QE team reach last five at national finals of engineering competition

A QE team which designed a helmet aimed at saving construction workers’ hearing from damage were among the national engineering prize-winners at The Big Bang – the UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair.

After progressing through the first day, the four-strong Year 13 team were named as one of the Big Bang Competition Senior Engineering Runners-Up, placing them among the top five teams at the major event held at Birmingham’s NEC.

They had reached the national finals after previously impressing judges with their Sonus-mico Helmet, which warns construction workers when workplace noise exceeds safe levels. The helmet was developed last year under the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) by Yazid Sukhia, Tochi Onoura, Christopher Suen and Sachin Ghelani.

""Fresh from their success in Birmingham, Tochi was congratulated in an interview by Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London. He explained to her that the team was sponsored by construction company Lovell and that they had come up with the idea after visiting one of Lovell’s sites. During the visit, they had been told about the problems caused by excessive noise.

Sound levels above 85db over a prolonged period can cause permanent hearing damage, Tochi explained. “What is often the problem is that people don’t know how loud that actually sounds – it’s really hard to tell.”

""They designed the circuitry and casing to fit inside a normal construction helmet, choosing that to house the device because it is mandatory for everyone on a construction site, including visitors, to wear one.

During the autumn, Tochi’s team were among those invited to show off their design to politicians, policy-makers and industry representatives at a special event at the House of Commons billed as the Big Bang @ Parliament.

  • The School has two Year 12 teams in this year’s Engineering Education Scheme, one is again supported by Lovell, the other by office fit-out and refurbishment specialists, Overbury.