Group of students testing antweight robots

Engineering projects – rocket cars, robots and Engineering Without Borders.

The Engineering Practice module, co-delivered by over a dozen Personal Academic Tutors, and led by Dr Angad Panesar, is our first-year flagship module on our Aerospace, Automotive, Electrical and Mechanical courses. We’ve asked three groups of students taking part in the projects for this module, to talk about their experiences.

In this blog Theodore, Connor and Will, our Mechanical Engineering Students, from Group 14 discuss their experience on the module, about sustainability, multidisciplinary projects, and communal aspects of the technical activities, leading to their first-class output and poster. 

Read our other blogs about electrical engineering student Cristian’s experience of these projects and the way Jake, Valentin, Edward, Connor and Isabel worked together on theirs.

Engineering Without Borders

Our Engineers Without Borders (EWB) project aimed to improve upon an unreliable and overly expensive electricity supply in Govan, Glasgow. We worked to produce a sustainable, residential source of energy to improve reliability and subsidise cost for the resident – who are often working to a painfully tight budget – that remained in keeping with the visual requirements of Govan’s listed buildings. 

Rocket car competition and antweight robots

Our group found the unique structure and content of this module highly valuable. A different task each week allowed us to experience a range of activities, and the additional projects of the Rocket Cars and Antweight Robots helped to keep everybody consistently engaged and provided breaks from the technically challenging periods of the EWB projects research and calculations.

The wide lens of the content, both the inclusion of sustainability and ethics and the multidisciplinary nature of the project itself, gave a more rounded knowledge and wider context. The modules’ communal and social nature – especially considering the modules placement at the start of the first year – ensured a certain guaranteed level of networking and socialisation with our cohort, making the settling-in process of our first year of university considerably easier.

The achievements we are most proud of – despite them being side-tasks – are the Rocket Cars and Antweight Robots projects. Success in these proved that consistent engagement and regular group meetings produced positive results, which improved everyone’s confidence for later modules.

Learning key employability skills

Our group found the key takeaways of this module to be independent time management, task delegation and deadline monitoring. Both the multidisciplinary element of the activities and the structure of group work itself combined also taught us how communal engineering work is, and the importance of being able to work with others.

After completing this module, we are now capable of offering an employer a widened understanding of what needs to be considered in terms of ethics and sustainability when completing engineering projects. In order to further improve what has been developed during this module we need to maintain these ethical and environmental standards while improving our technical knowledge so that our projects may develop in scale and impact.

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