On Friday 16 September three WESBath members took part in a STEM day at St Marks' School in Bath - engaging Year 6 students with a competitive marble run activity.
Feedback from the school was really positive "Thank you so much to you and your team for your support of our STEM Conference on Friday 16th September. The children had a great day and the workshop supplied by Jemma, Beth and Shawn was very engaging and challenging for the children - it also brought out a competitive edge to add to the excitement!"
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
If you'd like to see more about our NWED 2016 celebration, have a look at all the photographs in our Flickr gallery!
Dr Min Pan, Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Enginering, talks about her NWED day -read the conversation here.
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
An overcast, windy day in March didn’t stop school children, teachers and parents from local schools enjoying Bath Taps into Science 2016. This week long event is aimed at encouraging young children to take active interest in STEM subjects.
WESBath students prepared for students to arrive
Our public engagement reps have been working hard to produce simple and exciting working models and experiments like paper cup boomerangs (demonstrating the magnus effect), rubber band cars (explaining energy storage and conversion), membranes for safe drinking water and a sword in the sand demonstration (showing the effect of soil compaction)
Students enjoying engineering!
It was great that so many children were excited to be educated about engineering and they were able to take handouts for some of the experiments.
WESBath students were on the stand for the whole day and everyone enjoyed interacting with enthusiastic students and teachers. It is great to be able to do outreach work to support and encourage students to consider engineering as a great career path.
Working together with the Somerset & West Wilts IET Network, WESBath welcomed Naomi Climer, President of the IET, to the Univerisity of Bath on Tuesday, 8 March.
Roger Whorrod chats to some WESBath students.
The evening was a great success with over 150 guests coming along to celebrate International Women's Day. The event started with a display of WESBath's work over the past year including examples of activities we use when visiting local schools. A mixture of engineers, students and staff then listened to Naomi, the first female president of the IET, who spoke about how engineering and technology will shape the future and how important it is ensure diversity within engineering. The lecture was inspirational and thought provoking.
Some of the WESBath committee display an outreach activity
Students enjoying Naomi Climer's talk
Afterwards, there was a networking reception at The Edge. What better way to celebrate International Women's Day!
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
Corsham School held at STEM day on the 8th January 2016 and three members of WESBath (Jemma Rowlandson, Leen Jabban and myself) were invited to organise a hands-on workshop for year 9 students with the object to create awareness and generate interest about engineering. The task for the day was to build a tower at least 45cm tall with paper straws and balance a beaker of water on top of it.
The main objective of this task was to get the students to think which shape was strong enough to withstand the force and most of the teams figured out that triangles offered better resistance.We worked with two separate groups of 20 students – in the first session an all girls’ team won the task and were able to balance 950g of water on their tower. In the second session a team of boys were successful in balancing 1.10kg of water, which was the highest capacity for that day as well. There were prizes for the winning teams and a prize for the best team name which was Ninjaneers!
The half-day session also helped us to educate the students about various branches of engineering and it was not all about just ‘fixing things’. The students were excited that there was more to engineering and some of them even expressed interest in taking up engineering in the future.
As a team, we hope to have changed the perception of engineering and STEM to these students!
PhD Research Programme in Chemical Engineering, Dept of Chemical Engineering
With Christmas lurking around the corner, WESBath couldn’t have thought of a better gift. Seminar and a networking event with representatives from P&G, mince pies and drinks. We also had the former WES president amongst us. Icing on the cake!
Irina Yanshina, who works at the Supply Network Operations department (SNO-One of the many acronyms P&G is fond of!), spoke to us about the structure of P&G and what her job is like with SNO. She claimed that her love for travelling and adventure was well catered to by her job as her role in the company involved a lot of travel.
Sandra Martinelli spoke about her journey in P&G (she has never worked anywhere else!) and her career development in the Engineering sector. As our audience largely comprised of soon to be graduates, this was a definite morale booster. Her job profiles have been varied and never once monotonous. From designing equipment which made Pringles (She got free Pringles!) to going down to the plant with a toolkit to troubleshoot problems, she shared her views on how imperative it is to have a sound background in both theoretical as well as practical aspects of engineering. Another highlight of her talk was the gender equality which P&G maintains while recruiting employees and how P&G lets women especially to make choices and allows them to have flexible career profiles which helps them balance both their personal and professional life.
Paul Dodd, also from P&G, was present to illustrate the fact that support of male engineers/ co-workers has a positive effect on the development of women engineers and offered useful insights and suggestions to some of the questions posed by the audience.
I also got a chance to interact with Dawn Bonfield, former WES president who was keen on hearing all about the student WES conference which took place in Birmingham a few weeks back. She was impressed with the active representation WESBath had at the conference.
I am eagerly looking forward for the series of exciting events WESBath has in store the next year (The IET event in particular!). It is always exhilarating to be amongst motivated and passionate women engineers.
Have a lovely Christmas break!
PhD student, Department of Chemical Engineering
December P&G Seminar