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Greenpower regional launch puts Salford in pole position to attract students

Mar 13, 2018

The VC addresses the audience at the launch event
The VC addresses the audience at the launch event

Last Wednesday (7 March) New Adelphi foyer was a buzz of excitement as crowds gathered round several racing cars being exhibited as part of the Greeenpower Electric Car Challenge launch event.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Marshall welcomed University students, staff, industry representatives and schoolchildren and teachers saying: “Our single priority at the University is collaborating with employers to produce industry- focused research and equip our students for the jobs of the future.

“Working in partnership with businesses is a “win win” situation and a very natural part of our DNA. We were the driving force behind the rapid industrial growth in the past and we aim to power the next industrial revolution.

“Whether you’re studying engineering, graphic design, photography, marketing, there’s a role on the University of Salford Greenpower team for you.  Grab it with both hands.  And colleagues, please encourage your students to get involved – your advice will be a real boost for them.

Let’s look forward to the day when we take a podium position as Greenpower Champions.”

Following Helen’s welcome address Mike Brown, ICZ Engineering and Environments, provided a short overview of the Greenpower Challenge, including a video of the 2017 Greenpower International Finals. He Mike explained how being part of Greenpower would see give students the chance to compete head-to-head against many industry teams including the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Graduate team ‘Driven’. Getting involved in Greenpower will give students industry-relevant experience and key workplace skills.   This long-running and high successful ‘design-build-race’ challenge is also aligned to the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Signing up to Greenpower was particularly timely, with the launch of our autonomous and driverless technology programme this September and it being the Year of Engineering.

Andrew Cowey, Head of Digitalisation at Siemens, emphasised how important it was for companies like his to employ graduates with skills fit for the future and how involvement in Greenpower helped ensured just that. Through being part of the team, students gained those all-important soft skills. It was also a very inclusive project which saw a high proportion of women as well as men involved.

Kevin Gornall, a teacher from Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College, talked about what their pupils got out of the project. Sandbach students Emily and Sophie joined Kevin on stage to talk about some of the benefits participation in the Greenpower Challenge had given them, such as improved confidence, access to industry and mentoring skills.  Following the Sandbach presentation Gavin Woodruff, Development Manager from the Greenpower Education Trust presented the School with the Greenpower Centre of Excellence award.

The audience were then able to hear from Dave Cullimore, Design Engineer, Prodrive, who had been so fired up by building Greenpower electric cars in sixth form, that he built his own car in his Dad’s shed, clearly demonstrating that getting involved in Greenpower did not have to be an expensive commitment.

David went on to say: “Because of Greenpower, I developed a passion for aerodynamics and it has led me into my current career at Prodrive.”

The morning concluded with two graduates from the JLR Driven team.  One JLR graduate, Charlotte,  and former Sandbach student- shared her thoughts on how being in the Greenpower team at secondary school had given her the competitive edge when applying for jobs, as well as developing key problem-solving skills which meant she could hit the ground running when she started her job at Jaguar Land Rover.

After lunch, teachers from several local secondary schools and colleges took part in a workshop identifying how the the Greenpower Challenge could be rolled out to their schools. A similar project – Project Blyth – had seen resounding success in Hull.

Keep an eye on US News Channel to see how our first University of Salford Greenpower team gets on. If you have any questions or want to get involved, please visit https://www.salford.ac.uk/greenpower-challenge

Click the photo below for a gallery of images from the event on our Flickr account.

 

Greenpower Electric Car Launch