Double first! The challenge begins for QE engineers

For the first time, QE has this year entered two teams into a national engineering challenge.

In previous years, individual QE teams have performed very strongly in the Engineering Education Scheme, so, for 2016–2017, the School decided to double up.

For the scheme, which is run by the Engineering Development Trust, entrants are asked to develop a solution to a real-life problem relevant to a local company. The scheme includes use of a university’s engineering workshops to develop, build and test their solutions. It requires problem-solving skills and helps the participants learn to work as a team.

Competitors benefit from professional-level lectures on project-management and on communications (written, verbal and visual). Later in the scheme, the boys will be required to prepare a written technical report and then to present their solution to a panel of senior professional engineers.

""As the initial six-month project phase got under way, the two QE Year 12 teams paid visits to their respective companies.

Team 1, comprising Mohit Miyanger, Piragash Selvakumar, Richard Cavanagh and Ricky Eatough, are working with Overbury, an office outfitting company which is a major player in its market. Their project aims to deal with issues of working at height, currently the most common source of injury at work in the office outfitting industry.

They visited several Overbury sites in Canary Wharf. Head of Technology Michael Noonan said: “Our first point of call was the Clifford Chance building, owned and leased out by one of the largest law firms in the world. Here we visited the new developing offices of Deutsche Bank, and met with our company representative, Alex Wood, as well as the site managers. The boys were given a formal introduction to the company, after which we were taken around the site. They interviewed many of the workers and supervisors, and began to see some of the issues which working at height present.”

""Team 2, which consists of Souhardh Kotakadi , Rahul Kanwar, Visagan Manivannan and Aravindh Manivannan, are focusing on issues of waste management on building sites. Their teacher, Shane Ryan, said: “Our trip took us to construction firm Lovell's Lymington Fields site near Chadwell Heath, a large-scale housing estate under construction since 2011. Here we met with our Lovell’s representative, Sophia Bruce.” Like Team 1, Team 2 received a formal introduction to their company and were given a tour of the site; they, too, took the opportunity to interview workers and supervisors.

“From there, we travelled to Lovell’s flagship project in Woolwich Arsenal, a much busier building site, where the boys were shown a number of different waste management issues and the current ways the company is dealing with them,” said Mr Ryan. “We discussed our next steps with Sophia for designing and manufacturing the prototype, which we aim to complete at our visit to UCL in January.”