Aspiring Students Get a "Smallpeice" of the Action

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, August 01, 2014 --( From 21st to 24th July, thirty students aged 16 and 17 were given a rare insight into the exciting and dynamic field of nanotechnology. During the four-day residential course organised by The Smallpeice Trust in partnership with the University of Leeds, students enjoyed a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about this revolutionary science.

Drawing from expertise across all the main science and engineering disciplines, nanotechnology uses the special properties of matter at molecular lengthscales to develop new products for high speed communications, energy storage, and treatment of chronic diseases. Based in the Faculty of Engineering, students enjoyed an exclusive view of the nanoworld through hands-on experiments – making nanoparticles and biosensors, visiting the university’s nanotechnology clean rooms, and using scanning probe microscopes to see atoms and molecules. Working in teams, they took part in the ‘nanotechnology challenge’: formulating their own proposals on how nanotechnology could best be used in society.

The social aspect of the course included a film night and a formal course dinner on the final night where students and supervisors socialised and shared their experiences of the week.

Professor Rik Brydon, Professor of Nanoscience and NanoEngineering at the University of Leeds commented: “In the UK there is an ever increasing need for engineers and engineering skills spanning the interface between many different scientific disciplines. We are therefore delighted that at the University of Leeds we have been able to work with The Smallpeice Trust to engage a group of enthusiastic and talented young people in activities and discussions concerning Nanotechnology and related engineering and scientific disciplines. These young people may be our engineers of the future and it has been a wonderful opportunity for us to nurture their interest in engineering while they were here.”

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Claire Fisher commented, “This course has provided students with a fantastic opportunity to learn about the fascinating work carried out by internationally recognised engineers and scientists from the University of Leeds. Not only have students left the course with a better understanding of this intriguing subject but also with a greater insight into the future potential of nanotechnology.”

The Nanotechnology course is organised by independent charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is part of an on-going programme of residential courses to help young people aged 12 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 17,495 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2015 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 12 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 engaged with 17,495 young people through 35 different subsidised residential courses, in-school STEM Days and starting up STEM Clubs. More emphasis has been put on programmes physically delivered by The Smallpeice Trust. The Smallpeice Trust has also trained 1,280 teachers to enhance their delivery of STEM in the classroom.

A strong interface is maintained with industry, education and professional bodies that help to support, promote and develop the courses. Through these relationships the Trust is also able to provide a number of tailored or specialised courses.
The Smallpeice Trust
Claire Fisher
+44(0)1926 333203