so impressed to see their design thinking coming along. I think that’s a lot to do with the ease of using the Innovation and Design Thinking kit, taking away the fear of failure and seeing engineering as a creative process aiming to make a difference in the world. We can’t wait to see the designs they come up with this week!

Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, co-module leader for Engineering Practice

EDM department joins Bristol Technology Festival online for 2020

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We’d like to thank This is Engineering for use of images from their public image library that aims to better represent what engineers and engineering really look like. The feature image for this blog of a young woman using a VR headset is copyright of the Institution of Engineering and Technology & Callum Wood Ford.

Bristol Technology Festival takes place online, 9th – 15th November 2020

Bristol’s Technology Festival was born in 2019 seeking to showcase the sheer breadth of technology that had been developed in the local ecosystem, and share the stories of those entrepreneurs, engineers and creatives behind the technology with the people of the city, and further afield. It seeks to destroy any barriers between technology businesses, their suppliers, educational and charity organisations and the residents of the community that they live and work in. 

Events like these are more important now than ever before, with the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changing how we work and live, technologies are playing a crucial role in keeping our communities functional and connected in a time of lockdowns and quarantines.

This year’s festival will be delivered virtually. With a jam packed schedule of workshops, webinars, discussion panels, inspirational talks and networking events, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Themes for this year include diversity, inclusivity and sustainability and the DETI Inspire team from the Engineering Design and Mathematics department at UWE Bristol will be delivering events throughout the week.

Digital Engineering Careers Event, Mon 9th – Fri 13th November

The Digital Engineering Technology Innovation (DETI) Inspire team will be delivering a week-long careers fair for children aged 14+, themed on digital engineering.

The event will be hosted on the Like To Be online platform, where students will have access to inspirational videos from a diverse group of engineering professionals, sharing stories of their engineering journey, exploring the digital tools and technologies they use within their role and discussing how engineering can make a difference to people’s lives and help solve real-world problems.

Alongside these careers talks, students will have the opportunity to explore potential employment and development opportunities on offer from local employers, chat with real-life engineers and ask questions during several live Q&A sessions being held throughout the week, including a session from EDM’s very own Maryam Lamere, Doctoral Researcher and Associate Lecturer, who will be ready to answer questions about her research on the innovative Pee Power project, a technology that converts urine and other types of wastewater into electricity.

You can sign up to the event here.

Supporting Women and Girls in Engineering, Thursday 12th November

Only 12% of the UK’s engineers are women. Research shows that girls need to see women succeeding in STEM to feel that STEM is a potential career path for them.

Women Like Me is a peer mentoring and outreach project aimed at boosting female representation in engineering. The project pairs senior women engineers with junior women engineers to give them mentoring support as they start out in their engineering careers.

In turn, junior women undertake engineering education outreach in schools and at public events in the Bristol and Bath area. Engineering is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline, and this project aims to support girls and women to make a difference in society.

Join us for the launch event of Women Like Me 2020/21! Find out how the project will be running this year and what digital outreach opportunities are available. Network with other women engineers, and listen to inspirational speakers, including Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol and Lead for the DETI Inspire project, and Sarah Behenna from the WISE Campaign. You can sign up to the event here.

If you would like more information on either of these upcoming events, or would like to be involved with similar events in the future, please contact the DETI Inspire team. A full line up of the Bristol Technology Festival events can be found here.

DETI Inspire launch new Diversity Demonstrator

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Exciting work is underway within the EDM department at UWE Bristol, as we begin establishing the Diversity Demonstrator as part of our work for the Inspire branch of DETI Skills.

The Inspire branch of DETI aims to address the nationwide skills and employment gap in engineering by championing science for children in the West of England. In order to appeal to under-represented groups and so increase diversity in the profession, DETI Inspire will particularly focus on breaking stereotypes and challenging perceptions about STEM careers.

One of the ways we hope to achieve this is by shaping a Diversity Demonstrator – a network of diverse engineering role models to champion engineering public engagement and inspire the next generation of digital engineers.

Why are role models important?

“You can’t be what you can’t see”

Marian Wright Edelman

Children need to be able to see engineering as ‘for them’. They need access to positive role models who look like them, to help connect with it as a career and visualize themselves as an engineer.

This is particularly important for children from under-represented groups within the industry, including those from low socio-economic backgrounds, girls, black and minority ethnic individuals.

So if you are a current student, alumni, staff or industry professional and would like to be part of our network of diverse engineering role models, please register your interest with this short survey

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 & Simulation, Digital 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.

People vector created by pikisuperstar –

UWE Bristol’s Engineering, Design and Mathematics (EDM) department continues to rise up through the university league tables

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Following the recent news that UWE Bristol has climbed to 21st place in the UK in the latest annual Guardian university league table, we wanted to celebrate the fantastic contributions made by the EDM department.

Latest survey results show the university ranked 8th in the UK for the subject area of Mathematics (rising from 21st in 2018) and 13th for Aerospace, Mechanical and Automotive engineering – a huge rise of 39 places since 2018.

UWE Bristol currently sits top of the league table for overall student satisfaction within the subject area of Mathematics, scoring an impressive 100% for the second year in a row. The latest National Student Survey results within this subject area also rank the university 3rd in the UK for both the quality of teaching (95%) and quality of feedback and assessment (89%).

A huge congratulations to the whole team!

With the next academic year about to begin, bringing with it new ways of working, teaching and learning, we are certainly excited to see what more can be achieved.

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