Nuclear Engineering Course a Resounding Success


Leamington Spa, 3rd August 2011:
From 25th to 28th July, forty-nine teenagers from across the UK have been learning how to solve some of the challenges facing the nuclear industry. The four-day residential course, held at the University of Manchester, was organised by The Smallpeice Trust, in collaboration with the Dalton Nuclear Institute and URENCO.

Over the four days, students took part in a combination of presentations, workshops, practical ‘design and make’ projects, and a final assessment which involved demonstrating their finished product, complete with design drawings, method statements and risk assessments. A variety of topical subjects were tackled including radiation, the environment, health and safety and decommissioning of plants.

The design-and-make project challenged students to design and build a working centrifuge while keeping to a tight budget. Students learnt aspects of team and project management as well as the physics behind centrifuge separation.

As well as working on the design, build and test elements of the projects, they developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, finance and presentation. The social programme included a film night, sports activities and culminated in a formal dinner and disco where students and supporting organisations had the opportunity to socialise and share their experiences of the week.

Dr John Roberts, Nuclear Fellow of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, The University of Manchester commented:
“This has been a really successful partnership between a University and industry to encourage school children to consider a career in science or engineering. Working with The Smallpeice Trust and their vast experience of working with schools, enables the University and industry partners to develop challenges of real relevance to the school curriculum.”

“This is all about growing engineering and scientific talent at the grass roots of our schools”, said Geoff Owens, “At URENCO our continued success, in common with much of the UK’s manufacturing sector, relies on the talent pool of tomorrow, and if this event births a desire in our young people to become engineers or scrientists of the future then we have all really achieved something quite special.”

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Gemma Murphy added, “We are delighted to be partnering with the Dalton Nuclear Institute and URENCO to enthuse the engineers of tomorrow and highlight the diverse career opportunities in the field of nuclear engineering. This kind of course gives the students a taste of university life and a genuine insight into the real-life challenges faced by engineers in the nuclear sector. We see this as a successful collaboration which works for everyone involved.”

The Nuclear Engineering course is run by independent charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is part of an ongoing programme of residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, The Trust has reached out to 17,677 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2012 will be launched in the autumn school term. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit, or telephone The Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200.

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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. In 2009/10, The Smallpeice Trust ran 30 residential courses for 1,700 school-aged students at universities across the country, with girls accounting for 38%. In addition, 15,977 students attended a Smallpeice in-school STEM masterclass.


Gemma Murphy
Head of Marketing and Development
Tel: 01926 333214
Fax: 01926 333202
Email: [email protected]

Claire Fisher
Marketing Support Officer
Tel: 01926 333203
Fax: 01926 333202
Email: [email protected]

The Smallpeice Trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England.
Company number 00882371.
Registered office: Holly House, 74 Upper Holly Walk, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 4JL. Registered Charity number 313719.

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