Chris Stafford at the STEM poster exhibition

Brighton researcher puts Britain’s science future on parliamentary display

University early career researcher Chris Stafford has showcased his work to UK parliamentarians in the STEM For Britain annual poster exhibition.

Dr Stafford is a Research Fellow in the University of Brighton’s world-renowned Advanced Engineering Centre, and was among a group of rising young scientists chosen as finalists in the STEM For Britain competition. This asks entrants to create a poster highlighting and explaining a current project, collecting flagship UK research to be presented to MPs, Peers and members of the influential Parliamentary & Scientific Committee.

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Smiling photo of Gerard Assoumou engineering student

Investigating a sustainable technology solution to help reduce global warming

Gerard Assoumou is part of one of the project teams working in the Sustainable Technology and Engineering Projects (STEP) lab. Here he tells us about his Aerospace Engineering MEng final year team project, as well as some insights into why he chose to study at Brighton.

“I’ve always been passionate about planes and wanted to be a pilot since really little. In high school my interest for the technicality and complexity behind an aircraft kept growing and pushed me towards applying for aeronautical engineering. I chose Brighton because from the very few universities that proposed this course and that I visited on open days, Brighton had a more interactive touch to the learning process. I was looking forward to some of the classes and projects described on the open day by the students, and of course the Simulation Suite. I also found Brighton to be a really beautiful interesting city which played a huge part in deciding to come here.

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Headshot of George engineering student

Flexibility, innovation and fresh ideas

Second year Mechanical Engineering BEng(Hons) student George Diamantopoulos has recently joined the STEP lab. Here he tells us about engineering at Brighton and how he get involved with STEP lab.

“I chose engineering because I had a burning desire from a very young age to explore the logistics and thought processes behind engineering achievements. Mostly, I was always asking myself how and why? How’s this car engine made? Why is this elevator working without me noticing the mechanism? I had huge curiosity and I had to go after my dream of becoming an engineer. It’s a very creative degree; it offers flexibility and promotes innovation and fresh ideas. Engineering gives the message that if something can be conceived, it has the potential of being realized.

The main reason I chose the University of Brighton is the volume of classes and an equally important one is approachability. I’m studying mechanical engineering, I did the same degree in Germany for 2 years. The auditorium in Germany contained more than 850 students, while in Brighton student number is around 35. This makes the material that is being taught easier to digest, and the lecturer-student interaction is more productive. Lecturers are also very approachable. Brighton is a very diverse community, which supports every single student both inside and outside their respective course.

STEP lab is a facility located in the heavy engineering building at the Moulsecoomb campus where research and development projects are taking place. STEP lab aims to promote and achieve collaborations with industrial organizations through experimental testing. At this stage, a very important real-life project is taking place in the form of an experimental steam rig, which is constantly being modified to analyse the behaviour of SWEP heat exchangers.

I expressed my interest during an interview with Dr. Panesar, but the initial information for the existence of the STEP lab came from a friend who was already involved. I approached Dr. Panesar intending to work on a single electric car project which was advertised by the university. He explained to me that this electric car project is part of the countless STEP lab projects that exist. He then introduced me to the idea of working on the experimental rig and gaining valuable experience in an actual engineering project.

I want to become a chartered engineer and apply my determination and knowledge to an automotive application. The world has steered towards electrification. This is the pathway of the future, and I would love to be part of the electric car evolution.”

Close of engineering equipment in the STEP lab

Engineering students STEP into sustainable technology projects

Engineering students have created a supportive community to help each other to improve and build the skills they’ll need to be ready for their future engineering career.

Welcome to STEP lab (Sustainable Technology and Engineering Projects). This exciting, collaborative, project-based way of working is open to all of our engineering students.

Led by the students themselves, STEP lab members work on projects that reflect real engineering projects in industry, developing their technical skills alongside the professional skills needed in the work place.

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