EES 2019-20 | Newsletter

Throughout the academic year, a group of year 12 students have taken part in the Engineering Education Scheme in addition to our usual academic studies and extensive extracurricular commitments. This has involved us working as and with a team of professional engineers to solve a problem presented by IMI Truflo Marine, whose local offices primarily design flow systems for submarines and power stations.

A major part of this scheme was critical thinking and problem solving. We had to work around problems before they became a real problem, as a lot of our initial planning was hypothetical. We had to work with finite resources – financial and time constraints, to reduce unnecessary waste whilst building a waste disposal system for a submarine, and a water management system. We were creative and innovative, as the most obvious solution wasn’t always something we could achieve with the materials and equipment we had. We had to make our systems fit the brief and constantly adjust when our models were tested, which required us to be highly adaptable and resilient. Digital skills were also important when creating our product, as much of it involved 3D printing and extensive research into materials and types of valves. We also conducted risk assessments and had to be clear about health and safety as we were using new tools and materials that we would not encounter in school.

Our communication and interpersonal skills were also important when meeting with the engineers every week, as we had to discuss our current models and future plans to effectively impart our ideas. We also learned how to ask skills, and the right types of questions to ask to move forward. We all developed confidence leading sub-teams and learning to share ideas in the best way. These skills were tested through written work as well as orally, as the project also involved writing a report about our final product and process.

During the year we have: conducted a company visit; risk-assessed and taken part in an engineering workshop; collaborated with engineers to design and produce working prototypes to control fluid flow; and worked together to produce a professional report and presentation.

Despite COVID-19 affecting our lives, and ruining our graduation and presentation ceremony,, we have graduation as Industrial Cadets at Gold Level.

We began the scheme knowing nothing about submarine valves, or interlock systems, or project management. It has been tiring but very rewarding. In addition to a range of transferable skills, we all now have a real insight into the world of engineering, and appreciate the importance of using every opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society.

We are grateful to the school and teachers especially Miss Campbell and , IMI Truflo Marine including  Libby Pincher an old pupil, and EDT for supporting us through our journey. We would recommend the scheme to and year 12s who are interested in improving their confidence, employability and skills, especially if they are considering a career in engineering.