From solar cooking to a London hotel show!

The students using the solar cooker on a not sunny dayFinal year International Hospitality Management BA(Hons) enjoyed a chilly morning starting at 8am sharp to test solar cookers in non-favourable conditions.

Solar cookers are extensively used in developing countries with a hot climate and plentiful sun but not so much in countries of the developed world where sunshine is limited.

Testing solar cooker cooking capabilities in cold and cloudy environments enabled students to understand design limitations and visualise new designs of solar cookers that may be effectively utilised in countries such as the UK. Increasing the use of renewables in everyday life can help conserve energy and contribute to the reduction of co2 emissions.

Following the solar cooker experiments students attended the independent hotel show in London. They met with suppliers and hoteliers and attended a variety of seminars which included hotel design amdusing social media to your advantage.

We asked two of our students to reflect on their experiences on what was a very long day; here is what they had to say about the solar cooker experiments:

Charlotte said: “This basic experiment was my first experience with the use of a solar cooker. In reflection, I find it really interesting that such a device, so simplistic in its use of resources and with such an obvious, undeniable environmental benefit, can still seem rather alien to people of our demographic that are so used to, and probably to a certain extent dependent on, the availability of electrical appliances.”

Ellie said: “Solar cookers seem a good idea as they use renewable solar power and save energy rather than use an oven or BBQ. It was quite fascinating to see how quickly the water heated up and the differences of efficiency between the two solar cookers and would love to see them in action again and in full swing when there is lots of sun.”

And when asked about the hotel show:

Charlotte said: “I very much appreciate having had the chance to attend the Independent Hotel Show – it was my first visit to this event and being exposed to such a variety of businesses and their diverse product ranges gave you a good feel for the magnitude of the Hospitality industry.

“Visiting the expo made me feel that if you are passionate about any niche in this field of work, you can make it work. The overall buzz of such an event can be really motivational.”

Ellie said: “The expo was exciting! From best quality bed stands to best toiletries this was a heaven for anyone looking to start their hotel from scratch or even improve a product in their hotel. The talks about branding and designing your hotel were very interesting.

“I was fascinated by the realisation of how many facilities and suppliers I would have to consider if I was going to start up my own hotel”

Dr Ioannis S Pantelidis, reflecting on the whole day, said: “For some students the day started at 5am and finished at 9pm and it was great to see the commitment of students to make both the early experiments and network with hospitality management professionals till late.

“More importantly it feels great when despite the long day our students say that the effort was worth the knowledge, experience and contacts gained.”

Lef to right: Charlotte, Ellie, Zephy and Dr Ioannis S Pantelidis

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