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Future engineers put to the test during Royal Navy disaster relief challenge

Future engineers

HMS Sultan welcomed students from University Technical Colleges (UTCs) across England on 16 March to take part in the Royal Navy UTC Engineering Challenge.

Held in partnership with UTCs, Young Engineers and BAE Systems, the challenge encourages young people to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. 50 teams competed on the day, with several of the teams enjoying the opportunity to experience 24 hours of naval life, including a night on board HMS Bristol.

Themed around the Royal Navy’s role of providing disaster relief, the students were tasked with designing a remote controlled vehicle capable of operating on land and water, negotiating dangerous debris and retrieving vital supplies from a safe location and deliver them to the affected island.

The competition was hosted within an aircraft hangar normally used by Air Engineering Technicians from the Defence College of Technical Training’s Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School. A total of 11 prizes were presented across three categories to the teams taking part, with Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) Rear Admiral John Clink OBE presenting the overall winners awards.

Team ‘HMS Saviour 2.0’ from The Leigh UTC, was declared overall winners in the 16-18 category and the students were absolutely delighted with their award. Justin Chapman(17) said:

Our boat was made up in two stages, it was a boat vehicle and a land vehicle. We actually entered the competition last year with a design that focussed on having two hulls and this year we decided to evolve our old design and include dual thrust which we think helped it what manoeuvres. After all that effort to actually get something out it and win feels amazing.

Speaking about the event, Charles Parker, Chief Executive, Baker Dearing Educational Trust said:

It is great to see 18 UTCs sending 212 students to this event and I know they have been working really hard to get ready for it. The RN UTC Engineering Challenge is an excellent example of the practical application of the theoretical learning they have done in school. We are very grateful for all the support the Royal Navy provides, running this programme for so many UTCs and local schools.

Assistant Chief Of Staff Training, Commodore Andy Cree Royal Navy said:

The Royal Navy is proud to support the UTC Engineering challenge at HMS Sultan. The event is about inspiring the engineers and scientists of tomorrow and encouraging innovation. It enables the Royal Navy to highlight the variety of exciting roles and opportunities available to engineers, not just within the Royal Navy, but across the whole engineering and scientific community, which in turn, is helping to build a better future for the United Kingdom.

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