Scholars Experience Engineering at University

21 August 2019

As an Arkwright Engineering Scholar, I already know engineering is the career I would love to go into and further study at university, the day greatly increased my awareness of the routes available to me, and how interesting and diverse the courses could be.

The day started with refreshments and ‘people bingo’ which quickly settled us all in and acted as a great ice-breaker while we were learning about each other, seeing both new and old faces from previous events. Shortly after this a welcome presentation was given opening the day and outlining exactly what we would be partaking in. A brief introduction to the university, focusing on the wide variety of courses offered and the different enrichments they can offer to their students. For example, one thing that was of particular interest to me was the year in industry that is available to students taking a degree in engineering, such opportunity would be extremely valuable to any student applying for jobs once completing their degree.

We then moved onto our morning workshops which we had the option of chemical, aerospace, civil, or mechanical engineering. I attend the mechanical engineering section. It started off with an explanation of the department, the key roles of a mechanical engineer and how the course worked in terms of modules studied and tailoring your course to suit your interests. We then moved onto a practical activity which was the classical dropping an egg from a height and creating a protective product for it to be safely delivered in. Having been divided in to four groups we had to quickly come up with a design, use as little resources as possible to be economically efficient, and begin producing the product. We had about 30 minutes to do all this, which was pressurising yet a very enjoyable task. Whilst focusing on this task we were taught about the short deadlines that can sometimes be set for products and the importance of testing and tweaking a product during its designing period. The staff organising this workshop were very impressed that none of our eggs broke after being dropped from 5m and 10m.

After lunch, we began the second workshop of the day, having the choice from electrical and electronic, aerospace, architectural environmental, and mechanical engineering. This time I chose the aerospace engineering workshop. I found the presentation on Cube Sats fascinating, discovering how we could actually hold some of the objects that could be placed in orbit to detect values that could be later used in research. We looked at how the Cube Sats have been developed over time, and the future uses of these incredible satellites. 

To finish off the day we were given the opportunity to speak to staff to ask further questions, I took the opportunity to find out more about the year in industry and what companies welcomed students into their businesses. Finally, we were also taken on a tour of the engineering department with stops at the different places to study, complete practical work, and socialise.

Overall, the day was extremely useful to me giving me a better understanding of what the University of Nottingham has to offer, explaining more about each course.