Casting a new light on maths – UWE attends a careers fair

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The Boxed team alongside student ambassadors took their new “Maths in the Real World” box into Hardenhuish School, Chippenham, for a careers fair on 26th November 2019.

Although there was limited space to operate it, the team reported that the 400 students from years 7-13 seemed to really enjoy the new activity.

The new Maths box puts the traditionally dry subject into a new light. ‘Mini’ problems are used to highlight how Maths can be applied to different careers in unexpected industries. Utilising higher-level techniques, students worked their way through each activity in pairs to gain a better understanding of the different ways maths is utilised and used across different career paths; A- Archeologist, B, Bioaccoustician, C – Cartographer etc.

And an added bonus – in and around these activities, the student ambassadors were able to big up studying at UWE Bristol.

Thanks for having us Hardenhuish!

“Being different is a strength in engineering”

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Maryam Lamere

In recognition of the department’s equity, diversity and inclusion, Engineering, Design and Mathematics (EDM) was recently re-awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award. Graduate tutor and member of EDM’s Athena Swan committee, Maryam Lamere explains how the department supports diversity and caters for families.

In her own words, as a black, Muslim, woman, Maryam is “a minority, within the minorities”. However, she doesn’t view the multi-faceted aspects of her identity as a barrier in EDM.

“I don’t allow my identity to become a barrier to reaching my goals. EDM’s friendly and supportive environment makes me feel confident to fully own my identity. Here, my differences are my strength.

EDM celebrates diversity and believes that engineering as a profession benefits when people bring in various perspectives and are able to tackle problems from different angles. Gender, cultural and neuro-diversity can all be useful in the workplace.”

Maryam Lamere

Maryam teaches undergraduate students, while also working to transfer UWE technology (pee powered electronics) to communities in Africa for her PhD. Since starting the role, Maryam’s family has grown, and she was able to fluctuate her hours to balance childcare needs.

“EDM is really good at making things manageable for people who have families. I have a young family, with three little boys now aged three, five and seven, and if this role hadn’t have been so flexible it would have been pretty challenging to pull it all together.”

Maryam Lamere
Maryam speaking to students during project week Nov 2019

Changing the image of engineering

There’s no denying that engineering needs a change of image to encourage young people to fill the engineering skills and diversity shortfall in the UK. In a bid to overturn the narrow stereotype of engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering launched their image library in November 2019, to demonstrate the diversity of the profession – see if you can spot Maryam and other engineers in the department!

UWE has also signed the pledge below, promising to make representative images of engineers and engineering more visible to the public.

Women in Research – want a mentor?

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The 2020/21 Women Researchers Mentoring Scheme (WRMS) is now open for applications for both mentees and mentors.

The WRMS scheme aims to promote and facilitate professional development for women in academic or researcher roles at UWE Bristol, helping them reach senior research roles.

Each mentee will be matched to a mentor, male or female and training will be provided to all new participants.

WRMS is co-chaired by Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers in EDM and coordinated by Fiona Watt (Fiona.watt@uwe.ac.uk). Further details of the scheme including how to apply is available on the Women Researchers Mentoring Scheme webpages.

Deadline for application is Wednesday 15 January 2020 at 5pm.

Prof becomes Honorary Fellow for the Royal Aeronautical Society

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The Royal Aeronautical Society’s 2019 Honours, Medals and Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Society’s headquarters on Monday 25th November 2019.
Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at UWE, Raj Nangia, can be seen on the right-hand side in the red scarf.

Raj, recently joined the ranks of Orville Wright, Dr. von Karman, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, Sir Frank Whittle and Major Tim Peake, in being awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The award is for engineering excellence of the highest calibre and recognises Raj’s international contributions in aerodynamic designs in both the civil and military sectors, from Concorde to the Harrier and Typhoon.

Having worked in the field for fifty years with companies such as Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, as well as government agencies, Raj is recognised as a global authority, and his work has influenced the design of many aircraft from small UAVs to large subsonic heavy-lift transport aircraft, to supersonic passenger aircraft.

Please see the official announcement and details of winners.

Congratulations Raj!

Developing industrial insight amongst diverse engineering students’

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Udonna Okeke, leader of EDM’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Programme, together with the Student Experience Team, partnered with the Royal Academy of Engineering in the 2019 Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP). The programme focuses on bringing together the most successful and talented engineers from across the engineering sectors for a shared purpose; to advance and promote excellence in engineering, and to increase the transition of diverse engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds into engineering employment.

Through this partnership, five EDM students were sent to a Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) London event. SEO London prepare talented students from ethnic minority or low socioeconomic backgrounds for career success, and on 19th to 20th of November 2019 EDM students attended the SEO GEEP programme of events.

The programme mentored, nurtured and supported the students in developing industry insights, inclusivity and diversity, CV writing, interview and presentation skills.

Below is some of the feedback from the students that attended:

“I found it useful to gain the knowledge on how to create a CV, how to prepare myself for an interview of every kind and how to stay in touch with future and past employers.”

“I would say that I met a lot of diverse people, we worked great as a group for that 2-day event and the network we built would be very useful in the future.”

“The time spent talking to different companies helped me make it clear for myself how I want to further develop myself. It brightened my horizons and I wish I had the opportunity to be part of this event earlier in my studies.”

“This is one of the reasons I would definitely recommend sending more students to such events. I have already told my friends all about it and few of them are interested in the event happening on 4th-5th of December in Manchester”.

“Thanks to Udonna and EDM for giving me the opportunity to be part of the engineering future.”

“I would 100% recommend that students attend in the future! It was exceptionally helpful for everyone and the general thoughts from all students was that it was extremely helpful.”

Making children’s inventions a reality

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UWE Bristol partners with the Leaders Award, an annual children’s engineering competition, to help run the competitions’ masterclass, grading days and celebration events in the South West. Last year Engineering students made a prototype of one of the winning inventions – a car braking systems where the red braking lights vary in intensity according to the pressure applied to the brake. This year, a new team of engineers are making children’s ideas into reality…

Second year mechanical engineering student – Georgina Packham – is heading up the ‘EWB UWE’ team to try and make a ‘Rain Catcher’.

The Rain Catcher was designed by Year 1 student from Headley Park Primary School, Tristan Sta Ines – pictured here.

The design’s purpose is to catch the rain which then turns into clean water. This benefits those who are thirsty helping to keep them healthy.

“We chose the Rain Catcher as we are not aware of any existing products that function in all the same ways that this design does, and we were also instantly drawn to the bright colours of the design. Tristan’s design will not only have little to no negative impact on the environment, but could also benefit those who don’t have easy access to clean water.”

Georgina explained why EWB UWE chose Tristan’s design.

The rest of the team is comprised of first year Engineering, Design and Mathematics students, Chase McLaughlin, Simbarashe Sibanda and Sonny Ngo.

Good luck team EWB UWE!

UWE students challenge kids with engineering activities

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Last week engineering and teaching students teamed up to bring engineering challenges to children across schools in Bristol.

The 35 engineering students and 22 education students currently taking the Engineering in Society module, used their different skill bases to peer mentor one another, and then deliver engaging activities to ~720 pupils at six Bristol schools on Wednesday 27th November.

Children aged 8 – 11 years old at Bannerman Road, Hambrook, Illminster Avenue, May Park, Shield Road and Victoria Park Primary Schools took part in one or more of the activities:

  • Gliders (High Flyers)
  • Floating Platform (High and Dry)
  • Vacuum Cleaner (Super Sucker)

Senior Lecturer from UWE Bristol and module lead, Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers was enthusiastic about the engineering day. “Visiting our engineers as they undertake their education outreach is always an exciting experience. Not only do we see our students flourishing, but I can see the impact they are having on the children as well. There is always so much fun and excitement in the classrooms as the children come up with their own designs!”

“Engineering can change the world, basically”

“This is the best day of my life!”

“Engineering can make life better for us all”

Quotes from participating children

What kind of engineer could you become?

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Engineering UK have released a short, fun careers quiz and whether you’re just starting out, or ready to think about your next steps, this is the quiz for YOU – Meet the Future You

Ever wondered what an engineer does? Could you see yourself exploring outer space, protecting the environment, designing apps or developing cures for diseases? Engineers do all this, and more!

There are eight questions about lifestyle and interests, which are used to match you to 12 different potential fields of engineering:

  • Coding Legends
  • Civilisation Savers
  • Crime Preventers
  • Cure Creators
  • Electric Dynamos
  • Materials Makers
  • Future Lifesavers
  • Mechanical Marvels
  • Electron Pioneers
  • Sea Crusaders
  • Universe Explorers

Take the quiz and get ready to be inspired…

Lottie looks in on changing perceptions and teaching of engineering

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The face of engineering is changing, and the #Lottietour – where a Lottie doll tours the varied world of engineering – helps to showcase that.

Science Stereotype Challenging Stories

This years tour has begun, with Lottie sitting in on a story about a young inventor, told by Marine Engineer, Tamsin Dobson. Tamsin read ‘Rosie Revere Engineer’ to children at Aerospace Bristol last week in one of many storytelling events held across the city during Bristol’s half term Storytale Festival.

Tamsin Dobson reading Rosie Revere Engineer at Aerospace Bristol on Tuesday 29th November 2019.

STEM Ambassadors read books that challenged science-stereotypes at 10 different locations. These ‘Curious Stories for Curious Children‘ were run by the Curiosity Connections team (the Bristol primary science network), including UWE Bristol’s Laura Fogg-Rogers and Louisa Cockbill, alongside Liz Lister from the STEM Ambassador hub for the West of England.

While perceptions of science and engineering were challenged for over 150 children across the city, Lottie moved up to UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus to witness how Engineering Education is changing….

Challenging Engineering Education

The quiet before level 1 student engineers get back to helping solve multiple issues that Makers Valley in Johannesburg, South Africa is experiencing right now. A jam packed week of research and learning how to develop a concept design for a problem.

Nearly all of UWE’s 700 first and second year engineering students,turned up for the first Scenario Project week of the year. Challenging the students with regional and global problems is a foundational part of the new engineering curriculum, all designed to improve inclusivity.

I think historically the education system precludes certain types of people from being successful, because it’s heavily examined and a lot of young people don’t find that an easy process to go through. We are trying to create a curriculum with a range of different methods to assess students, so that regardless of background and qualification, there’s the opportunity to succeed.

Lisa Brodie, Head of Engineering, Design and Mathematics

Read more about ‘Curious Stories for Curious Children‘ and hear Lisa Brodie wax lyrical about engineering.

Access for everyone

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Here lies the results of the final student challenge set in the Engineering in the Community module.

Robert Fleming, Joseph Ford and Claudia Paduano on the Engineering Competence Postgraduate Diploma, sought to improve shop accessibility and therefore footfall in high streets. They partnered with Airbus, Babcock and Bedminster Business Improvement District, to provide a portable solution to the accessibility issues facing the Bubble Play Café in Bedminster. You can read more about how the team met this community need below: