Students Steer Towards Careers in Engineering with the Help of the Smallpeice Trust

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, August 02, 2014 --( From 9th to 11th July, one hundred promising young engineers from across the UK enjoyed a unique hands-on learning experience at Coventry University. Sponsored by the 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust and organised by educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, the residential course provided students with an opportunity to learn about automotive engineering through a series of presentations and practical hands-on workshops.

Over the three days, the 13 and 14 year old students completed ‘real-life’ design-and-make challenges in their teams, which were facilitated by young role model engineers from three leading automotive companies, Aston Martin, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. The projects included an ‘off-road vehicle challenge’ based on the Land Rover 4 x 4, the chance to come up with the concept of a new generation Aston Martin DB9 and the task of designing an all new electric car for BMW. Once the cars had been designed and built, the 4 x 4’s were subjected to a number of tests, as they negotiated a track which had features such as inclines, side slopes and a river crossing, while the other designs took part in a high speed drag race.

As well as working on the design, build and test elements of these projects, they developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, finance and presentation. The students were also given an insight into life as an engineer and the dynamic career opportunities available as they attended presentations delivered by the companies involved.

The social programme included a film night and an end-of-course celebratory barbeque and disco.

Claire Fisher, spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust commented, “Thanks to generous sponsorship, we are delighted to be able to offer students a valuable insight into this fast-changing industry. Coventry University is known for its excellent teaching in mechanical and automotive engineering and has been the ideal venue to host the course. It is through practical engineering activities like these that young people will be encouraged to enter the profession and be equipped to meet the social, environmental and economic challenges of the future.”

Georgie Nunn, Quality Graduate Engineer from Aston Martin said, “The Smallpeice Trust set up a fantastic event in the dynamic and inspiring environment of Coventry University, providing an invaluable experience for young people to learn how to take their own ideas from concept to reality. The event covered all areas encountered in real life engineering and provided a challenging but enjoyable few days. I hope that both the engineering and life skills gained during the event will help propel these young people into a future in the fast paced and growing car industry. It was a pleasure to work with such enthusiastic and like-minded individuals and we wish them all the best with their career choices.”

Timothy Egerton, Quality Technician Apprentice, BMW Plant Hams Hall commented, "This is the second Smallpeice event I have supported and both times I could see how fantastic the events were. These courses give students a brilliant snapshot of what the engineering world is about and how they will be challenged in the future should they choose this path. I hope we have spurred them on into considering this path and all of us are excited for their careers and how they will develop the high potential which they have all shown. It has been brilliant to run this for them and I hope they enjoyed the challenge as much as we did."

William Fell, Electronic Architecture Engineer from Jaguar Land Rover added, “Watching the students develop their problem solving, team working and communicational skills over the three days was amazing. The Smallpeice Trust has put together an event where students get the opportunity to spend time problem solving alongside engineers from top automotive companies. The students engage in a variety of tasks, from design and manufacture of the car, through to the financing of materials and systems and the marketing of a vehicle. The project gives the students a real insight into challenges we face bringing a car to market in the automotive industry, and I believe it will inspire many of them to seriously consider a career in engineering.”

The Automotive Engineering 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.
The Smallpeice Trust
Claire Fisher
+44(0)1926 333203