A group of aspiring young engineers are helping to develop the next generation of electric car as part of a national race series that will see them compete against some of the motor industry’s top manufacturers as well as other schools and colleges.
Lewis Chambers 17, from Chester-le-Street, Mark Bradley 18, from Stanley, Oliver Gray 17, from Hexham, Neil Falcus 18, from Whitley Bay, Jason Watson 18, from Newcastle, Gordon Mackett 19, from Whitley Bay, Richard Adams 21, from Newcastle, Jen Murley 17, from Seaton Sluice, Ryan Drummond 18, from Berwick, Dale Tansley 19, from Gateshead, Suraj Khosla 19, from Tynemouth and Dominic Brown 17, from Newcastle who are all Level 3 Engineering Diploma students in Newcastle College’s School of Applied Science, have been challenged to design, build and race their own green powered cars, which they will race at Croft Motor Circuit on Wednesday 4 July.
The three cars, named the Rutherford Rocket, Eric and Ernie use battery power and teach students about design, product development, mechanical science, electrical science and materials in a practical engineering project. All entrants are supplied with identical electric motors and batteries and have to design and build their car to a supplied specification.
The project has been a true collaboration, with Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Foundation Degree students involved in the project by carrying out advanced bodywork and aerodynamic work as well as improvements to the electrical circuit design.
During the event the students will be organised into two groups – drivers and pit crew. The 90 minute endurance race will put the cars to the test and demonstrate the high level of engineering, skill and innovation acquired by the students – who will potentially go on to develop the engineering and technology around the green powered cars of the future.
500 schools and colleges from around the UK are involved in the project as well as major motor manufacturers such as Jaguar, Land Rover and Peugeot Citroen, who are also sending cars to compete in the regional final.
The series is run by Greenpower, a charity which seeks to inspire more young people to develop an interest in engineering and associated STEM subjects. The project encourages those involved to develop solutions to solve the problems faced by societies today, particularly in the area of sustainability.
Engineering student Mark Bradley, 18 from Stanley, Co. Durham said: “Working on a project like this to actually design and build our own electric car has really helped put the theory we have learned in the classroom into practical experience. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it performs when put to test on the track against some of the biggest names in car manufacturing and other students.”
Graeme Hill, Mechanical Engineering Lecturer with the School of Applied Science at Newcastle College, said: “This race presents a unique project whereby students can learn about sustainable technologies but in a very practical and fun context. Previous students have done well in this competition so expectations to repeat that success are even higher this year.”
Newcastle College’s School of Applied Science and Technology was developed to support the vitally important Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) agenda.
The school works in close collaboration across all areas of expertise, including: Engineering, Automotive, Aerospace & Allied Engineering, Computing Technology, Vocational Science, Renewable Energy, Environmental, Land Based and Veterinary Nursing