The Bablake team was presenting its solution for a flood alleviation scheme for Little Hadham in Hertfordshire, namely an innovative plan to create a bypass and flood alleviation scheme in one. This was a solution that had assessed as many possible human, physical and environmental constraints as possible, as well as producing a physical plan.
Mr Chris West (Head of Design Technology), who has been prepping Bablake's EES teams since 1994, in a 23 year link with the scheme, said: "Once again, I have been extremely proud of this year's EES team. Abilan, Lucie, Luke and Tommy produced an outstanding solution to the real-life problem set by our excellent Arup link engineers, Phil Brunson and Chirag Morjaria.
Long hours spent before and after school or in their own holiday time produced a tremendous outcome. As well as compiling a comprehensive report, the team created a highly effective live model of their solution and a highly commended presentation for the EES judges. Overall, the insight into life as an engineer has proved an inspiring experience and I look forward to seeing how the whole scheme benefits the team's eventual career decisions.
For now, the team has its lives back - before AS and internal exams appear later this month!"
Bablake has been most fortunate to have worked on the EES since the 2000-01 academic year with Arup, a much valued partnership. This year, it was very apparent how much time Phil Brunson and Chirag Morjaria invested in our team's development with a project that is a keen focus in Arup's work with the Environment Agency.
Last week the team was most honoured to meet Arup engineer Oliver Nicholas who has been leading work on the real project in Little Hadham. At yesterday's Celebration and Assessment day, the team also met Environment Agency Technical Advisor Steven Whipp who has been working on the project with Arup. Impressed with the team's solution and approach, he congratulated our students on the comprehensive depth their report and model demonstrated. He was also impressed with the proposed solution, the innovation shown, the practical testing and their confident explanation of the project.
After setting up its project display, the Bablake team prepared for its panel presentation, a 20 minute exercise. Later in the day, these judges visited the team's stand and probed further into the project with excellent questions. During the rest of the day, there was a chance to visit other displays and share benefits of the scheme. In the final hour of the day, everyone gathered for a set of presentations.
The message in the final part of the day and, indeed across the whole experience, was consistently about the professional advantages gained from participating in the scheme: for example, the experience of team project management, practice at being challenged to explain and justify their project's decisions, all the professional contacts gained, the creativity and discipline of producing a practical portfolio, the presentation experience et al!
In one of the talks at the end of the day, Becky Sims, a JCB undergraduate studying engineering at Loughborough University spoke of her journey via EES, Headstart, Year in Industry (with Rolls Royce), and Go4SET mentoring, emphasising engineering was for everyone with passion and a drive.
Our EES students have, as always, been a credit to Bablake, their parents, and sponsor company Arup; they will undoubtedly go on to make every use of the opportunities presented by the experience.