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Engineering students from UCS Lowestoft were given the chance to test their research and problem solving skills with a project which ended with a Dragons’ Den style presentation.
Students from the Foundation degree in Operations Engineering were set a scenario in which they would put forward a ‘tender’ for a hydro-electric power generation contract. Since February, the students have been working in groups to create ideas for small scale hydro-electric power generation units for commercial and residential customers.
The research and problem solving module is aimed at developing essential industry skills, such as team-working and delivering engineering solutions on time, within budget and to specification.
The students have had to design, construct and test a scale model of a generator. And, as well as having to make sure their designs met certain technical specifications, the students also had to think about the overall look of their design and make sure they could stick to a maximum budget of £100.
After weeks of perfecting their designs, each group had 10 minutes to present their design process to a panel of judges made up of lecturers and staff from the college with engineering expertise and Tony Dale, a former student of Lowestoft College who went on to set up Geo Therm Ltd, a Lowestoft-based company specialising in Thermal Imaging.
The groups were awarded marks for a range of criteria, including how successfully they met the brief, their levels of innovation, ability to work as part of a team and their overall presentation on the day.
The event is set to be held annually and Geo Therm Ltd has agreed to be a sponsor. They have provided a team trophy which will be presented to the best team each year, as well as individual trophies for the team members.
The winning team for 2016, ‘Pelton Power’, with a judges’ score of 54.5 out of 60, comprised Christian Burkert, Daniel Clarke, Ed Page and Lee Yates. Students on the course all manage to combine studying for the Foundation degree with employment and Christian works for RWE, Gt Yarmouth Power Station, Daniel and Ed work for M&H Plastics and Lee is employed by Prior Diesel.
Module tutor, Dr. Adrian Durrant, said: “I am incredibly proud of what you have all achieved, and in a relatively short period of time. It is patently obvious that each one of you has travelled along the path of learning, as is clearly evidenced in your results. I wish you all well in applying that learning, in your daily professional practice at work.”
The Foundation degree is a part-time course offered though UCS. UCS Lowestoft is located at the site of Lowestoft College and many students who complete the Foundation degree opt to continue to develop their skills further by joining the Bachelor of Engineering in Operations Maintenance.
For more information about the courses, contact Mike Betts on 01502 525122, e-mail email@example.com