Young members

CHAIN conference for young engineers

Daniel Merryweather, YMB

CHAIN conference 2016
CHAIN conference 2016

Daniel Merryweather writes about the inaugural CHAIN conference for young engineers.

Over 150 keen delegates attended the CHAIN conference for young engineers on Saturday 13 February.

Speakers from a wide variety of Institutions gave fascinating lectures on topics ranging from the Google Car to the 1,050mph Bloodhound Super Sonic Car!

Did you know that once Bloodhound hits it top speed, it will become the fastest vehicle in low earth orbit; land and air?! Representatives from the IMechE and Bloodhound gave an exciting presentation showing the amazing aspects of the project. We can’t wait for the test drive (up to 200mph) in Newquay later this year!

Is engineering really a man’s world? Kathleen Harrison (Leader of the ICE in the North West) talked about the choices she made during her education that led to her spending over a decade working on-site, and the challenges of creating a diverse workforce in the construction industry.

Keith McCabe represented the IET and gave insight into the changing nature of the transport industry and the opportunities for today’s young engineers. In December 2015 Google and Ford joined forces to develop a self-driving car; around the same time, Arriva won the Northern Rail franchise that will run to 2025. Which is more significant for careers for young engineers in the North West?

Peter Bradbury from the RAeS gave a fascinating insight into the world of aviation and how much of a challenge it is to gets things right first time! His talk considered why aeronautical engineering is so unforgiving, and in that, so exciting!

To keep the theme up with transport, Stephen Head of the Young Rail Professionals provided an overview of his career to date in the rail industry, which highlighted the wide and varied opportunities and exciting challenges the growing and vibrant industry holds.

Jonathan Aylen introduced the Newcomen Society and gave a talk on “Innovation in a Closed World” (Which means we’re not allowed to tell you anything more….!). Only joking, He discussed the remarkable story of development of military projects in the UK during the Cold War.(Don’t tell anyone).

He also showed how digital control was pioneered in Wythenshawe, Manchester during the early 1960’s and the even more unlikely story of the engineering behind the first atomic bomb in Britain (A hot water bottle manufacturer in Barnsley supplied vital components!).

Allan Mann is a structural engineer and with nearly 50 years of wide experience on the design and construction of all kinds structures. He has worked general building projects; the nuclear and defence industries and on ‘rides’/moving structures. He has worked on dispute resolutions and investigated many failures (e.g. 4 cables snapping whilst lifting the London Eye!).

All of the speakers added to the day by providing stalls along the main area within MMU’s John Dalton Faculty of Science and Engineering, along with stalls from the IDGTE.

Programmes, freebies, mugs and pens were snapped up throughout the day and not a crumb of the free lunch was left!

A huge thanks to all the speakers, supporters, volunteers and staff who help the day be a huge success! Videos from the event can be found on the CHAIN website.

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