Media release - 9/4/2009

Pupils Set To Play Star Role in Engineering the Future

From 6th to 9th April, 100 students from across UK enjoyed a unique learning experience at Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire. Sponsored by the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) and organised by the Smallpeice Trust, the 4-day residential course provided the pupils with the opportunity to learn about engineering through a series of presentations and practical exercises.
Working in teams, they spent two days of the course tackling ‘real-life’ challenges on projects designed and facilitated by young engineers from industry. The projects included building a gearbox for a 4x4 off- road vehicle, designing and building a communications tower and a dam building challenge to prevent water from flooding a dry dock. As well as working on the design, build and test elements of these projects, they developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, finance and presentation.
The social programme included a reception and formal course dinner at The Royal Airforce Museum, Cosford. The prestigious venue houses one of the largest aviation collections in the UK, and provided a unique setting for the pupils to meet and present their work to senior industrialists from major companies. These included Babcock Marine, BMW, BT, E.ON, Jaguar Land Rover and the Royal Navy.

Dr Andrew Cave, Chief Executive from the Trust commented, “The need for engineers has never been so important. With the generous financial support from the ETB, we have been able to run this short taster course to inspire the next generation of engineers. We look forward to further developing our relationship with the ETB.”

Paul Jackson ,Chief Executive of the ETB, commented: ‘The ETB welcomes and supports many hands-on engineering activities, particularly those with creative and insightful input from business and industry. It is only through practical engineering activities like this that young people will be inspired and equipped to meet the social, environmental and economic challenges of the future.”

The Engineering Experience course is run by the independent charity, the Smallpeice Trust, and sponsored by the ETB as part of an ongoing programme of subsidised residential courses designed to help young people learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing.

Founded by Dr Cosby Smallpeice in 1966, the Trust has grown tremendously over the past 43 years, helping thousands of young people find a successful career in a multitude of disciplines within the industry from marine technology, naval architecture, , and power engineering, to engineering materials, sustainable energy, and technical textiles. Over the last year, over 15,000 students have attended a Smallpeice Trust activity.

The programme is predominantly delivered through subsidised four-day residential training courses designed to stimulate interest in engineering while providing work-related learning through live projects with engineers from a variety of industries. Introductory one-day in-school curriculum enrichment activities are also available to suit school timetables. These are supported by leading industry, educational and professional bodies that help promote, develop and successfully deliver the activities.

Students or teachers interested in finding out further information should visit, or telephone the Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200. Those interested in engineering research or engineering careers advise should visit www
Notes to editors
For more information about careers in engineering, please visit

About The Smallpeice Trust
The Smallpeice Trust is an independent charitable trust which promotes engineering as a career, primarily through the provision of residential courses for young people aged 13 to 18. The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby Smallpeice, a pioneering engineer and inventor of the Smallpeice Lathe.

Following the stock market flotation of his company Martonair, Dr Smallpeice invested his energy and part of his personal fortune to set up the Trust to ensure that British industry could continuously benefit from his proven design and engineering philosophies: “Simplicity in design, economy in production.”

The Trust is now governed by an eminent board of non-executive trustees and members from a diverse range of engineering, industry, educational and professional bodies. This year, The Smallpeice Trust will reach out to over 15,000 young people through over 30 different subsidised 4-day residential courses and 1-day in-school curriculum enrichment activities, offering training in all aspects of Engineering.
A strong interface is maintained with industry, education and professional bodies that help to support, promote and develop the courses. Through these relationships the Trust is also able to provide a number of tailored or specialised courses.

All courses are affiliated to the Royal Academy of Engineering Best Programme and are approved by the Learning Grid quality standard which provides independent assurance that a particular activity will be fit for its stated purpose and offers a benchmark that the activity meets the needs of industry, teachers and individual participants.

For more information about The Smallpeice Trust and the training they provide, please visit