Media release - 26/3/2009

Southampton University wins £1000 ETB award for best engineering event

The University of Southampton today beat off stiff competition to win the inaugural ETB award for ‘Best Engineering Event’ to take place during National Science and Engineering Week 2009. The Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) and the British Science Association established the prestigious cash award to encourage imaginative and inspiring entries to National Science and Engineering Week, and the University of Southampton this year came up trumps with engineering day for all the family.

A fun-filled day of hands on activities, workshops and demonstrations, the event featured seven themed activity zones including Space, Technology, Life, Transport, Construction, Light, and Chemistry. Amongst other things, children and parents were given the opportunity to:
• Pilot the Airbus A380 super jet in the flight simulator
• Try their hand at sailing with a yacht wind tunnel
• Watch the launch of a rocket-powered model of the Bloodhound supersonic car
• Experiment with lights and lasers
• Make slime and silly putty, or bubbles that bounce in mid-air
• Have a go at constructing their own bridge and see what weight it can take
• Discover how the human body changes throughout your lifetime - inside and out

Competition entries were judged according to the following criteria: their effective communication of engineering principles; their innovative and engaging presentation of science and engineering; and their effective self evaluation. Other finalists in the ‘best engineering event’ category included Knottingly Sports Centre and Grange Technology College for their Design a Hovercraft Day, and Go4Set East Midlands Celebration and Assessment Day, which encouraged students to work with local companies on environmental engineering projects.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Technology Board, said: ‘The ETB is delighted to award Southampton University the National Science and Engineering Week prize for Best Engineering Event. We congratulate them for providing an excellent experience, entertaining and informing children, students and parents alike in the wonders of engineering. The ETB established these event awards to recognise and reward the creativity and innovation that goes into each and every NSEW event. Excellent events like this Science and Engineering Day help us all to engage and inspire the engineers of tomorrow.’

Professor Jeremy Kilburn, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics, at Southampton University, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Engineering and Technology Board’s award for Best Engineering Event 2009. With all the amazing activities to choose from, for us to have been selected as the Best Engineering Event is a fantastic achievement and a real testament to all of the effort that is put into celebrating National Science and Engineering Week at the University of Southampton.

“Our Science and Engineering Day has grown from its origins almost ten years ago to encompass activities from across the spectrum of science, engineering and medicine. This year we had over 2500 visitors on our Highfield campus for a day of demonstrations, lectures and interactive activities. Over 200 people are involved in organising the day and I would certainly like to thank all of them for all the hard work they put in to making it such a success. We certainly hope that all the young people who visited us were inspired and will choose to continue to study science and engineering subjects in the future.”

Notes to Editors
1) National Science and Engineering Week (6 to 15 March) is coordinated by the British Science Association and funded by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills. Some 2,000 events will take place across the UK, celebrating science, engineering and technology and their importance in our lives. The programme is hugely varied with an eclectic mix suitable for people of all ages and abilities.

2) The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities.

With over 22,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover of more than £370 million, the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Web Science Research Initiative, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies and the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute.

For further information please contact:
Laura Marsh, PR and Communications Manager EngineeringUK
Tel: 020 3206 0444 or (m) 07887 943 017