Coventry University recently hosted fifty aspiring young engineers from across the UK as part of an on-campus summer school.
The students, aged 16 -17, were given a unique insight into structural engineering and what studying this challenging topic at university might be like for them.
Sponsored by Coventry University, and organised by educational charity the Smallpeice Trust (with support from the Institution of Structural Engineers), the students gained valuable practical knowledge of some of the greatest engineering challenges of our time.
During the four-day residential course, students learnt about the fundamentals of structural engineering, including taster lectures from academics, and what life is really like at Coventry University.
Coventry University is dedicated to providing a high quality service to students interested in furthering their education and has a long established reputation for successful outreach work with schools and colleges.
The University, indeed, spent 6.5% of its tuition fee income in 2010-11 on outreach, nearly three times the national average, and recently came sixth nationally for outreach in a report by the Office for Fair Access.
Part of the students’ time was spent working in small teams, where they competed against each other in a bridge building task, with very tight constraints such as a set budget and certain testing regime. Here students were able to use the knowledge they had recently gained as they built their structures.
The winning teams were then presented with certificates from the chairman of the Midland Counties Regional Group of the Institution of Structural Engineers, Andy Worship, along with a watch from the Smallpeice Trust.
David Trujillo, senior lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Building at Coventry University said: “It has been a pleasure to work with this group of students; they are keen, hard-working, bright, committed and very inquisitive. The future of the profession is in safe hands, if future engineers are anything like them.
“Given Coventry University’s commitment to helping students pursue their higher education goals, it was especially rewarding to see the value of this type of work first hand and what it meant for those attending.”
Students who took part in the summer school described the guest lectures from Coventry University academics as very informative and they were especially grateful for their insightful knowledge about the industry.