Five of our Year 12 students have spent recent months working on a project to develop an improved clean air ventilation system for the Hazelwood, Derby branch of Lubrizol UK, a company that specialises in the making of chemical lubricants.
The brief for the new system was that it had to be just as efficient as one currently in place whilst minimising the amount of down-time, increasing productivity.
The project, which was part of the STEM based initiative ‘Engineering Education Scheme’, involved students working with an industrial link to develop real life engineering problem-solving skills. This scheme is very much valued by the engineering departments at universities so our participating students, who are of the most academic in their year, jumped at the opportunity to take part.
Students visited Lubrizol at the start of the project to be briefed on the problem; then were able to visit Loughborough University for a two day residential experience to make use of their engineering facilities to build anything required to help provide a solution.
Whilst working on their projects, the students were teamed up alongside a group of university students already on placement at Lubrizol whilst David Moss, the Senior Mechanical Engineer, supervised them.
Sadly the students were only able to complete 90% of the project before coronavirus put a halt to things, which also meant the students weren’t able to present their full solution at Cranmore Park in Birmingham as planned. Instead they completed their work together online.
Mr Moss sounded very impressed by the ability of our students, explaining their working solution, which involved increasing fan numbers in the product testing engine cells from two up to seven, could save the company thousands of lost pounds every year due to lost productivity, which can occur when the fans need maintenance and the cells have to shut down. He is keen to install our students’ innovation in the future.
We now wish them the best of luck to see where they come placed in the final judging at the end of the month.