Students Engineer a Sustainable Future with the Smallpeice Trust

Leamington spa, United Kingdom, July 25, 2010 --( From 19th to 22nd July, fifty students from across the UK attended a residential course to learn more about low carbon energy sources. Taking place at Newcastle University the students spent time discovering about new energy sources such as renewable tidal, wave and wind.

The four-day programme was specifically designed to help engineering and design and technology students reach a higher attainment target of the National Curriculum. Pupils were provided with the opportunity to learn about engineering through a series of presentations and practical exercises.

The School of Marine Science and Technology at Newcastle University hosted the course. The School is conducting world class research in renewable energy sources, particularly focusing on marine sources. The facilities in the School are unique for conducting this research, in particular the combined Wind, Wave and Tidal Current test tank.

Using state-of-the-art research facilities including wave tanks, wind-wave-current tanks and circulating water tanks to conduct tests and experiments, students were able to study differences between the power sources. They learnt about the engineering challenges involved in capturing, distributing and storing energy from the environment, and then competed in teams to design and make the most effective and innovative energy capturing devices. Throughout the course students also attended lectures and presentations delivered by engineers and scientists which explored the future of low-carbon energy.

As well as working on the design, build and test elements of the projects, they developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, finance and presentation. Social activities included a film evening and a sports night. On the final night, The Smallpeice Trust hosted a conference style dinner and disco, where students and supervisors had the opportunity to socialise and share their experiences of the week.

Spokesperson Claire Fisher from the Trust, said: “Our quality of life is dependent on ever more sophisticated levels of technology and the energy that powers it. Engineers are vital for this sector as the fossil fuels that we all take for granted aren’t going to last forever so we need to find alternative sources which are not only sustainable but which won’t harm the environment. The course this week will hopefully have encouraged the students to be a part of this challenge.”

Dr Alan Murphy, Lecturer from the School of Marine Science & Technology adds "It is fantastic to see the younger generation taking the issue of sustainable energy so seriously. We are delighted here in the School of Marine Science and Technology to be able to give the students the opportunity to engineer their own tidal turbines and test them in our facilities alongside the marine renewable energy devices of the industrial and research community."

The Low Carbon Energy course is run by the independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, as part of an ongoing programme of residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, The Trust has reached out to 15,630 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2011 will be launched in September. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit, or telephone The Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200.


Notes to editors

About The Smallpeice Trust:

The Smallpeice Trust is an independent charitable trust which promotes engineering as a career, primarily through the provision of residential courses for young people aged 13 to 18.

The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby Smallpeice, a pioneering engineer and inventor of the Smallpeice Lathe. Following the stock market flotation of his company Martonair, Dr Smallpeice invested his energy and part of his personal fortune to set up the Trust to ensure that British industry could continuously benefit from his proven design and engineering philosophies: “Simplicity in design, economy in production.”

The Trust is now governed by an eminent board of non-executive trustees and members from a diverse range of engineering, industry, educational and professional bodies. Over the past year, The Smallpeice Trust has reached out to around 16,000 young people through 32 different subsidised 4-day residential courses and 1-day in-school curriculum enrichment masterclasses.

For more information, visit
The Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
01926 333214
or contact:
Claire Ford
01926 333203