Izzy Hobbs smiling at the camera standing next to her project poster

Engineering project exhibition 2024: Izzy Hobbs, Aeronautical Engineering MEng

Izzy Hobbs is studying Aeronautical Engineering MEng. We caught up with her as our final year students were preparing to show their project posters at the Engineering Project Exhibition, to find out more about her project and life at Brighton.

How did you choose your course and what was your route into engineering?

I chose to study a MEng in Aeronautical Engineering after completing my EPQ (Extended Writing Project Qualification) during sixth form. Since year 9 I knew I wanted to study engineering, but I wanted to go into a specific discipline. For my EPQ, I decided to write a dissertation on “How rockets have evolved.” and I loved it, so I chose aeronautical engineering.

How would you describe your course and your time at Brighton to someone who is thinking of coming here?

I have enjoyed my time studying at Brighton. Despite joining during 2020 and experiencing lockdowns during my studies, I have made some amazing friends and made memories that I look back on fondly. My course has been challenging as expected when I first decided that I wanted to study it, however, I believe that it is manageable especially if you make sure to take during the week for yourself. For me, this has been by playing rugby with the university team and local club, everyone is in the same boat and it’s really benefited me to have this time to enjoy what else the university has to offer.

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Staff and students representing the Gell-P and DEPLOY! projects sitting with five at the back and three people in the front

Last minute checks for research teams as countdown for weightless flights begins

Researchers practice for zero gravity flight to put ground-breaking experimental devices through their paces

The University of Brighton teams, including Aerospace Engineering MEng student Erin Saltmarsh, will have just 20 seconds at a time to run tasks in weightless conditions.

During each flight the plane will climb to an altitude of 7,500m before the aircraft goes into a 3000m high roller coaster climb and fall during which weightlessness will be experienced for about 20 seconds. This will happen 30 times in each of the three planned flights. Not surprisingly teams will be given anti-nausea jabs prior to the flights. Staff and students from the Schools of Architecture,Technology and Engineering, School of Sport and Health Sciences, Centre for Regenerative Medicines and Devices and Advanced Engineering Centre representing the Gell-P and DEPLOY! Projects gathered to go through a series of tightly choreographed tasks in preparation for the flights at the end of the month.

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European Space Agency logo

European Space Agency collaborative projects

Deploy! Project

The DEPLOY! Project is a collaboration between the universities of Pisa, Parma, and Brighton, as well as the European Space Agency (ESA) sponsored PETRI student project, with additional funding received from the UK Space Agency.

The project focuses on the dynamic deployment of a novel satellite radiator panel thermal interface using a flexible Pulsating Heat Pipe. This research aligns with the ongoing work on Pulsating Heat Pipes at the universities of Brighton and Pisa. The project team, consisting of five Masters’ students and one PhD student, has been mentored by experts from the partner universities, who have provided access to their expertise and key experimental equipment. The DEPLOY! team, led by Erin Saltmarsh from the University of Brighton, has been spearheading the manufacturing and mechanical design aspects of the project.

The flight campaign for the DEPLOY! Project is scheduled to start on November 20th in Bordeaux, France. To learn more about this exciting project, visit their website.

Gell-P (Gravitational Effects of Lower Limb Perfusion)

Gell-P is a collaborative project between the School of Health Sciences and the School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering. The project aims to investigate the effects of gravity on foot perfusion to support a wider demographic of astronauts and mitigate injuries. By evaluating foot vascular flow under varying gravity conditions, the project seeks to understand lower limb injury healing for long-term astronaut missions.

The collaboration involves a team of podiatrists from the School of Health Sciences, led by project PI Rachel Forss, along with support from a team of engineers from the School of Architecture, Technology, and Engineering.

The experiment, designed and built at the AEB, will be tested during the 83rd European Space Agency parabolic flight campaign starting on November 20th. Read this post to learn more about this fascinating project.

European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA)

Dr Nicolas Miche has been selected as a mentor for the first European Low Gravity Research Association mentoring scheme. ELGRA is a nonprofit international society that promotes European research in microgravity, simulated microgravity, and hypergravity conditions. It serves as a platform for scientists interested in life and physical sciences in space.

The goals of ELGRA include representing and strengthening the scientific community of altered gravity research and involving young people in research through educational programmes.

ELGRA achieves these goals by organising scientific symposia and courses, cooperating with institutions and agencies to organise scientific events, spreading information about opportunities and new platforms, and supporting students and young scientists through grants and educational programmes from ESA.

Kay Hendriksen

£1,000 sponsorship for my final year project!

Kay Hendriksen, is in his final year Electronic and Communication Engineering BEng(Hons) with integrated foundation year. He has secured sponsorship from StepperOnline, a company that provides a platform for industrial automation procurement for his final year project.

I approached several companies to explore potential sponsorship opportunities for my final year project, as recommended by Dr Ian Watts. I am delighted that StepperOnline have agreed to generously sponsor my project – I am developing a desktop size industrial multi-axis robot arm. StepperOnline will be providing me with essential components worth around £1000, including stepper motors, precision reducers, drivers, and a power supply.

The primary objective of this project is to construct an affordable robotic arm capable of performing practical tasks in various real-world scenarios, including applications such as automation procedures and medical tasks. The existing professional-grade robotic arms are prohibitively expensive, while the lower-cost alternatives available in the market lack the necessary functionality for meaningful real-world usage.

My aim is to integrate both software and hardware expertise to create a comprehensive solution. This entails not only designing the mechanical aspects of the entire robot arm, but also handling all aspects of electronics including electrical components and electronic systems. I will also be developing the software required to effectively control the robot arm’s movements and operations.

By combining my skills in mechanical design, electronics, and software development, I aspire to produce an accessible and practical multi-axis robot arm that bridges the gap between high-cost professional systems and limited-functionality lower-cost alternatives.

I am really looking forward to starting work on my project and am very grateful to StepperOnline for this opportunity!

Architecture and design awards 2023

Architecture and Design end of year show and awards

Architecture and Design hosted their End of Year Show in June, showcasing the talent of our school’s creative community. In the midst of a summer heatwave, the show attracted a remarkable turnout, demonstrating the ongoing importance of our Architecture and Design reputation.

Bringing together students from various design disciplines the show included students from BA(Hons) Architecture, MArch Architecture, BA(Hons) Interior Architecture, BSc(Hons) Product Design, MA Interior Design, MA Sustainable Design, and Architecture and Design Integrated Foundation courses. Each course presented a unique fusion of creativity, practicality, and innovative design principles, with every project showcasing outstanding vision and execution.

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poster explaining civil engineering project work

Two firsts for civil engineering graduate Luke

Congratulations to Luke Gardiner on winning the esteemed ‘Best Poster Award’ at the British Geotechnical Association Conference 2023 and graduating with a first from our Civil Engineering BEng(Hons) with integrated foundation year.

We caught up with Luke and Maria Diakoumi, Principal Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering about his project and the opportunity to get involved in research.

Luke’s dissertation and the work presented in his poster received high praise and the winning vote at the conference, an annual event attended by universities and industry. The poster focused on numerical modelling, building on earlier research on Gravity Base Structures for offshore foundations carried out by civil engineering lecturers Dr Maria Diakoumi and Dr Kevin Stone.

“This recognition is particularly significant given the tough competition from prestigious institutions such as the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and Imperial College. We all felt very proud,” said Maria.

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Headphones hooked over a wooden stand on a desk

Graduates 2023: Christy Cairns: Product Design BSc(Hons)

The course began with a very broad introduction to the breadth of what Product Design means and led to us all being in a position to pursue the areas that complement our interests. My work’s impact on the environment is a key driver for me. A lot of my work looks at resource use and circular systems.

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences:

I have a love of nature and my work’s impact on the environment is a key driver for me. A lot of my work looks at resource use and circular systems. I’ve worked on projects here and abroad that have aimed to utilise waste materials. I’m influenced by designer’s with a similar ethos and are critical of their impact on the world.

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

Good. It has been full of challenges, some hard, most enjoyable. The course began with a very broad introduction to the breadth of what Product Design means and led to us all being in a position to pursue the areas that complement our interests. The faculty are a real strength of the Product Design course. They’re engaging, supportive and exceptionally knowledgeable of contemporary design. Regardless of the direction you are travelling in, or where your interests lie, they are able to recognize its connection to the course and provide strong references to work from.  

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Product Design?

Initially I wanted a change and a challenge. I knew I would enjoy a course that combines creativity and research, it leads to creating with purpose. Over other courses the studio space we have is unique, it is intimate, casual and creative space which although daunting at first, having fellow students and your tutors constantly wandering past your desk and your work is incredibly beneficial. Forget the scheduled contact time, some of the most informative conversations I have had have been quick 10 minute chats on the fly.

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A model car made of brightly coloured cardboard

Graduates 2023: Max Male, Product Design BSc(Hons)

The strengths of the course are it’s passionate lecturers and the flexibility they give you to discover the stuff you care about

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

I’m an explorative maker and designer. My work is about fun, learning and making with a strong focus on sharing that with others. I’m also really interested in the psychology behind how we interact with objects and the hidden stories those objects tell. My graduate project SnapKit! is an invention toy that enables you to turn cereal boxes into inventions with a hole-punch and connectors. It enables anyone to unlock their invention potential! 

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

I’ve loved my time at Brighton and the strengths of the course are its passionate lecturers and the flexibility they give you to discover the stuff you care about (not to mention the amazing studio atmosphere). 

 What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I’ll be continuing with a design internship and teaching windsurfing whilst I convert my van to travel in over winter!

Find out more: www.maxmalemakes.com

Follow Max on Instagram @max.male.makes

Graduates 2023: Hannah Puttick, Interior Architecture BA(Hons)

I feel I’ve had the opportunity to experiment more and make some really good friendships.

Throughout my work I have found I’m interested in both sustainability and film. Within most of my projects, I have looked into sustainable building materials, using this topic as a base for my dissertation, “The Future of Building Materials”. Film has been a more recent interest, which started at the beginning of this year with our AD699 cultures module, where we looked into where we might find ourselves in the future. However, it was solidified with my most recent project, which looked into the film Her, by Spike Jonze. This project allowed me to explore this avenue further, experimenting with creating a design to reflect the actions and emotions of a film.