Youngsters Set Sail with the Smallpeice Trust for a Career in Nuclear Marine Engineering

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, August 05, 2012 --( From the 30th July to 2nd August, fifty students from the UK and Saudi Arabia gained a unique insight into nuclear marine engineering. Leading engineering support services company, Babcock, the Defence Academy and the Royal Navy teamed up with educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust to offer the opportunity.

The four-day residential course for 13 and 14 year old students took place at the exclusive venues, HMS Excellent and HMS Sultan in Gosport – where the Royal Navy trains its marine and nuclear engineers. HMS Sultan is also being increasingly used by industry as a venue for apprentice training.

Through a series of practical workshops and lectures provided by the staff from the Nuclear Department of the Defence Academy, the budding young engineers learnt about nuclear power including how a nuclear reactor works and the associated propulsion and electrical generation systems. The students took part in a practical challenge, facilitated by engineers from Babcock, where they had to design-and-make a crane that would have to lift spent fuel rods out of a nuclear reactor. They also did a simulation exercise which looked at the principles of reactor operation.

Whilst on the course, students had the unique opportunity of staying in the Royal Navy Destroyer HMS Bristol moored at Portsmouth Harbour. Social activities included a submarine museum tour and a sports evening. The course culminated with a reception and full mess dinner held in the Wardroom at HMS Excellent where students were able to discuss their achievements with the companies that had supported the course along with specially invited guests.

During the course students developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and time management, and had the opportunity to learn about the different options available to them if they wish to have a future career in nuclear marine engineering.

Claire Fisher, spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust commented, “With the continuing support from Babcock and the Royal Navy, we were able to offer students a fun yet challenging insight into what nuclear marine engineering actually entails. The students showed extreme dedication and enthusiasm throughout the four days, excelling themselves during the activities.”

Rosemary Prout, Babcock Graduate Training Manager, stated, “This course provided a great opportunity for young students to work with some of our Babcock Graduates on a design and build project and learn about some of the fundamentals of Nuclear Marine Engineering. They also gained an insight into the types of opportunities which might be opened up to them should they choose to pursue a career in this field. Feedback from students over the past 5 years since we have been running this course has shown that they have enjoyed the experience enormously."

Lieutenant Mark Dixon, a Nuclear Engineering Submariner and the Royal Navy lead for the course added, “As the centre of excellence for the training of Officers and Ratings of the Marine Engineering Submariner specialisation, HMS SULTAN and the Defence Academy’s Nuclear Department are well placed to provide a valuable insight into the fascinating world of nuclear engineering. The Royal Navy is pleased to work with youth organisations such as The Smallpeice Trust to enthuse the engineers of tomorrow and highlight the benefits of a career in the field of nuclear engineering.”

The Nuclear Marine Engineering course is run by the independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, as part of an ongoing programme of subsidised 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 18,175 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2013 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.

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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 Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
+44(0)1926 333214
or contact:
Claire Fisher
Tel: 01926 333203
Fax: 01926 333202