Plans for prototype invention revealed at children’s award ceremony

Posted on

On Friday 5th June, UWE Engineers revealed early plans to turn a young person’s winning design into reality.

The Leaders Award is a nationwide engineering competition for young people to design inventions to solve a problem. UWE Engineering is one of the Leaders Awards partners in the South West of England and hosted this years exhibition of highly commended designs and the Awards ceremony.

During the Awards ceremony, Hollie Lewis, Lecturer in Sustainable Project Management, presented plans for a UWE team to build last year’s winner Elliot James’ design, the “Smart shower”. Hollie is heading up the “Proto team” which includes Electronics Mechatronics Technical Team Leader, Steve Regester and Engineering Students: Erika Aiwekhoe, Ruth Cockroft and Naing Tun.

120 people attended the celebration event to congratulate the winners and take a look at the activities UWE Engineering’s Inspire Sustainability team had to offer. The exhibition remained up the following day for the Family Fun day, where over 900 people visited and took part in a whole range of hands-on activities.

“Smart Shower”

Last year, Elliot James, pupil at St Katherine’s sixth form, won the prize for best Year 12 design – you can see his original “SMARTH” – SMART Bath – design below. The UWE proto-team have adapted this design and are starting to build the Smart shower.

More prototypes!

Engineers from GKN, headed up by Ian Gent, Research Engineer in Composites, also revealed a prototype machine that purifies water.

Dean of Engineering, Ramin Amali expressed at the Awards Ceremony how wonderful it is to have so many local young people participating in this Engineering competition and having their designs turned into a reality!

Engineering’s Family Fun Day

Posted on

Over 900 people across the city were welcomed into UWE Engineering last Saturday to explore a range of different science and engineering activities. It was a wonderful day and we’ve had loads of great feedback. Watch the video to get an insight into the day.

Activities included:

  • Planetarium show called ‘We Make our Future‘ about how we can use human ingenuity and engineering skills to make a brighter future for our planet (the Inspire Sustainability team commissioned this show which Explorer Dome created and took to COP26 as well as into loads of local schools)
  • Flight and Driving Simulators – two very popular activities provided by UWE’s Digital Gallery
  • Robot building experience – was constantly surrounded by kids and adults alike building and coding Lego robots
  • Immersion in Bristol Minecraft worlds – everyone headed up the stairs to design changes to their city in the digital worlds
  • Physics in the Freezer – David Williams provided an awesome show with liquid nitrogen and magnets
  • Wind Turbine activity – some examples of wind turbine blade designs can be seen below – who could generate the most electricity?
  • Anibotics – families flocked to the animations and free giveaways David Smee and his team had on offer
  • Eco-House – Deborah Adkins had her wonderfully interactive Eco-houses on display
  • The Tinker Table – children loved getting hands on using tools to tear apart all the broken down electrical items donated as part of the UWE’s MAKERS repair cafe

Celebrate International Women in Engineering Day with STEMAZING!

Posted on

Join us in celebrating International Women in Engineering Day with our partner, STEMAZING, for an inspiring “smorgasbord” of speakers. Hear from diverse voices as they share their stories, expertise, and insights on making STEM inclusive for everyone.

This dynamic 2-hour session allows you to dip in and out of bite-sized presentations, choosing the topics that interest you most.

Event Details:

  • Date: Thursday, 25th June
  • Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Location: Online

Don’t miss out! Register here to secure your spot and gain access to all event recordings.

Invitation to be wowed by local budding engineers

Posted on

The Leaders Award competition challenges children of all ages – Reception to Year 12 – to invent solutions to problems they see in the world.

UWE Bristol is the Leaders Award’s partner for South West England. And we’re looking forward to celebrating those local inventions at an exhibition in UWE Engineering – South West Regional Awards Ceremony on Friday 5th July.

Local Engineers are invited to attend the Awards Ceremony and view the exhibition of shortlisted designs.

And the exhibition will stay up for UWE Engineering’s Family Fun day on Saturday 6th July. So if you want to bring your family, please grab some tickets.

UWE Engineering go to Cheltenham Science Festival

Posted on

UWE Engineering’s Inspire Sustainability team are out all this week at Cheltenham Science Festival. The festival has a jam-packed programme of events with scientists and thought-leaders, as well as loads of amazing science-y stalls – that’s where we come in!

The Inspire Sustainability stall has been joined by several engineering students as well as some ambassadors from iMechE, all eager to inspire the next generation of engineers. And the team are using some of the equipment from their specialised outreach workshops to give children visiting the fair a hands-on experience of engineering.

Specially designed Bristol worlds in Minecraft and robots galore – I think they look pretty engaged – don’t you?

UWE hosts local industry leaders to judge children’s inventions

Posted on

The Leaders Award competition challenges children of all ages – Reception to Year 12 – to invent solutions to problems they see in the world.

Nationwide 71,000 pupils took part in this year’s competition. UWE Engineering is the Leaders Award’s partner for South West England and hosted a wonderful panel of volunteer Engineers to assess local children’s inventions on 23rd May.

The judging panel consisted of engineers from partners GKN Aerospace, Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), Thales, Boeing and supporters from Dyson and Airbus Aircraft and DXC Technology – see photo above. The panel had a great time selecting the winners!

Now UWE Bristol is looking forward to hosting the regional Awards Ceremony on Friday 5th July.

Local Engineers are invited to attend the Awards Ceremony and view the exhibition of shortlisted designs.

The exhibition will stay up for UWE Engineering’s Family Fun day on Saturday 6th July. It’s open to everyone!

Inspire Family Fun Day free tickets now available! – Saturday July 6th

Posted on

Tickets are now available for the School of Engineering’s annual Family Fun Day on Saturday the 6th of July. The event runs between 9.30 and 16:00, tickets are FREE and can be booked here:

There will be a variety of activities throughout the day for families to enjoy including UWE’s robots, LEGO Mindstorm robot building, a wind turbine building competition, and the ExplorerDome planetarium show We Make Our Future.

UWE is bringing all this together to celebrate the amazing inventions children in the South West designed for the Leaders Award competition – with shortlisted entries on display alongside the robots, music technology, crafty activities, and did we mention a FREE planetarium show?!

We expect the Family Fun Day to be very popular so don’t hesitate and snap up your free tickets now. Learn more about the We Make Our Future planetarium show here and look at photos from last year’s Family Fun Day on the Engineering Our Future Blog here.

Young people pairing green innovations and sport with the Inspire Sustainability team at the WECA Schools Summit

Posted on

The West of England Combined Authority recently held their annual School Summit, inviting young people from many secondary schools across the West to make their voices heard on sustainability issues in the area. Information about the summit is here:

Metro Mayor Dan Norris welcomed over 100 GCSE students to Ashton Gate Stadium for a day of listening to their thoughts and ideas on what the area can do differently, with the aim of informing future policy and planning.

The Inspire Sustainability team were invited to be part of the summit by providing a workshop on ‘VISION 2040’. In this workshop, the students were asked to imagine attending an event at Ashton Gate in the year 2040, and discussed what sustainable innovations they would like to see. The students began by hearing the current environmental impact a matchday at the stadium has. Did you know that every matchday uses the same power as an average home uses in almost 3 years?

The students were than tasked with a competition to come up with as many innovative and creative sustainability solutions as they could, winning a throw at the rugby training nets with each idea. The session was kindly supported by the Bristol Bears and they provided balls and nets for the students to practice their rugby skills on. The day certainly became competitive with students from Bristol Brunel Academy coming out on top across the day!

During the session, the student’s ideas for a more sustainable stadium experience were all collected and will inform future planning, as well as form a mural art piece showcasing the innovations. Great ideas included harnessing the use of solar panels, wind turbines, better connected public transport, and even included plans and considerations to make the stadium more accessible for the deaf.

For more information about this event or to hear more about other projects the Inspire Sustainability team is working on, contact

Inspire Sustainability team at Wiltshire STEAM2024 Festival

Posted on

Last week saw a huge number of young students from local schools engage with fun and engaging ‘STEAM’ activities at an event hosted at Trowbridge townhall by Wiltshire Council. (

STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths) are an influence on every aspect of our daily lives, and the industries will continue to grow as we aim to move to a more sustainable future. For the young people whose future careers will be deep rooted in these skills and subjects, the Wiltshire STEAM event was an opportunity to come and experience some of the potential jobs, industries, and inspiring technology they could grow to be a part of.

UWE Bristol’s Inspire Sustainability team also attended the event, and held a stall showcasing the range of STEAM workshops and sessions that are available for the schools to book. These included the unique ‘The West in Minecraft’ worlds, which invited the young people to design and build solutions to problems in a virtual Bristol and Bath. Also, the ‘Engineering Curiosity’ top trumps cards that show real-life diverse engineers from the area. To find out more about these school workshops and what’s on offer, please visit or email

There was a whole host of amazing activities for the young people to be inspired by at the event, including a huge working robot used in film and TV that tracked their movements, driving simulators, and first aid training. There really was something for everyone!

Feedback from the young people showed that it was a really worth-while event and successful in inspiring them with the STEAM subjects.

“I liked being able to make the kazoo and bring it home”

“I loved finding out about new jobs and how everything worked”

“My jumping bean family will be with me forever!”

“I found it really interesting with all the stuff they had.  The robot was really cool”

“I think STEAM was really fun and cool and I learned a lot of good things”

“I think the thing I enjoyed most was the cyber security because it was fun cracking the code”

“I thought STEAM was really fun.  The thing I enjoyed most was the one where you had to drive the car”

“Steam was good.  I enjoyed the small controller robot”

“I like Steam because I liked doing all the activities.  I liked doing the art and craft”

“I really liked steam it was fun.  I would definitely go again.  My favourite part was putting on the space suit”

“I liked the dinosaur stall because it was interesting”

“I liked the experiment with the air and the cup”

“It was nice, awesome, amazing, astonishing, outstanding”

New Repair Café at School of Engineering brings together students and wider community

Posted on

UWE Bristol’s Repair Café has gotten off to a great start on its very first session on October 11th 2023!

We had a fantastic team of 14 helpers, which included students, community volunteers, technicians, and other UWE staff, helping with repair and general organising.

There was a lot of demand for repair amongst the UWE community: people brought in old toys, soda streams, lawn mowers, lamps, trousers, skirts, dresses, and much more!

In total, our repairers managed to work on 16 items, of which 10 were fixed, 3 are still outstanding (waiting for spare parts, or ran out of time to finish), and 3 could not be repaired.

So far, the repairers helped save 11kg of waste from going to landfill, and 67kg of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of manufacturing 1 sofa, or watching TV for 116 days!

All repair data is collected in support of the work of the Restart project. Our latest repair information can be accessed on their webpages. We are able to run the Repair Café through the MAKERS project, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Radio mentions

We are delighted to have had two mentions on BBC Radio Bristol to mark the launch of the Repair Café. First, project lead Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers was interviewed by Paris Troy as part of the station’s morning show to talk about the Repair Café and the wider repair movement.

We also had BBC Radio Bristol’s Steve Yabsley attend the Repair Café in person, where he interviewed many of the people who helped or had their items fixed.

Upcoming Repair Cafes and how to get involved

The next Repair Café will take place on November 8th 2023 at the School of Engineering from 12.15 – 1.45pm.

The November Repair Café will also receive additional support from UWE Bristol’s Fashion Technical team who will be running a MEND session with information below.

You can just drop in on the day, or email if you have any questions.

Back to top