Engineering projects and inventions impress visitors to HSDC South Downs

Floating tables, petrol-powered push bikes and lightweight Bluetooth speakers are just a handful of incredible projects and inventions designed by HSDC Engineering students.

Engineering Project Day at the South Downs Campus took place on 12 May, with resourceful students demonstrating their creative engineering skills to HSDC staff, other students and more than 30 local companies.

The event returned for the first time since the pandemic, and students’ talents lived up to expectations with dozens of ingenious creations being shown throughout the day.

Sam Day, Head of Faculty for Vocational STEM, said:

“Engineering Project Day is put on to give students the opportunity to showcase an aspect of their course to employers, a project.

“The students work on this project throughout the first two terms of the academic year with this day as their end-point, developing many vocationally relevant skills along the way.

“The event allows students to develop confidence in their presentation and communication skills and may for some provide opportunities for their progression.”

Second-year apprentice Christopher Lympany created a small bluetooth speaker which could reach 103 decibels – the same as a motorbike – whilst Level 3 student and keen sailor Jim Butler designed a device to measure wind speed and boat speed during sailing.

A motion-controlled light-up shelf was the design created by Level 3 Engineering student Charlie Dube. He said:

“I wanted a shelf that could light up, I wanted to challenge myself to try and make it.

“I have learned quite a lot, I have definitely learned some coding skills and electronics. I have learned integral project management skills, I managed my project and got it done on time.”

Engineering Project Day provides an opportunity for students to practice their engineering skills and become more familiar with various types of equipment.

Amelia Bond, a Level 3 student who is moving on to a four-year apprenticeship, created a 3D noughts and crosses game to hone skills she wanted to improve on, including using a CNC router and a lathe.

Another talented engineer displaying his work was Ethan Diaper, who is studying for the Higher National Certificate in Engineering alongside working for Rochem Fyrewash.

The company, which produces and distributes engine cleaning technology, has adopted Ethan’s project design as a result of his hard work.

Production technician Ethan redesigned the nozzle testing system, slashing the time needed to test each product by around two thirds.

Ethan, who is moving on to study the Higher National Diploma, said:

“The old system being even a few seconds slower adds up over time and costs a lot of money. It’s been put into use at the company.”

With more than 30 employers visiting the event, from firms including SAAB Seaeye, Hovertravel and PALL Corporation, many students were keen to impress in order to secure employment or an apprenticeship.

Staff and employers were impressed with the work shown on the day, and the Engineering department is looking forward to hosting next year’s event