2nd May 13
A team of five Abbey College Manchester A-Level students proved they have an eye for design and the brains for Physics after taking part in this year’s Engineering Education Scheme.
The college was one of over 45 schools and colleges in North West England taking part in the initiative, which culminated recently in a Celebration and Assessment Day at the University of Liverpool. Here the team presented their work to a panel of assessors in the form of a PowerPoint presentation and explained their findings. The team was highly commended by the assessors in all technical and project management aspects and by common consent had one of the hardest engineering problems to solve of all the schools and colleges.
The environmentally themed engineering task facing the students was to design and construct a prototype for a new ‘Intermediate Storage Vessel’. It had to be designed to transport potentially radioactive waste liquor and meet a series of control, transfer, agitation, temperature, volume and safety parameters. The prototype was tested using a non-radioactive test material which simulates the behaviour of the active liquor.
To complete the six month challenge the team worked alongside two senior professional engineers from Sellafield Ltd and the college’s Head of Physics, Janet Morris.
The team met on a weekly basis and over the course over the six months developed strong skills in teamwork, communication, confidence and management. The project also included a three day residential trip to the University of Liverpool to use the laboratories to build and test the vessel.