Reports from previous years
Previous Engineering Experiences
2009 England and France
2008 New York
2007 UK & The Netherlands
See more photos in the Young Engineers Abroad Photo Gallery
In previous years, we have also taken students to Greece, Germany, Italy and France
2010 – Scotland. This year’s Lloyds Register Educational Trust Engineering Experience had given all the six chosen students a fantastic experience visiting Thales and BAE Systems sites based in Glasgow. The following report was written by Josh Sayle after his recent trip to Glasgow sites.
2009 – England and France. This year’s Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Engineering Experience was a great success and all six students had a fantastic time visiting engineering facilities in England and France. So that potential future applicants can gain an insight in to the nature of the trip and the value of the experience, the report written by Grace Copplestone following her trip in October is provided below:
The 2008 Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Engineering Experience returned from New York on 23rd October after spending four hectic days in and around New York. The party visited the Unites States Merchant Marine Academy, had a boat trip on the Hudson River, spent a day at a shipyard, another day with the New York Port Authority visiting Ground Zero and the George Washington Bridge and a half day at the Solar 1 building learning about energy efficiency and seeing how a carbon neutral building is being developed.
The whole group on their Ground Zero VIP tour
Finding time for a little sightseeing was a real issue for the six lucky students selected to take part in this year’s Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Engineering Experience (LRETEE). Having come through a rigorous selection process, Stephanie Paul (17), Corbin Wood (18), Charanya Ravi (18), John Ginger (18), Peter Le (16) and Andrew Dunn (16) travelled to Heathrow’s amazing T5 from all parts of the UK to begin the trip.
Arriving in New York in the early evening, the group travelled to the Unites States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point for an evening meal (massive pizzas!) and a welcome night’s sleep. The next morning was spent seeing the various marine simulators that are used to train the academy’s students before embarking on a harbour cruise. However, this was no ordinary boat journey; the vessel was a $1.75M ocean cruiser that had been ‘donated’ to the facility and was crewed entirely by cadets. Seeing the New York sky-line from the water was a truly amazing experience and the weather was just perfect. But it was not a pleasure cruise and students were kept busy looking at many amazing engineering feats from the Brooklyn Bridge, to the many skyscrapers to double-decker roadways and the Statue of Liberty.
Sunday evening was spent on a walking tour of Broadway taking in the sights and sounds of Time Square as well as a brief expedition in to Macy’s and the Hard Rock Cafe!
It was an early start on Monday and by 0730, the group were on the road heading for Aker Shipyard in Philadelphia. The entire day was spent seeing how product tankers are built. These tankers carry processed fuel from US refineries to the various smaller US ports and can carry over 45,000 tons of fuel. After a briefing on the history of the shipyard and an explanation of how ships are built, students then had a full tour of the yard starting at the sheet metal reception area, passing through the cutting and bending areas to the block assembly area and onto the area where super and mega blocks are assembled. Some of these big blocks can weight up to 500 tons.
The engine for the latest ship under construction was waiting to be fitted and the students had the chance to climb up three flights of stairs to stand on top of the massive engine.
Finally, there was the chance to go down to the dock bottom to see the construction process close up and to walk under a nearly completed tanker.
No time for rest in the evening and the group had an amazing meal at Ellen’s Stardust Diner where waiters also entertain the diners with hits from Broadway musicals. It was then on to the Rockafeller Centre and a very swift lift journey up 70+ floors to the top so that we could see New York at night – a spectacular view.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the trip was on Tuesday when the group spent a day with the New York Port Authority. The Authority is responsible for many New York and New jersey services including the ports, transportation and the airports as well as the Ground Zero building site. Lower Manhattan was our first stop for a briefing on the building issues surrounding the Ground Zero site and the progress on constructing the new skyscrapers and the Twin Towers Memorial Gardens. Our host was the Chief Engineer for a major part of the project and he gave a very graphic explanation of the many problems that have had to be solved to reach the current position. We then were privileged to have a personal tour of the actual Ground Zero building site parts of which were now fully operational such as the subway system and others that were just at the foundation stage.
‘Seeing the Ground Zero site from within the outer walls was a truly memorable and emotional experience and proved that engineers can find solutions to all kinds of problems’ Stephanie Paul
We then move on to the George Washington Bridge, a 78 year old double-decker roadway suspension bridge that is the busiest bridge in the world! The bridge has its own engineering support team and this is led by a female engineer who really did impress everyone with her passion for engineering in general and the bridge in particular. It was no surprise to learn that engineering runs in her family and that her Dad was a previous chief engineer for the George Washington Bridge.
For those with no head for heights, the trip to the top of the 550 foot high New Jersey Tower was quite a challenge especially as the deck at the top was perforated and you could see all the way down to the bottom.
The final day had an environmental theme with a visit to the ‘Solar One’ project on the banks of the East River. This project aims to show that New York is an ideal location for the employment of solar panels for the generation of electricity and the project involved all aspects of the local community in its aim to bring this developing technology to New York. The project has already won a number of prestigious awards and it on track to build a 8,000sq ft Solar 2 building which will be an environmentally friendly, carbon neutral building with huge solar arrays capable of generating 75KW of power.
Did the trip achieve its aim of inspiring some of the next generation of young engineers……. The answer is an emphatic yes.
Everyone felt that the trip was an amazing experience and that they were even more motivated to gain the grades to go on to exciting careers in engineering. Perhaps the most lasting memory will be the incredible passion shown by the engineers that they met during the trip and their real commitment to do the best they can for their various projects.
‘It was a life-changing experience and I am now certain that engineering is the right career for me and I can’t wait to get started’ Corbin Wood
2007 UK/The Netherlands
In September 2007, all finalists aged 16 and over, at the Young Engineers Celebration of Engineering were eligible to be considered for one of the places on this year’s Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Engineering Experience. In the end, six students, four boys and two girls, from all parts of the UK were selected to take part in this all expenses paid opportunity to see engineering in action in London and The Netherlands.
Meeting in London on a fine evening in early October, the six students: Luc Funnell (18) Llanelli, , Emily Massey (17) Derbyshire, Simon Hicken (18) Bristol, , Matthew Cole(18) Pembrokeshire , Quintus Dickinson (18) Alnwick and Lizzie Smith (16) Staffordshire had the opportunity for a little social bonding during a visit to Chinatown and a night time walk along the Thames.
The morning’s programme involved two visits; one to EDF Energy’s HQ and the other to the Tate Modern. At EDF’s magnificent HQ just behind Buckingham Palace, students were very surprised to meet engineers wearing suits and even more intrigued to learn that their role was the buying and selling of electricity to meet EDF customers’ power demands. However, when they saw the likeness to bidding on E-Bay, all became clear and it was obvious that shrewd negotiating skills, confidence, good maths skills and a quick wit were needed to succeed in this area.
The marketing floor was a surprise – I hadn’t realised that energy was traded in this way. It seemed a difficult job so the high salaries earned are not a surprise….Luc Funnell
At Tate Modern, there was a huge but hidden development programme underway. Costing over £50M, the existing south side of the building was being completely redeveloped so as to allow expansion of the exhibition space. This involved moving and updating almost all of the power systems that supply south London without impacting on the gallery’s facilities or essential electricity supplies to consumers.
In the afternoon, the party travelled to Brussels via Eurostar. At speeds well over 180mph, the journey took just over 2 hours and allowed the students to think about the morning’s sessions before heading off into Brussels for some sightseeing and dinner in and around the Golden Square.
The morning was spent travelling between Brussels and Utrecht in Holland and gave everyone chance to compare the various kinds of train found on the Continent. At least three different kinds of train were experienced and all drew considerable interest from the students.
Following a visit to a Railway Museum, the remainder of the afternoon was spent hearing about the activities of Lloyd’s Register Rail Division in Utrecht, including work to make train travel even more safe, to increase track capacity and to design better carriages with much greater emphasis on passenger enjoyment!
One of the social highlights of the trip was the Celebration Dinner at a magnificent restaurant in the centre of Utrecht. Here students go the opportunity to sample some Dutch cuisine whilst enjoying the company of a number of local engineers.
The railway experience on the final day was the Ned Train depot in Haarlem where the team were able to see all stages of rolling stock mid-life update. Carriages that had seen about 13 years of service were subject to complete refurbishment and the transformation was incredible:
It was amazing to see what a train actual looks like without all the fixtures and fittings and the how a train is transformed…..
Having the opportunity to visit two countries and to see engineering in action in both was a very valuable and worthwhile experience and one which has already had profound impact on those who took part.
I have now got a much wider perspective on the world of engineering in different countries. Also how engineers also can be sat in an office and are not just getting their ‘hands dirty’, ……
Even though the trip was fantastic, I was disappointed with the amount of women involved in engineering. It was noticeable that there was a lacking amount of women involved in engineering and I think that more schemes need to be put in place to encourage women to go into the engineering world……
“This year’s LRET Engineering Experience involved six young engineers who did not know one another. Before it got underway, I wondered if it was going to be a success. Well, the excellent planning and organisation that went into the event resulted in an exciting, action-packed trip that demonstrated the variety and significance of engineering in today’s world. The young engineers got on famously, were able to learn something about different cultures and life generally, and have been inspired to pursue their engineering studies. It was indeed a great success!”
Michael Franklin, Director of Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust
On a very dark and wet morning in late October, four students: Natasha Vracas (16) Valin Wang (18), Lucy Wiles (16) and Emma Worrall (15), from St Swithun’s School, Winchester and their Club Leader, Andy Maskell, set out on the start of their Lloyd’s Register European Engineering Experience. The group ventured to the Istrian Peninsular in northern Croatia to visit shipyards in Pula and Rijeka.
Although Croatia is not particularly famous for ship-building, the team found very busy yards at both locations and were able to see all aspects of ship construction including initial steel preparation, unit fabrication, fitting out and the assembly of the final vessel.
The yard in Pula was building a number of car carriers, the largest being capable of transporting up to 7,000 cars. The team had a great opportunity to hear about all aspects of ship building including the environmental protection considerations and the role of the Lloyd’s Register surveyors. They saw the entire production line of a diesel engine from fixing the first plates together to the testing of the finished engine. Valin explained, “We made up our own little method of remembering how a diesel engine works: Suck, Squish, Bang, Blow!”
At Rejika, the shipyard specialised in building much bigger chemical carriers. Here the girls climbed on board a ship to see one of the massive steel blocks, which make up the main structure of the ship, being welded into place.
As well as seeing engineering in action, there was also time to see some of the countryside, see the largest ancient amphitheatre outside of Rome and sample the local cuisine.
In December, the team gave a presentation of their trip and their view of engineering in Croatia to a VIP reception at Lloyd’s Register’s London Head Quarters.
The school’s Young Engineers Club won the Croatia trip by being voted the Club of the Year 2006 at the Annual Celebration of Engineering in September. St. Swithun’s is a thriving club with a large membership which spans the entire age-range of the school. Each year they engage in a huge range of engineering projects including Greenpower, the Engineering Education Scheme as well as our own Royal Navy and BAA challenges. Their projects always show a high standard of design and craftsmanship, and they are often competition winners.