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Engineering News


ENGINEERING NEWS WELCOME I hope that you will enjoy reading this news brochure as much as I have enjoyed collecting the pieces together. One of the best parts of my job is following the students on their journey from application to successful graduation and learning all about their achievements. Just one example is my tutee Richard Coulton, who wrote about his 1st year experiences in the Engineering Undergraduate Brochure. Richard ends his story of life at Warwick here as a 4th year student, holding not 1 but 3 graduate job offers. It is only when you start collecting good news from the year in one place that you realise just how many prizes we have won, and the wealth of exciting opportunities that are available for both engineering students and staff. In the current economic climate I wanted to start with some good news on careers.

Karen Bradbury Director of Undergraduate Admissions for Engineering


14,500 Man-years of Tunnelling Work in Britain in the Next 5 Years The Times reported on the 26th April 2012 that even without the tunnelling work for HS2 there will be demand for up to 5,000 specialist construction workers in the UK, associated with projects such as Crossrail in London. Not only is there demand in the UK but worldwide with over 50 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) in the ground in Shanghai right now! To meet this need the School of Engineering launched a new Masters in Tunnelling and Underground Space in 2011. This course has been established in cooperation with the British Tunnelling Society. The MSc is unique to the UK and one of few dedicated to tunnelling in Europe. However, the cost of an MSc can be a deterrent for UK students, meaning that many MSc students are from overseas and return to their home country on completion of their course. There is already significant industrial support in sponsoring students (typically ÂŁ15k per student to cover fees and maintenance) for our MSc. The first intake has 11 students (8 full-time, 3 part-time) and all students are sponsored by industry. There is a plan to increase this number to 25 students each year. The support for the programme from the British Tunnelling Society not only provides sponsorship but has meant that a fifth of the teaching has been delivered by 17 different companies, ensuring that what is taught is industrially relevant. This partnership with the industry will also benefit the civil engineering undergraduate students through increased exposure to future employers via specialist undergraduate lectures and project work.


Engineering News

CAREER NEWS We work in partnership with the Student Careers and Skills service and our own Engineering Careers Advisor, Siobhan Qadir, as well as the Student Engineering Society to develop the services we offer to students to improve their employability. Working in the vacations or on a one-year placement has huge benefits. Nikhil Gulti explains the various support services that he used to secure his placement at Bentley. This included the trial of support services from an engineering industrial placement consultant; Symmons Madge. The Careers Service has also launched a new Placement

Learning Unit to help expand the work opportunities available. Neil Forbes explains the benefits of vacation placements at Conductix-Wampfler. For MEng students there is the opportunity to take part in the Erasmus exchange programme; swapping your 3rd year at Warwick, for a 3rd year in Europe and Rebecca Wooding describes her experiences in Austria. Finally there are 3 examples of graduation plans, ranging from employment at Laing O’Rourke to postgraduate study at London Business School.

CV writing sessions and assessment centre skills workshops. Symmons Madge also provided a constant stream of information regarding new employment opportunities available at companies ranging from large multinational corporations to small medium enterprises (SMEs) and covering a wide range of industries. I found the CV writing sessions to be invaluable. The staff were always enthusiastic to lend their expertise to iteratively craft a CV, which not only conveyed my personality and competencies in the best way, but would also visually stand-out to a recruiter.

One Year Placement with Bentley, Nikhil Gulti 3rd year MEng Mechanical Engineering My initial decision to participate in a 12-month industrial placement was prompted by the stark realisation of the competitiveness of the graduate jobs market in the engineering sector. However, upon further research of the opportunities available I came to realise the number of benefits of participating in an industrial placement. These include the opportunity to gain first-hand experience through active involvement on commercial projects and directly applying knowledge and skills gained on the Engineering course. An industrial placement will also provide a clearer understanding of the day-to-day activities of an engineer, allowing for an easier transition into full-time employment upon graduation. Initially the task of securing a placement seemed daunting, despite the abundance of industry leading companies offering a number of placements to accommodate the diversity of specialities and interests in Engineering. To help, Engineering arranged for the services of ‘Symmons Madge Associates’, engineering industrial placement consultants, to be made available via a course of weekly drop-in sessions. These sessions included one-to-one

Warwick’s Engineering Careers Advisor, Siobhan Qadir, was also available for oneto-one meetings throughout the year. The sessions were tailored to my career development needs, hence largely consisted of discussions about the different routes to securing an industrial placement. Ms Qadir, in conjunction with Warwick’s Engineering Society, hosted a series of workshops designed to guide students through the entire internship application process, including outlining the steps to follow in order to avoid the common pitfalls made by candidates during the application process. To complement the work done by Engineering, the ‘Warwick Advantage’ careers service provides additional workshops, video guides and schemes for students to learn new skills which recruiters look for in prospective employees. All this work has resulted in a placement for next year with Bentley in Crewe working in Whole Vehicle Engineering Certification and Legislation.

Vacation Working with Conductix-Wampfler, Neil Forbes 2nd year MEng Systems Engineering Since July 2011, I have been working for Conductix-Wampfler UK, a manufacturing and engineering company with a focus on power systems for mobile equipment, which is owned by the Delachaux Group of France. The UK Operations are based just outside of Manchester, with 30 employees working on site.

Initially, my work involved the company’s Quality Management System (QMS), which required updating in order to maintain the company’s ISO 9001 certification. The business-wide nature of the QMS enabled me to gain a broad appreciation of the functions, crucial for the business to perform successfully, spending time in Operations, Engineering, Production, Sales and Accounts. Conductix-Wampfler UK was also in the process of achieving accreditation for ISO 14001, an international standard recognising Environmental Management. As the summer progressed I was able to take an active role in this process, which proved to be an interesting and satisfying experience. As a continuation of the work over the summer, I returned for the assessment of the Environmental Management System for a few days in November as well as during the Christmas vacation. At this point, the company was accredited to ISO 14001. Being a part of the process was very rewarding. This has led to further work in my vacations, as well as the opportunity of working with the company during my Third Year Project next year, something which I am very grateful for. Industrial experience is something I would highly recommend. By spending time out in the ‘real world’, important life skills are gained. I have found that working in Industry has helped me to focus on my studies, as well as providing the chance to experience engineering and manufacturing at first hand. To avoid missing out, I would recommend that you start looking for placements as early as possible. The Careers Service at Warwick is very helpful and it is worth visiting Careers during your first term to see just what is available. Studying Engineering requires commitment and discipline to keep up with the workload, but the rewards are worth it – I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Engineering News

Graduate Employment with Laing O’Rourke and Postgraduate Study, Oliver Newth, 3rd year BEng Civil Engineering. You may recognise Oliver, as he appears in the University prospectus for 2013. In the prospectus Oliver says; “One of the best aspects of Warwick’s Engineering course is that it allows us to become multi-disciplinary – you are not tied to an Engineering stream right from the beginning. I have learnt about parts of electrical, mechanical, civil and manufacturing engineering, as well as business and even Arabic! Engineering’s willingness to invest in its students is evident. My idea to change the way student resources like lecture notes are distributed to students, Lectures App, received funding, was developed and has now been launched. I have participated in many sports and activities, including working backstage for an opera in the Arts Centre,

An Exchange Year in Austria with Erasmus, Rebecca Wooding, 4th year MEng Mechanical Engineering I can say without hesitation that the most unforgettable experience I have had whilst studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Warwick has been the integrated Erasmus year I spent in Graz, Austria. I started learning German in my first year of secondary school, but it wasn’t until my first exchange in year 10 that I began to make real progress in the language. Simultaneously I realised the restrictions of learning a second language in a classroom. Since my A Levels, and during my gap year, I travelled regularly to Germany in a bid to maintain and improve my proficiency in the language and the culture. When I heard that the University of Warwick offered a chance to study internationally as part of the course I decided this was an opportunity I could not miss. Having travelled to Austria before, I was aware of the Mediterranean summer climate, scrupulous ski resorts and fantastic landscape. However, living in the heart of Graz city centre as a Mechanical Engineering student gave me an entirely new perspective and challenged me daily; from shopping at the local market to working as part of a team in a dynamics laboratory.

competitively rowing and playing dodgeball! My most memorable time was having the opportunity to teach in Ghana through the Warwick in Africa programme.” Reflecting on his final year Oliver adds; “Whilst the final year in Engineering pushes you further than previous years, I’ve definitely enjoyed it. The department has ensured that we experience the very real, practical elements of the course, including a field trip near Aberystwyth to apply theory taught in geotechnical engineering lectures and a site visit to an airport to learn about a new control tower currently under construction. The skills that I have gained from studying at Warwick have put me in a strong position for the future. I have been successful in securing a place on Laing O’Rourke’s graduate scheme. I will also be studying in a year’s time for a Master’s at Massachusetts Institute of Technology after securing a place in the Civil and

When I first moved to Graz attending lectures in a foreign language was daunting, especially in a thick Austrian dialect. Yet, once I became familiar with the basic engineering vocabulary I was able to follow all lectures without having to constantly attack my dictionary. I soon became very used to not only the intense university system, but also the general Austrian lifestyle. Graz is a perfect city to visit as an Erasmus student. The city’s young vibe is attributed to each of the six universities, most of which offer placements for Erasmus students and regularly hold joint events. This made it very easy to meet people from across the globe, many of which I hope to visit after graduation. Through undertaking an Erasmus year I have developed not only an advanced level in technical German, but also an ability to work well under pressure, independently and outside of my comfort-zone. These skills, alongside international experience, are ones which are extremely sought after in employment; having something such as an Erasmus year on your CV highlights valuable qualities developed from a unique experience. Yet, it is the personal experiences I have gained alongside great friends, which make taking an Erasmus year so rewarding and unforgettable.


Environmental Engineering faculty. My Lectures App has received lots of positive feedback since launching in September, with 87% of students rating the idea as good or excellent. It was a brilliant experience and I would definitely recommend that any other student with an idea should seek support because Engineering is very keen to work with students to improve all aspects of life at Warwick.

WMG Internship The WMG internship programme is open to undergraduate students from across the Faculty of Science although many of the applicants are typically from Engineering. The scheme allows students to join research groups within WMG for an 8 week period over the summer and provides a bursary of £1600. The aim of the scheme is to allow students to experience working in a research environment in a leading UK research university and in doing so allow the students to develop skills to enhance their employability. At the same time this allows WMG to identify potential PhD and EngD candidates for the future. Students are supported in their internship with a series of workshops and are required to present their work at the end of the summer. In 2012, twenty six internships were offered to Warwick students. WMG also invites 10 students from Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) for internships. Warwick students and IIT students are often required to work together on the research. Projects are diverse and reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of research done in WMG. Areas of research vary from materials, manufacturing, engineering business management, health technology and digital healthcare. Past internships have been successful in generating peer reviewed journal publications, conference papers and a number of PhD projects.


Engineering News

CAREER NEWS Postgraduate study at London Business School, Mihir Patel, 3rd year BEng Engineering Business Management Choosing to study BEng Engineering Business Management at Warwick is probably the best decision I have made so far. The degree catered to my personal requirements by providing the ideal techno-commercial blend of analytical and technical knowledge along with practical real-world business know-how. The course has been structured so perfectly with balanced modules in all 3 years. I got to work in group projects to design an automated home, simulate the aerodynamics of a car, design a concept car and produce a sumo-wrestling robot - and this was only the first year! The professors were fantastic guides in helping to navigate complex concepts by teaching them through structured lectures and lab experiments. They provided us with all the knowledge and guidance to apply the knowledge we learnt in lectures to practical use. Engineering @ Warwick has also helped develop me throughout my course. Career fairs and personal development talks occur frequently through the year and I got the

A CHOICE OF THREE GRADUATE JOBS! Richard Coulton, 4 year MEng Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering th

Following on from the insight into my first year (see page 12 in the 2012-2013 Engineering Undergraduate Brochure) here I am now in my 4th year at Warwick. Firstly let me start by saying it seems only last year that I was revising for my first exams here but four years on and it’s that time of year again. When people say university provides some of the best opportunities in your life so far they are not wrong. In the past four years I have worked on numerous projects, ranging from reverse engineering an engine to programming industrial robots. My course “Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering” has provided me with a wide range of

In all 3 years, I had the freedom to choose certain optional modules which made the degree a better fit for me and my future career. The third year project I undertook was related to a company I plan to work with in the future and enabled me to build knowledge for life after graduation. The modules offered by Warwick Business School featured excellent case studies and the chance to interact with students from other departments interested in the same subjects.

chance to meet some great people from companies such as Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls-Royce. Speaking to them definitely helped me focus myself to pursue my ambitions. In addition to these events, we were regularly teamed up into groups for labs and projects with new students from within the engineering course. This gave me the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and learn from them, as we pooled our individual expertise to successfully accomplish assignments. exposure to new subjects and allowed me to gain a better appreciation of how products are designed around manufacturability as well as functionality. Coursework is a thing that you will come to both love and hate, it always seems to be due the next day but it’s definitely worth not underestimating its value. Come exam time however, it’s a great feeling to know that you have at least got a significant part of the module already completed, relieving the pressure, just that little bit! In my summer breaks I have predominantly undertaken work experience with a local engineering firm which has not only allowed me to gain key industrial experience for my CV, but also enabled me to see and implement some of the theory we have studied over the course. To anyone considering either taking a gap year or an internship, I would highly recommend it. They offer so much more experience than your course alone can provide and definitely help with both your studies and finances for those expensive nights out! A question I recall my parents asking me prior to choosing Warwick was ‘what do I plan to do after I graduate?’ which if I’m honest, I will have fobbed them off with some generic answer, but now in my 4th year I’m finding this is now a question on my mind. Luckily the University hosts a number

I trust that my fellow Engineering compatriots and I will be lifelong friends as together we have weathered the storms of solving weekly problem sets, calculating our carbon footprints and keeping each other company as we pulled an all-nighter to write up the lab reports (I exaggerate). The class was made up of the most talented, intellectual and humorous group of people I have come across with the collective confidence that says “Trust me, I’m an Engineer”. I believe that this unique degree, along with the reputation and expertise of Engineering helped me gain an edge over other students in my application for a Master’s in Management at London Business School where I plan to study after graduating later in 2012.

of career events throughout the year, which as well as providing a great opportunity to pick up some free pens and stress balls, also offer great information on employers I’d never heard of before. [Editors note: In November 2011 the ’Options in Engineering’ enabled 20 employers to engage specifically with over 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate Engineering students.] What I have found from my job applications is employers seem to look for two things; universities with good reputations and lots of examples of things you’ve done. For me Warwick has provided both of these. In industry, at least for Engineering, Warwick is held in a high regard and the group projects undertaken have provided great opportunities for discussion points in interviews. It would be unrealistic of me to say that job opportunities for graduates aren’t competitive; they certainly are, but at least for me finding the ideal career after graduating from Warwick hasn’t been a struggle. Of the six companies I applied to, I have not been rejected by any of them, including top companies such as Coty Cosmetics (parent company of Rimmel London), JCB and Jaguar-Land Rover offering me salaries up to £30,000. My advice to others would be to apply early, make the most out of your experiences at university and be yourself!

Engineering News


STUDENT NEWS Winner of the IT and Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year 2012 Award Torgyn Shaikhina, 2nd year, BEng Computer and Information Engineering In April, I was announced the IT and Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year, at the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards in association with SHL. The 12 awards, each sponsored by a top graduate recruiter, were launched to find Britain’s highest performing and most promising students and attracted over 5,200 entries across twelve academic disciplines. The IT and Computer Science award was sponsored by BT, and, as the winner, I received an excellent opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills in practice during a 12-week summer placement within BT Innovate and Design. It was a great honour to be awarded such an accolade in this nationwide competition. There were many talented students from outstanding universities across the UK competing for the award. I felt confident, however, in the quality of my academic knowledge and abilities developed during the past two years at Warwick through a balanced combination of lectures and seminars by some exceptional professors and frontier researchers in their field, rigorous and diverse coursework, influence of the University’s perpetually active and

intellectually gifted student body, exposure to cutting-edge facilities, and a wide array of extracurricular activities.

One of the several important lessons I learned from this experience is that academic excellence, intellectual capacity and personal skills alone are not sufficient if one does not possess self-confidence. As the only female finalist in the IT and Computer Science category, from a rural village in a developing country, I had to believe in my potential in order to win. I am very grateful to the Engineering department and my academic tutor for the advice and encouragement they have given me. I recommend to every new student to make most of their time at Warwick and confidently step into the world of opportunities opening for them.

It was, however, the outcome of many challenging yet exciting projects, which are at the core of the Engineering course here at Warwick, and independent learning of more specific skills, such as programming, that perhaps helped me the most in developing the key competencies that TARGETjobs, SHL and BT sought throughout this competition. The competition process, from the initial online application to the thrilling award ceremony gala event, spanned over four months and required a fair amount of time and motivation to excel. The candidates were exposed to a rigorous assessment intnews2/undergrad_year_bt_apr12 that included a detailed application form, questions prompting for creative solutions to actual problems in IT and communications industry, a series of online ability tests, a face-toface interview, assessment centre exercises and a presentation. Despite all the hard work and pressure, passing through each stage of this competition was Torgyn collecting the award from Michael Portillo and a truly rewarding Graham Robinson, Chief Architect, Software Engineering experience. at BT.

Warwick in Africa Hydro Engineering students travel to Uganda every year to install and maintain small hydro power schemes that change peoples’ lives. The students are supported by various University funds, including URSS, IATL and Arthur Shercliffe, to help with travel costs to the Rwenzori Mountains, in the west of the country. They stay in simple accommodation in villages and eat local food for two months. The work is hard and the conditions are difficult, but this is a life changing period for the students and for the local people they live and work with. So far three schemes have been installed and this year six students will return to complete a big scheme started last year. Grid electricity reaches only a few percent of rural Ugandans and it will be many years before more than 10% have access, despite active grid extensions by UMEME, the local operator. But electricity can be a real boon to these people. Even 20 W per household allows study lighting for school children at night, for radios, for mobile phone battery charging and for satellite TV cinemas! These uses affect not just standard of living, but facilitate political development, commodity (coffee) trading, as well as keeping the local people in minute by minute touch with the UK football league! URSS, IATL


Engineering News

STUDENT NEWS STUDENT PROJECTS competition in Germany is tough but this group developed and built an excellent robot which is deserving of the accolades. Companies are increasingly turning to mobile robot design expertise and the eight students have shown what they can do in the field. Find out more at meng/wmr

Warwick Racing EVGP

University of Warwick students win two awards at European RoboCup Rescue Championship A team of engineering students from the University of Warwick have returned from the European RoboCup Rescue Championship with two awards – and second place overall. The eight-strong team of Engineering students won special awards for Best in Class for Mobility and Best in Class for Manipulation at the four day competition in Germany. Their tele-operated robot had to navigate through a simulated earthquake disaster area; searching, locating and assisting victims who are trapped. The robot uses a series of human detection devices, including web-camera, CO2 sensor and infra-red camera to search for survivors. Project Manager Kyle Branch said: “We are all delighted to have achieved second place and been handed awards for the Best in Mobility and Best in Manipulation. All of us have really enjoyed the project and are immensely proud that we have done so well at a highly fought international event.” The team was backed by Dr Emma Rushforth, and Dr Peter Jones, who were equally pleased with the students achievements. Dr Rushforth added: “It is fantastic that the Warwick Mobile Robotics team have picked up two awards and placed second overall. The

EVGP is an engineering challenge Project Director Dr. Bill Crofts and 4thYr competition run by Purdue University MEng student Elizabeth Ace representing in Indiana, USA. Students are required the Warwick ESMO Satellite Team at the to design and build an electrically recent IET Poster Presentation Evening. powered kart. There are two races, one at the circuit at Purdue University in West Lafayette and the other at the Warwick ESMO Satellite home of the Indy 500 race, the Indianapolis Team win top IET Prize! Motorspeedway. The latter will be the first event of the Indy 500 festival in 2012, At a recent Engineering Poster Presentation attended by as many as 100,000 people. evening promoted by the Institution of The Indy race is a truly international affair Engineering and Technology the ESMO with a number of non-US teams competing. (European Moon Orbiting Satellite project) Warwick Racing EVGP will compete at student team were awarded the top prize both in 2012. Nine 4th year MEng students for technological innovation. You can flew out for the first race and four will read an introduction to this project in the remain for the second. The four that remain Engineering Undergraduate Brochure on will use video conferencing to attend the page 13. The Warwick team have been presentation and oral examination of the working with approximately 20 of the project as part of the assessment of this UK and Europe’s top space technology group project. The team have had to raise companies in order to design and build most of the money to compete through the electrical power supply system for the sponsorship. They have also been very active European Space Agency’s ESMO satellite, in outreach activities, taking the kart to local designed to carry scientific instrumentation schools to promote engineering and interest into a lunar orbit. in electric vehicle technology. Follow progress on Twitter at @warwick_evgp and

The team were represented by Elizabeth Ace, MEng Electronic Engineering, who presented the culmination of six years of work that has successfully passed through a number of rigorous ESA review stages. The work included extensive analysis, modelling, and design of the solar array panels, the electronic circuitry that controls the SA panel output, protection of the supply to all sub-systems, and the rechargeable battery system. It has required a high standard, multidisciplinary team who were able to demonstrate the crossdiscipline capabilities promoted by the undergraduate engineering degree at Warwick. Warwick is currently in discussions with two of our partner companies, Surrey Satellite Technology and GE Aviation to develop new projects for our future students. See www.esmo. for team/project details.

Engineering News


SPORTS, SOCIETIES & SOCIAL NEWS Warwick University Engineering Society

What have we done this year?

To put it simply, the Warwick University Engineering Society exists for whatever its members need! From industrial trips and opportunities to gain Personal Development Record points (needed to fulfil the degree requirements) to various socials, from wild to personal, to build relations with our peers.

External Trips ✔✔ Prodrive Motorsport (Factory visit) ) ✔✔ Coswor th Motorsport (Factory visit ✔✔ Coventr y Speedway race events ibitions at the NEC ✔✔ National Engineering Recruitment Exh

In particular we are keen to encourage inter-year relations, through discussion groups on module choices and streams and social events. The Engineering degree paths available at Warwick are unique to our university and we think it’s vital to keep the lower years informed and supported by the advice of students who have made their choices and experienced the course first hand from a student’s perspective. You can find us at the freshers’ fair at the start of term, where you can join our society and get involved with all of these opportunities. Your suggestions and involvement will be both welcomed and encouraged – we are here for YOU.

Socials ✔✔ Welcoming the ‘Freshers’ 2011 gton Spa) ✔✔ Pub Golf (Pub crawl game in Leamin ✔✔ Trampolinists vs. Engineers Battle Suppor t ers advisor on ✔✔ Workshops with our professional carerviews and more l Inte writing CVs, advice for Industria first year CAD for ions sess t por sup run ent✔✔ Stud coursework to write lab reports ✔✔ Student-run support sessions on howule and pathway ✔✔ Student-lead advice groups on mod selections …and much more!

Axel Tanty, 2nd year MEng Mechanical Engineering, wins Warwick Photographic Competition The Invitation to the ‘Exhibit 2012’ photo competition had the theme ‘Chaos’. This competition, organized by the Warwick’s Learning Grid, was open to both students and staff. The results were announced in March, and the two photos I entered received 1st and 4th prize respectively. My winning photo “Liquefied Chaos” got me an Amazon Kindle and I described it as such: “To achieve this photo, I placed a mixture of inks and other liquids on a membrane covering a subwoofer speaker. By blasting the speakers with bass-heavy music, the membrane would vibrate and send the liquid flying in various beautiful shapes. I used high speed photography to achieve this take on chaos.” I wouldn’t have heard about this exhibition if I wasn’t part of Warwick’s Photographic Society (Photosoc). I am currently the Training Manager of Photosoc. As part of the exec team of a very active society, we organize socials, trips, digital and darkroom training sessions, equipment loaning and exhibitions. Some of our most popular events include the Summer Tour (taking place in Prague this year) and the disposable camera challenge pub crawl.

Taking part in societies and sports clubs is one of the best aspects of being at university. Most students I know are part of at least one society and one sports club, many of them being on their respective executive teams. With over 75 sports clubs and 250 societies, everybody finds something to their liking. I wouldn’t consider university a complete experience without trying out several new activities. For example, this year I tried out rock climbing and lacrosse for the first time and

am going to join both clubs next year. I’ve found that being part of societies and sports clubs is very fulfilling and entertaining. You meet many people with similar interests as you and it’s definitely a good way to balance out your engineering studies. The University of Warwick definitely has a great range of nonacademic opportunities and I recommend new students make the most of them from year one!


Engineering News

STUDENT NEWS SPORTS, SOCIETIES & SOCIAL NEWS near the local town of St Austell, where for lunch we treated ourselves to a classic Cornish Pasty. In the afternoon we visited the St Austell Brewery, followed by a BBQ at night. The next day we visited the Eden project, which had a number of environmental and sustainable exhibits. We also climbed up to the top of the humid Mediterranean Biomes (dome) to enjoy the view below.

Engineers Without Borders Yearly Project Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is introduced in the Engineering Undergraduate Brochure on page 28. As a society at Warwick we regularly run events, including talks and debates from industry experts, which count towards your professional development requirement, and trips to local development organisations. We run workshops to learn practical skills and techniques, including how to build rocket stoves, aluminium can batteries and a bike powered projector. The society is one of the best branches of outreach, which consists of going out to local schools and teaching children about global development issues. We hold regular socials and meetings weekly which anyone can attend. Our major recent events include:

Cornwall Tour

We recently went to Cornwall for our annual tour. Cornwall had the first commercial wind farm, the Delabole Wind farm consisting of four 2.3 MW Enercon turbines, which we visited. We stayed in an eco-converted farm

We run yearly projects involving our members, aiming to design and build something to give back to the University. In past years we have built a 3.6 metre diameter Hugh Piggott wind turbine from scratch. This included manually carving the blades, laying foundations, tensioning steel cables, winding generator coils and casting and welding metal components. This year’s project has been working with Estates to construct a water pumping system to balance the uneven water levels at Lakeside. We are considering powering the system using small solar photovoltaic panels. We encourage our members to get involved in new projects and the wind turbine maintenance and you can even suggest ideas for new projects. Come and find us at the Freshers’ fair as well as on the SU website. We also have our own website which you can visit and ask us any questions.

Warwick Squash Malta Tour 2012, Martin Thompson 1st year MEng Engineering My decision to attend the University of Warwick lay not only with the excellent reputation of the engineering faculty, but also with the diverse sporting and social life on offer. With such a wide variety of sporting clubs, together with world-class facilities it is easy to understand why, as a keen sportsman, I chose Warwick. Although a member of a number of societies and clubs, my chosen sport has always been Squash. My experiences during 1st year with this club have been incredible; the opportunity to play for the University has resulted in some of the best competitive sport I have played and

Teaching STARS of Warwick The 8th of March 2012 saw the first ever STARS of Warwick Awards take place on campus, with over 80 attendees. The STARS of Warwick is Warwick Students’ Union’s take on a national student-led teaching awards initiative, where students can nominate lecturers and other student facing university staff for an award. Sean Ruston, Education Officer from Warwick SU said; “We received over 300 nominations from students, which for the first year of the awards is a fantastic number, and just goes to show how much students value the staff that make their university experience what it is.” The School of Engineering was delighted that three members of staff were nominated; James Covington for best supervisor, Karen Bradbury for best teaching style and Tony Price, who went on to win for best SSLC (Student Staff Liaison Committee) convener. The students did a fabulous job of organising the event, which felt very like an Oscar ceremony and we did indeed feel like ‘stars’ for a brief moment! intnews2/stars_awards_winners

local players and the opportunity to play in the Malta Squash Open tournament. The tournament in particular was a great experience with a Warwick player winning in the final. The incredibly friendly nature of the locals together with opportunities to visit the capital, Valetta, and to enjoy the nightlife Malta had to offer, made for a truly memorable week.

the weekly social events have added a great deal of excitement to my University life. A highlight of the Squash season was the club’s annual tour, on this occasion to Malta. Membership with one of the local clubs had been arranged and we were treated to a training session from a top class coach, friendly matches against the

Prior to coming to Warwick the quality of the sporting clubs was a major consideration for me and, as in all respects, Warwick has never disappointed. The opportunity to compete at a high standard is enhanced by the social element of university sport. The chance to become actively involved, as an executive member, within your chosen society is an opportunity that I relish going into my 2nd year! clubs/Squash/

Engineering News


RESEARCH NEWS INTRODUCTION Engineering encompasses a wide range of top-quality research activities, covering all major disciplines in the field. We promote and pursue cross-collaborative research on a wide scale both across the University and internationally. Here is just a small selection of our latest news. For more information on engineering research at Warwick refer to research/ and


WMG Partner with Lola and Drayson Racing on Electric Race Car Drayson Racing Technologies and Lola unveiled an electric prototype racing car the “Lola-Drayson B12/69EV” at the Low Carbon Racing Conference at the NEC, Birmingham in January. The electric powered LMP (Le Mans Prototype), with over 850 horsepower, aims to be the fastest all-electric race car to lap a circuit. The design team have been working with

WMG to understand how to source and use once-used (but beyond its normal shelf life) carbon fibre that is still very much workable. WMG Associate Professor Dr Kerry Kirwan said “I’m delighted that once again, work from WMG’s sustainable materials group is finding itself fit for purpose in a highly demanding engineering application. This draws on our own research in environmentally friendly race car technologies and will further enhance this car’s already significant green credentials. Not only will its power source be green but, from an environmental aspect, its reuse of carbon fibre will save a massive amount of landfill for un­used and once

used carbon fibre.” WMG researcher Dr James Meredith said “I was delighted to be invited to apply my research on recycled carbon and natural fibre composites to a high performance environmentally friendly race car, the LolaDrayson B12/69 EV. Our knowledge of these materials has progressed significantly over the last few years, and through appearing on this car, we hope to see sustainable materials applied throughout motorsport as it races towards a green future.” Lola/Drayson will be testing the prototype in the coming months in readiness for Le Mans.


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RESEARCH NEWS MECHANICAL NEWS Warwick researcher takes Silver for engineering display in Parliament School of Engineering post-doctoral researcher Simon Leigh has won Silver at a special House of Commons competition to showcase the UK’s thriving science and engineering base. He presented his research on 3D printing technology to a panel of expert judges inside Parliament and was awarded the Silver Prize and £2,000, as part of the poster competition SET for Britain. This competition involves researchers displaying posters of their work to panels of expert judges and politicians. This year saw 59 entries shortlisted. Simon said, “I’m very happy to have won. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. The quality of all the exhibitors’ work was excellent; it really must have been a difficult competition to judge.”

Simon has concentrated on 3D printing, which is a method whereby very complicated objects can be made by creating the object one layer at a time. The difference in Simon’s work is that he tends to work on very small scales. The photograph that he took with another student, Chris Pursell, shows how small a cup can be made and won a regional photographic competition. Simon has worked out a way to incorporate different types of materials within a 3D object. Thus, he can design an object that has electrically conducting parts within it, as well as magnetic, piezoelectric and even semiconductor action. He can also change the properties so that optical effects are present. His prize thus recognizes that, in the future, everyday objects can be designed on a PC, and manufactured so as to do lots of things – it is not simply a complicated shape of one material. All sorts of things are possible – maybe someday it can be used for 3D polymer electronics, displays, sensors and even miniature robots.

MANUFACTURING NEWS The promise and power of Remote Laser Welding (RLW) as an alternative to spot welding in vehicle manufacturing is due to a combination of laser power and optics. Unlike spot welding, which requires access to both sides of an assembly to create a joint, laser welding is a single sided joining technique. By having laser optics embedded into the robot, and a scanning mirror head as the end-effector, RLW can easily create joints in different locations of the product through simple robot repositioning and laser beam redirection from a remote distance.

€4m Project for Spot Welding in Vehicle Manufacturing WMG has been awarded €4 million by the European Commission Framework 7 Programme (EU FP7) to lead a project that will replace guess work and wasteful trial and error in remote spot welding with precise mathematical modelling to quickly deliver the efficiencies manufacturers need.

This means that as long as there is a ‘line of sight’ between the scanning mirror and the joint location on the assembly creating a laser weld may be feasible. The WMG research will give manufacturers the ability to easily and comfortably create assembly systems using the technology that will quickly realise real savings in time and resources as well as cost.

WMG Part of Government High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre Early last year the Government announced the first of an elite network of Catapult Centres, in which they will be investing over £200 million over the next four years.

The aim of these centres will be to enable British business to commercialise the results of world-class research in the UK and access major new high-tech markets. Known as the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, it is a network formed from a group of leading research and technology facilities across the country: WMG; the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre; the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre; the Manufacturing Technology Centre; the Advanced Forming Research Centre; the National Composite Centre and the Centre for Process Innovation. The HMV Catapult will provide an integrated capability and embrace all forms of manufacture using metals and composites, in addition to process manufacturing technologies and bio-processing. It will draw on excellent university research to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies. The WMG centre will focus on the international challenge of Low Carbon Mobility. Three research and development priorities, which address key opportunities in the technology roadmaps of the automotive, commercial and off-road, rail and marine sectors, are being developed in collaboration with companies.

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ELECTRONIC & SYSTEMS NEWS Warwick graduate returns on a 5-year Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Peter Gammon back to the School of Engineering. He obtained his MEng in Electronics Engineering at Warwick in 2005, before completing his PhD here in 2011. He has begun a five-year Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship this spring, with a project entitled “Novel Interlayer Cooling for Harsh Environment (NICHE) Devices and Circuitry”, which aims to produce a range of silicon electronic devices that will operate in adverse conditions, including environments where the temperatures will exceed 250 °C. Such application areas include space, solar cells and power electronics.

During his undergraduate degree, Peter benefited from the flexibility of Warwick’s General programme, taking courses not only in the core Electronics, Civil, and Mechanical streams, but in Maths, Physics, Business and even French. He eventually found that he favoured electronics however, and undertook an interdisciplinary 4th year group project to design, produce and test a non-invasive, capacitive unit, for finding reinforcement bars in concrete. Peter also embarked on an individual undergraduate research project into power electronic devices. Through this

he met Prof. Phil Mawby, who would go on to be his PhD supervisor. During his PhD, Peter published four academic journals on the production of power saving electronic devices using a before untried combination of semiconductor materials. Peter now continues his semiconductor research in a brand new silicon-valley-style clean room, which was built as part of a £10.6 million investment by the Birmingham Science City program. As well as offering opportunities to PhD students in this field, future undergraduates will be able to get involved in Peter’s NICHE project through 3rd year projects, giving them a taste of life in high-tech academic research.

£3.7m EPSRC Grand Challenge in Integrated Energy Storage for the Network Prof. Jihong Wang is the Principal Investigator in the School of Engineering for the newly awarded EPSRC Grand Challenge in Integrated Energy Storage for the Network. The £3.7million project is entitled “Integrated, Market-fit and Affordable Grid-scale Energy Storage (IMAGES)”, and will address a major gap in the field of energy. The UK is particularly vulnerable in terms of network stability, as it has a relatively isolated small island power network. With an impending reduction in the use of fossil fuels and an increase in reliance on clean, variable intermittent energy generators, the need for effective and efficient energy storage becomes a pressing requirement. IMAGES will focus on the challenging technical and economic issues faced by integrating large grid scale energy storage with the energy network. The project consortium is made up of twelve partners from four different institutions; Warwick, Nottingham, Loughborough and NERC British Geological Survey. Links within the University come from the Economics and Mathematics departments. The multi-disciplinary group will enable a fully holistic approach to this major issue.

New grant for “Control and Real Time Optimisation of Intensive Polymerisation Processes” Prof. Alexei Lapkin is the PI for Warwick for two recently awarded EU FP7 grants. The vision for one of these on “Control and Real Time Optimisation of Intensive Polymerisation Processes” (COOPOL) is to develop new methods and tools for modelling and control, based on real-time sensing. This will facilitate the development of a new paradigm of processes: intensive, low-impact, sustainable chemical technologies. Dr. Daciana Iliescu is a co-investigator on this project, and participants in the project come from Germany, Norway, the Czech Republic as well as Chemistry Innovation Ltd, based in the UK. The Warwick team is coordinating COOPOL project.


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RESEARCH NEWS CIVIL NEWS First Prize at the Institution of Structural Engineers Young Researchers’ Conference

Dr. Chan is “extremely proud” of his student, who has proven consistently diligent in

her research. So far three undergraduates have completed individual 3rd year projects related to Therese’s work and Tak Ming’s research helps inform civil undergraduate students studying steel structures in their 3rd year and advanced structural engineering in their 4th year.

£325k EU grant for project in Geomechanics and Geohazards Dr. Stefano Utili will soon commence work on his EU funded project in Geomechanics and Geohazards, with funding of £325k.

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This project will bring together the complementary expertise of world leading groups in Asia and Europe in geotechnical and hydraulic engineering to find novel solutions and exchange current knowledge for the assessment and mitigation of geohazards. The focus of the research effort will be on climate change-related flooding, landslides, and earthquakes. Speaking of the grant success, Dr. Utili said “I am delighted for the award of this grant which will allow the establishment of a strong international collaboration between Warwick and the very best civil engineering departments in India and mainland China”.

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Therese Sheehan, a PhD student in the School of Engineering, was presented with the First Prize award for her oral presentation at the recent Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Young Researchers’ Conference. Therese was placed ahead of other research students from across the UK to be awarded the top prize, with representatives from Imperial and Cambridge taking joint second. Her presentation was entitled ‘Strength, ductility and energy dissipation of concretefilled tubular braces under cyclic axial loading’. By receiving this award, Therese follows in the footsteps of her supervisor, Dr. Tak Ming Chan, who received the same award in 2007 with his paper ‘Development of design rules for elliptical hollow sections’. Therese is Dr. Chan’s first PhD student and started in early 2010. Therese said; “I’m absolutely delighted about winning this award. I have been nervous presenting my research in the past, but the event gave me a great opportunity to practise this, and I found it an enjoyable experience. I am grateful to Dr. Chan, Prof. Toby Mottram, Prof. Roger Johnson and all of the technicians in the School’s strong floor and workshops who assisted with the laboratory work. Thanks also to the University of Warwick and Tata Steel for providing sponsorship”.

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