Students on Track for Career in Railway Engineering with the Smallpeice Trust
From 11th to 14th April, one hundred students gathered at the University of Nottingham to attend a specially designed Railway Engineering residential course. Cutting across many disciplines, the course explored the design, construction and operation of railways and gave a valuable insight into what future railways could look like.
Over the four days, the pupils had the opportunity to learn about railway engineering through a series of presentations and practical exercises. Working in teams, they tackled "real-life" challenges on projects designed and facilitated by young engineers from the industry. These organisations included Babcock Rail, FirstGroup plc, National Express, Network Rail and Transport for London. Projects included designing and building a train for towing materials, a railway track complete with bends, hills and tunnels and a signalling system.
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.
Michael Franklin, Director of The LRET commented:
“The LRET is expanding its long-term relationship with The Smallpeice Trust by funding railway engineering Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Days and a residential course. With the UK’s ageing rail infrastructure and new networks being planned, there are vast and exciting opportunities in railway engineering and we want to encourage and inspire young people to take up careers in this fast moving sector.”
Gil Howarth, Chief Executive of NSARE added:
“If the Railway Engineering industry is to attract the quantity and quality of young people required for the future, it is imperative that we raise awareness of the opportunities within Railway Engineering. We are delighted to be working with The Smallpeice Trust and The LRET and to raise awareness of the exciting career opportunities Railway Engineering can offer young people.”
Dr. Andrew Cave, Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust added, “We are grateful for the support from NSARE and The LRET on this programme. Rail is one of the greenest ways of getting from one place to another and significant amounts of investments are being injected into our railway infrastructure. It is only through practical engineering activities like this that young people will be encouraged to enter the profession and equipped to meet the social, environmental and economic challenges of the future. These activities spark an interest in engineering and science, igniting a genuine desire for many to consider careers in these fields. This is particularly encouraging amongst those who have traditionally had limited or no history of engagement with this type of activity."
The LRET and NSARE are also sponsoring an advanced Railway Systems Engineering course for 15 to 17 year-olds in the summer, which will take place at the University of Birmingham.
Founded by Dr. Cosby Smallpeice in 1966, The Trust has grown tremendously over the past 45 years, helping thousands of young people find a successful career in a multitude of disciplines within the industry from engineering materials, marine technology and naval architecture to nanotechnology, nuclear engineering, and structural engineering. For further information about The Smallpeice Trust visit www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk. To find out more about NSARE please visit www.NSARE.org.