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October 2013 Young Member Newsletter

A message from Ruth Shilston, new Chair of the Young Members Board

So this is my first newsletter as the Young Members Board chair and as an Executive Team we have really started our two year term with a bang.

Firstly I would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated for the young member of the year award and in particular Abbie Hutty who was our overall winner this year.  You can read more about Abbie and all of the category winners below. 

The main focus for any new Chair is the Young Members Strategy Weekend, which this year was held in Bristol. Thirty members of the Young Members Board, plus guests from other institutions, came together for two days of debate, idea generation and networking.  In particular, I was delighted to welcome so many new faces this year, who bought with them a host of new ideas and really challenged me to think about why we do things the way that we do.  The Executive Team and I are still following up on a number of ideas from the weekend which will feed into our 2014 strategy. 

Things don’t slow down this autumn, next week I am taking part in the Construction and Building Services Young Member Debate, then in November I will attend the Annual Dinner before our final meeting of the year where we will agree what projects we are going undertake next year.      

Finally, I would like to remind you all that there are two grants available to support your young member activities, details of which can be found via the following link.

Ruth Shilston

Chair Young Members Board

Railway Challenge inspires tomorrow’s engineers

Inspiring the next generation is a constant challenge for the IMechE, in terms of both the future talent and technology, to improve the world we live in. The Railway Division has successfully risen to that call by organising the Railway Challenge, competition which, similarly to Formula Student, requires them to design and manufacture a small scale locomotive to compete in a series of track-based challenges.

The exciting Railway Challenge 2013 competition followed an equally impressive pilot event in 2012, with both showcasing young engineers and their locomotives to those eagerly looking on.

The challenge is aimed at students, apprentices and recent graduates and the principal challenge is to use regenerative braking to recover and store energy to then propel the train again, a successful solution to which will draw significant interest from the wider industry. Other challenges include a traction challenge and ride comfort challenge as well as presentation based challenges to demonstrate compliant locomotive design and to make a business case to supply locomotives to a ‘corporation’. Additional challenges are proposed for 2014 to assess locomotive reliability and environmental impact.

Teams from academia and industry have entered to date stimulating much thought and discussion to those attending regarding the innovation and potential for future implementation of the technologies on show in real railway applications.

As well as being a platform for novel solutions, the challenge provides participants with excellent exposure to the softer skills of project management and inspires them with the challenges and excitement a career in the rail industry offers.

Teams are now welcomed for 2014 (the challenge runs with the academic year) from industry, or academic institutions, or even joint teams. Further information is available on the challenge website or by contacting railwaychallenge@imeche.org.

University of Huddersfield, the 2013 Railway Challenge Winn‚Äčing Team

Young Members Taming the Wild West

The recently formed Young Members of Western Australia have shown that a lot can be achieved in a relatively short space of time by already holding university open days and site visits, and are even planning a social event in November 2013 and a full calendar of events for 2014.

The Young Members of Western Australia got together in May 2013 to establish the state’s first ever Young Members’ Group. In addition, students at Perth’s University of Western Australia (UWA) and Curtin University have also established the first ever Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Student Chapters in the state.

The rapid growth and success of Western Australia is built on engineering, with the state’s wealth coming from the design and development of world class resource and infrastructure projects.

The aim of the new Group and Chapters is to support the development of this huge community of Young Engineers in Western Australia from the start of their careers, right through to professional registration and beyond. We want to provide a network for Young Engineers in the state to grow and develop together.

Since May, the team has been working hard to raise the profile of the Institution in the state through social media presence and university open days, attracting almost 100 new members to the Institution. Our first event was very well received – a presentation at UWA on Routes to Professional Registration – with a follow up event planned for Curtin University later in the year. We are running site visits to GE Oil and Gas’ Jandakot Subsea Service Facility and to Atlas Copco’s Mining Equipment Rental and Service Facility at Perth Airport in September and October. On September 25th we are hosting the state final of Speak Out for Engineering with five students and recent graduates competing for a place at the national competition in Adelaide in February 2013. We also have a social event arranged for the 7th of November with the aim of finding existing young members who have fallen out of touch with the institution since arriving in the West.

With a full calendar of events being planned for 2014, and a growing network of Young Engineers in the State, the future is looking very bright for the IMechE in Western Australia.

If you would like to get involved, or would like more information on any of our events, please head over to our NearYou site or contact us on WAYMrep@imechenetwork.org.

Dan Stewart IEng MIMechE

Chair, West Australian Young Members’ Group”

Huge Engines in Huge Ships

Yun-Hang Cho of the South Yorkshire Young Member’s Panel recounts a speech given by ex-Merchant Seaman, John Illingworth,  about the design, technology and sheer scale of the diesel engines that are in today’s ships.

According to Mr Illingworth, speaking to the on 16th May at the Source Skills Academy in Meadowhall, Sheffield, it used to be that “big” was used to describe passenger liners but nowadays, “big” is used to describe cargo ships instead. With some as long as 4 football fields and so big that they could not even travel in the English Channel, these ships require massive power.

Having explained the intriguing origins of the word “barrel”, “gallons” and “gross tonnage”, we discovered that newest ships can now carry up to 14,000 containers and have special loading and unloading sequences to stop ships tipping over.

But these engineering marvels have been around for a while already. In the titanic, the engine had 10 feet wide diameter piston heads (its piston rings were made in Sheffield and one is still on display somewhere!)

Some engines are so massive that they have 14 or even 18 pistons that can be up to 70 feet tall! That’s ten full lamp posts above each other! Naturally due to the shockingly large pistons, it must be accompanied with massive alternators and the valves at the top of each shaft can even change timing!




Picture of the Titanic from http://blog.thehenryford.org/2012/04/titanic-trivia-tuesday-constructing-the-titanic/

Stories of how changing oil grade led to contradictions with other oils causing foams everywhere! Foolish designs of the past further enhanced this magical insight into what really are “Huge Engines in Huge Ships”

If you have an interest in huge ships, the world’s largest ship, the Maersk Triple E  is currently doing a “tour” around the world as part of its launch. For more information please visit http://www.worldslargestship.com/ . 

Soft Skills for Engineers

A cross-institution ‘Soft Skills for Engineers’ event, held at the University of Nottingham this September turned out to be a great success, providing expert-led interactive workshops and great opportunities for networking.


Kathryn Taylor, Amit Mistry, Holly Ross, Elaine Cornell and Dave Hudson - The Soft Skills for Engineers Organising Team

In engineering industry today, non-technical skills such as team working and interpersonal skills are recognised as being as important as technical competence.

On Thursday 19th September a group of young members from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Institution of Electronics and Technology (IET) and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) decided to organise a non-technical training course for engineers in the East Midlands area. The full day event, held at the University of Nottingham, consisted of three workshops focusing on networking skills, communication skills and intellectual property in engineering industry.

Each session was led by experienced trainers and experts in their field. Representative from each of the institutions also attended and gave a talk on different routes to professional registration.

The event attracted almost 50 participants from companies across the East Midlands. The feedback was also extremely positive, with many people wanting to know when the next ‘Soft Skills for Engineers' event was planned. Overall the day provided an excellent networking opportunity, and showcased the coming together of engineers from the IMechE, IET and ICE.

The Organising Team would like to thank all the delegates who attended for making the event a success. They would also like to thank the trainers from IET Life Skills, Capella and Adamson Jones for organising some very enjoyable and interactive workshops. They would also like to thank the three institutions for their support.

To find out more about this event and future similar events in your local area please email softskillsforengineers@gmail.com .

The Soft Skills for Engineers Organising Team look forward to hearing from you soon!

Young Member of the Year Awards 2013

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) is committed to rewarding and recognising the efforts of our volunteers and as such, the Young Member of the Year Awards are one way to recognise and congratulate all Young Members.

The Young Member of the Year Awards, announced in September, are member-driven, with each of the winners having been nominated by another IMechE member who has worked with them or joined an event they have organised. 

This year’s Overall Young Member of the Year was won by Abbie Hutty, who was nominated by her Young Member’s Panel Chair, James Pache. In describing Abbie’s contributions over the past year he wrote:

“Abbie organises and promotes events for Eastern Region Young Members, hosts company visits, and maintains social media profiles related to and promoting engineering. She attends events at HQ, is an active STEM Ambassador, gives lectures to University students and institutional and special interest groups, and has given television, radio, and press interviews.”

Abbie is an active STEM ambassador having completed numerous events for both primary and secondary school students. She is actively developing two presentations for future primary STEM activities, focussed on Space and the Mars Rover. She has promoted the STEM ambassador programme around her employer and has received an award from Astrium for her “Exceptional Contribution to STEM Ambassador Scheme”.


Abbie Hutty accepting her Young Member of the Year Award from the IMechE President, Patrick Kniveton at the Visionary Awards 2013

Of the four category winners, Siddartha Khastgir won his category due to his ‘Outstanding contribution to Member Engagement’. He is the Southern Asia Region Webmaster and Board Member and Editor of the India Branch Newsletter and has been instrumental in setting up a new Fellowship process for senior academics in the Region. He also helped HQ in organizing the 1st IMechE conference in India in the automotive field by manning the IMechE stall at the conference.

Abhishek Bhatia won his category for ‘Raising the profile of the profession to primary age children’. He regularly has young engineering graduates at his company participate in different volunteering roles such as School visits under the STEM and Go4SET schemes  and regularly has young engineering graduates at his company participate in different volunteering roles such as School visits under the STEM and Go4SET schemes. He has also actively encouraged others to get involved to share their knowledge and experiences through volunteering.

Lynne Clark, winner of the  ‘inspiring the next generation of engineers’ category , was nominated for inspiring the next generation into engineering by her Mechanical Engineering Director Bob Plant as recognition for her contribution to the Skirting-Science event, an event aimed to educate young women (aged 14-15) on career opportunities within STEM disciplines. Furthermore, Bob has stated that “as a lasting legacy, Lynn designed and developed promotional material to generate passion for engineering within the younger generations. This material has been used at events and airshows at which she volunteered.”

Finally, the winner of the ‘Best use of digital media to increase the profile of engineering and the IMechE’ category was Annie Lam, Co-Vice Chairman of the China Subcommittee of the Hong Kong Branch. Annie has been instrumental to the forming a web-based group within the China Subcommittee as well as helps promote the Institution through talks, technical visits, young inventor design completions and by preparing bi-lingual presentation materials to recruit young student members to join IMechE. She has also taken the lead for the artwork design of backdrops, banners and booklets for the EngNow - 360º Leadership Training held from 13-17 September, 2013 in Hong Kong.

2013 has been a great year for our volunteer network around the world and the YMB Executive Team would like to extend their greatest thanks to all of the volunteers that were nominated. Please visit our website  to read more about the Young Member of the Year Awards. 

Upcoming Events at Brunel University

There are four good events coming up between October and December 2013 at Brunel University in Uxbridge, London, which may be of interest to Young Members. These are run by the Greater London Region North Western Area Panel (GLR NWA) and cover a variety of subjects including Musical Instrument Design, Project Management and Aeroplane Flight Maintenance.

  • The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight maintenance lecture on 23rd October 6pm at Brunel University. Keeping these aeroplanes flying is a major engineering task. If you are interested in this event please download a flyer or please register with Stuart Gabrielson at Stuart.Gabrielson@brunel.ac.uk.
  • Lecture-debate: ‘Inside Music, the Science and Lore of Musical Instrument Design.’ This panel debate is co-staged by Dr Sarah Nicolls  on Wednesday 13th Nov 2013 6pm at the Antonin Artaud Centre (room AA103), Brunel University.   This will be of interest to all engineers but especially to those with an interest in music. If you would like to get involved, please register with Stuart Gabrielson at Stuart.Gabrielson@brunel.ac.uk.  
  • Visit to Syngenta Jealott’s Hill research site which boasts robotics and other high tech, 20th November. Bus leaves from Brunel University pond 13:45 and returns to Brunel University approx. 17:30.  Places are limited and booking is essential. If you are interested in visiting  Syngenta Jealott’s Hill research site please download a flyer or please register with Charles Clarke at c.clarke@those-engineers.co.uk
  • Project management lecture by Doug Rowe of KBR covering the construction of very large process plant:  This presentation covers some of the execution challenges faced by the team working on the design and construction of the Gorgon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant, currently under construction on Barrow Island in Australia. The lecture will cover the experience of Doug Rowe, who held the position of Engineering Manager in one of four project execution centres involved in the engineering of this mega-project. The event will be held on 4th Dec at 6pm at Brunel University. Should you wish to attend this lecture, please register with Stuart Gabrielson  at Stuart.Gabrielson@brunel.ac.uk.

For more information on the GLR NWA and how you can get involved please see their Near You site.

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