29th May 14
A team of four A-Level students and one BTEC Science student proved they have an eye for design and the brains for Physics after taking part in this year’s Engineering Education Scheme.
Abbey College Manchester was one of many 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 and explained their findings. The team was commended by the assessors in 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 engineering task facing the students was to provide a new Skip Handling Machine Recovery System for Sellafield Limited, which will allow the unit to return to its parked position. A recovery system is required when a fault or loss of electrical mains power occurs, rendering the Skip Handling Machine immobile above a pond of generally radioactive material.
To complete the six month challenge the team worked alongside a professional engineer from Sellafield Ltd and the college’s two Physics teachers, Janet Morris and Lucy O’Brien.
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.