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The Smallpeice Trust

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Nuclear Engineering Course a Resounding Success with the Smallpeice Trust

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, July 30, 2011 --( From 11th to 14th July, fifty-four teenagers from across the UK have been learning how to solve some of the challenges facing the nuclear industry. The four-day residential course, held at Lancaster University, was organised by educational charity The Smallpeice Trust, in collaboration with the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Over the four days, the 14 to 16 year old students took part in a combination of presentations, workshops, practical ‘design and make’ projects, and a final assessment which involved wearing full protective clothing. A variety of topical subjects were tackled including radiation, the environment, health and safety and decommissioning of waste.

The design-and-make project challenged students to move spent nuclear fuel from a storage facility. It involved the students pitching their idea in a “Dragon’s Den” type of scenario in order to gain funding, allowing them to then go out and make their design.

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. The social programme included a film night, the ‘rocket’ challenge and culminated in a formal dinner and disco where students and supporting organisations had the opportunity to socialise and share their experiences of the week.

NNL Senior Fellow Dominic Rhodes said: “With the nuclear industry continuing to expand, there is an increasing demand for skilled people. This course is one way of giving interested students a taste of what it would be like to work in the industry. We look forward to continued contact with these students as they go through their studies.”

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Gemma Murphy added, “We are pleased to work with National Nuclear Laboratory to enthuse scientists and engineers of tomorrow and highlight the benefits of careers in the field of nuclear engineering This year’s course has been a resounding success and we have been most impressed by the calibre of the students.”

The Nuclear Engineering course is run by independent charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is 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 17,677 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2012 will be launched in the autumn school term. 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 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 governed by an eminent board of non-executive trustees and members from a diverse range of engineering, industry, educational and professional bodies. In 2009/10, The Smallpeice Trust ran 30 residential courses for 1,700 school-aged students at universities across the country, with girls accounting for 38%. In addition, 15,977 students attended a Smallpeice in-school STEM masterclass.

About the National Nuclear Laboratory:

Launched in July 2008, the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) provides a full range of research and technology services in support of the full nuclear fuel cycle. NNL is providing the experts and technologies to become an international centre of research and development.

With the Government concluding that NNL contains a number of critical skills and facilities essential to support the nuclear industry in the UK, NNL has a key objective to help safeguard and develop nuclear expertise and multifunctional nuclear laboratory facilities on several sites. Major objectives include a continued commitment to providing service excellence for customers and acting as a trusted provider of independent, authoritative advice on nuclear issues to Government.

Customers include the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield Ltd, Westinghouse, Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Babcock and British Energy plc.
Contact Information
The Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
+44(0)1926 333214
or contact:
Claire Fisher
+44(0)1926 333203

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