Tomorrow’s engineers

A group of Lower Sixth girls with an interest in engineering are taking part in this year’s Engineering Education Scheme which links Year 12 students with a local company to work on real-life engineering and technology projects

10 February 2020

The Downe House team has linked with MH Development Engineering in Banbury for the second year running to work on a conveyor belt system and went on a two day residential trip to the engineering workshops at Bath University to work on their project.

Noure in the Lower Sixth is part of the engineering team and reports on their trip to Bath University,

“As part of the Engineering Education Scheme, my team went to the University of Bath to work on a mechanism that we have designed as part of a system of two conveyer belts to separate out ferrous and non-ferrous swarf. Swarf is the waste material that consists of different types of metals, plastics and coolant which come from the machines that are used in the industry.

After a brief induction, we made a list of what we needed to do and separated ourselves into two teams. One team was working on testing different types of magnets, the other was working on laser cutting the acrylic frames using the graphics suite, CoralDraw. We then bent the plastic using a wire strip heater and made the rollers of the conveyer belt using water pipes. At the end of the day, we glued a mechanism in the ends of the pipes and left them to dry overnight.

The next day, we started making the belts and attached magnets into the belt. We also made a collection pot with a sieve in the middle for the swarf to fall into. We found that the glue from the previous day had not been strong enough, so we re-glued some parts. After fixing these minor issues, our belts were working fine and did the job. However, we encountered a problem in that the magnets were too strong so the swarf was not falling into the collection pots. Therefore, we are now looking into how to solve that problem.

Overall, the trip was very enjoyable and along with getting a lot of very interesting work done on our project, we enjoyed the hospitality that the University of Bath provided.”

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