I have recently attended the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty (ISTA) congress. ISTA was established in 1988 and is dedicated to advancing the art and science of technology in joint replacement by connecting the leading clinicians, engineers, researchers and industry members from around the globe, about 400 people attended the conference this year.
International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty (ISTA) congress
This year was the 30th annual congress, celebrated in Seoul from the 20th to the 23rd of September. The conference was held at the Shilla Hotel, and its content varied between different categories of joint arthroplasty, from ankles to shoulders, although it was primarily based on hip and knee replacements. This year there was a session on implant biology, as well as on global practices and economics. In this last session Seth Greenwald, had a presentation on managing the cost of advancing technologies. This is a very hot topic right now, both in the UK with the increasing costs of the NHS as well as worldwide. One of my favourite sessions was “What’s New?” where the new advancements in technology in arthroplasty are presented. This year Prof. Laurent Sedel presented his new alumina on alumina total knee replacement, a very interesting and controversial product. Additionally, the conference had a workshop on computational modelling, where the problems associated with finite element analysis were discussed, as well as the ways in which it can be used to advance the industry.
Sonia presenting “In vitro comparison of the stiffness and flexibility protocols using a lumbar porcine model” at the conference
My presentation, titled “In vitro comparison of the stiffness and flexibility protocols using a lumbar porcine model” took place in the “Beyond hips and knees” session. The session had good attendance and I got a good number of questions asked, one of them from the session moderator, Dr Thay Q Lee, a senior researcher at the University of California Irvine. I also met a number of senior academics with whom I would be interested in working or collaborating with in the future, including Nico Verdonschot, Phil Noble and Hani Haider.
Overall, attending ISTA was a fantastic experience, and it made me grow as an engineer and as a researcher, since I was exposed to new developments and different ways of thinking. I am very grateful to WES Bath and Caterpillar for providing me with the funding to make it possible for me to attend the conference, and I hope I can keep attending this conference in the future.
Sonia Ramos Pascual – Sept 2017
I was granted the BP Women in Engineering Award by BP and WESBath in 2017 for my participation in The GREEN Program organised in Iceland over 10 days. The flagship course in Iceland focuses on renewable energy and sustainability and is dedicated for students who wish to study abroad as a part of their undergraduate/graduate studies.
Yui Yan and the other participants in the Green Programme
The course was a mixture of lectures at Reykjavik University in topics including Energy Policy, Geothermal Energy and Hydro Power, and site visits and I gained an first-hand insight on the operation of power plants including visiting
- Hellisheiði Power Station
- Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant
- Gunnuhver Geothermal Area
- Elliðaár Hydroelectric Power Plant
The trip included many outdoor adventure excursions such as glacier walking, super-jeeping, hiking, snorkeling and visits to waterfalls and geysers. I never expected to step beyond my limits, yet I accomplished far more than I had ever hoped. Through taking hot spring at the top of Hengill volcano and exploring Þingvellir National Park, I had many networking opportunities with other 42 talented participants selected competitively by TGP.
Yui Yan in Iceland
Being surrounded by highly motivated friends from US, UAE and Canada, I transformed into a more open-minded, confident and daring individual through adventurous activities like snorkeling between tectonic plates in Silfra and hiking on Sólheimajökull Glacier. I also learnt more about the Nordic culture through camping in Þórsmörk. Throughout the trip, the nature acted as our classroom and hence I became more environmentally conscious.
Yui Yan Wong, Civil Engineering, Year 4
As a group of 6 civil engineering students, we spent 6 weeks working with the organisation Sport in Action in Lusaka, Zambia. Sport in Action aid the development of young people through sport.
We were heavily involved with two main projects, with the intention to see these from start to finish, from negotiating with contractors to overseeing all stages of the construction.
One project was the construction of a netball court at a high school, for use by the school and community. As well as project management, we were involved with the design, where we used previous knowledge from university as well as learning and adapting to local methods used by the contractors.
The other project was the renovation of changing rooms which were in a state of disrepair, including a degrading asbestos roof, for which there had been plans to remove parts and patch it up. This obviously was a severe hazard, and we found that awareness of the health implications of asbestos was much less than that in the UK. Therefore, a main focus was to implement suitable health and safety measures for the handling and total removal of the asbestos, and we hope to have raised awareness for all involved.
We also had the opportunity to visit a rural site outside of Lusaka, where Sport in Action were involved in the construction of some latrines for an elementary school and asked for us to advise on these. Visiting the site was a great experience, with already existing latrines, to see things that we had learnt about at university in practice. We were able to give advice and produce drawings and required quantities for the project. Throughout, we were able to experience the Zambian culture and way of life; living with locals in a typical residential area of Lusaka, buying from the local markets and taking the public buses.
Overall, the projects have been successful and greatly beneficial; we have produced quality constructions which should last for years to come, increasing sporting opportunities and benefiting the local communities. As students, by being so heavily involved, we were able to apply and develop knowledge gained at university, whilst also gaining many new skills, and the added adaptation to a new culture.
Lana Harding, Final year Civil and Architectural Engineering
Mehrnaz Tajmir, a student in Mechanical Engineering who graduated in June 2016, was the recipient of the Moog International Women in Engineering Prize. She is now studying for a PhD.
Mehranz was a founding members of WESBath and took the role of Treasurer for several years.
Mehrnaz receives the Moog International Student Women in Engineering Prize from Professor Linda Newnes
While at the Bath WES end of year meal, kindly hosted by our sponsors Roger and Sue Whorrod, Roger asked if I would like to have a summer placement at his and his son’s company, Investx. Investx is a parent company who purchases businesses then develops or creates products, purchases technologies and manages finances to rebuild or enhance the companies. Surprised but excited by the generous offer, I immediately agreed and arrangements were made for me to join the R&D team at Investx in June.
The team at Investx made me feel very welcome. During my placement, I worked closely with two engineers (Kit Buchanan and Luke Halton, both IMEE graduates from Bath) on the development of high output, explosion proof LED lighting systems capable of operating in extreme and hazardous conditions. I built and used test rigs for the LED drivers, programmed new equipment and recorded test data to present to the team. I produced a smart sensory and control network system, assembled prototypes, used surface mount components, NFC, LCD touch screen and capacitive touch sensors development kits and was also allowed and encouraged to use any piece of equipment in the lab, so I used them all; including various oscilloscopes, IR reflow oven, programmable DC loads, temperature and humidity test chamber, 3D printer and lots more. I also participated in design and manufacture meetings both at Investx and other partner companies and suppliers.
Equipment such as oscilloscopes, IR preheater, programmable reflow station, electronic microscope, a mini multimete, soldering irons and suckers.
The placement was very enjoyable and stimulating, giving me the opportunity to apply some of the knowledge and skills gained from my first year studies to a real-life engineering project. In addition to helping develop my team working and communication skills, the placement gave me direct experience of the design to manufacture process and helped reinforce the value of methodical lab work and testing to ensure that products are reliable and meet the customers’ requirements. I would like to thank Rob Whorrod, Peter Edgar and all the team at Investx, especially Roger who offered and organised such a brilliant, insightful and worthwhile work experience.
Roger and Sue Whorrod, Elisa, Kit and Luke.
Electronic & Electrical Engineering
June 23rd 2016, important not only for a defining referendum, but also National Women in Engineering Day (NWED). NWED is an international campaign aiming to raise the profile of women in engineering and showcase career opportunities available to girls in the industry and WESBath welcomed 50 year 7 and 8 girls from local schools to enjoy a taste of what it is like to be an engineer.
A morning of hands-on activities ensued, with the girls dividing their time between building straw towers (hopefully!) able to hold a beaker of water, and donning lab coats and goggles to purify water in the chemical engineering labs. It was great to see the girl’s teamwork and competitive spirits coming together in the quest to get the purest water or strongest tower. And if you’re wondering how to get a 45cm tower of just paper straws and sellotape to hold a beaker of water I’ll give you a hint, triangles!
Students build a straw tower
The Water Challenge group activity, held in the Department of Chemical Engineering, engaged the participants in the use of natural materials for the purification of water. For the lab-based activity, the students were divided into small working groups and, as ‘Water Detectives’, they trialled the use of activated carbon in water treatment. Following the instructions, each group built their own set-up and pumped ‘contaminated water’ (coloured with food dye) through an activated-carbon column-also constructed by them. The teams who managed to produce and collect the “cleanest” water won our WES prizes!
Students purify water
The girls thoroughly enjoyed their morning, and hopefully we helped spark an interest in engineering that may shape their studies to come.
Chrysoula Papacharalampou Bethan Charles
Mechanical Enginering Chemical Engineering
The WESBath Committee received a deserved nomination for Volunteer Team of the Year at the BANES Chairman’s Community Awards 2015/16.
The nomination was for the committee's work helping to inspire school girls in the local area to consider engineering as a career as well as providing support for current female engineering students through regular seminars, networking opportunities as well as working together at outreach events.
We attended the awards ceremony and had a great night – the worthy winners were The Bath Soup Run.
Sarah, Student Experience Officer
We’ve got some really exciting news here at WESBath…
A couple of months ago during a committee meeting we decided that one of our priorities for the next year was going to be outreach activities. We were all really passionate about engaging with younger people, in particular younger girls, to encourage them to consider engineering. We decided the best way to achieve this would be to create four new committee positions so we could have a dedicated public engagement rep from each department.
We asked all of our members to put themselves forward if they were interested in the position. We then invited them to our committee meeting to tell us a bit about why they were interested in the role, and talk about any experience they have and any ideas they have for the role. The competition was tough but after an anonymous vote we decided on our reps.
Our new reps are:
Jemma Rowlandson from Chemical Engineering
Laura Grubb from Mechanical Engineering
Elisa-Jayne Barber from Electric and Electronic Engineering
Naomi Deering from Architecture and Civil Engineering
We can’t wait for them to get started and see what exciting things they’re going to come up with. Watch this space!