Dealing with dust

A team of Technology students, challenged to find a solution to dust problems in the workplace, have presented their product to university academics and experts from the construction industry.

William Forester, Alexander Norcliffe, Mitul Shah and Daniil Slavin, who are all in Year 12, took part in the six-month Engineering Education Scheme (EES), which aims to give pupils the opportunity to take on a real-life engineering challenge. This year’s brief related to dust on construction sites.

As part of the process, the boys visited a site in Lymington Mews run by the major construction company, Lovell’s, to see the problems of dust for themselves. They learnt that more people are likely to suffer each year from a work-related disease, such as silicosis, than are injured in work-place accidents.

The team then had two months in which to develop a prototype of a hand-held sweeping device that would not only sweep up construction debris but would also provide an effective method of wetting or dampening airborne dust and debris.

""At the end of the research & development stage, the boys went on a two-day visit to the University of Hertfordshire, during which time they had the opportunity to develop a working prototype.

The boys then presented their findings and product to the Board of Lovell’s in Elstree with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation they had prepared. The final stage of the process was a computer-aided design (CAD) day at UCL.

“The EES provides an excellent opportunity for the boys to develop a wide range of skills and abilities related to engineering,” said Technology teacher Michael Noonan, who oversaw their participation in the scheme. “They showed great originality and ingenuity in their approach to the brief and developed knowledge and skill about both manufacturing and how to apply scientific theory to real-world applications.”