The Royal Academy of Engineering launches the Lowestoft Engineering Project this week, working with schools and colleges in the town to inspire the next generation of engineers.

The launch will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 25 November at Lowestoft Sixth Form College, where students from across the town will take part in a specially designed challenge to design a model racing wheelchair. Students will share their results and thoughts with invited guests from schools, local industry and local government.

The project aims to generate enthusiasm and a stronger skills base among Lowestoft’s young people through first-hand experience of engineering, visits to companies, real engineering projects, challenges, and other extra-curricular activities. By building links between schools and local employers, the project aims to show young people  the engineering work opportunities in the area.

During the three-year Lowestoft Engineering Project, the Academy, together with the Ogden Trust and Suffolk County Council, will provide funding of up to £50,000 a year to enrich Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) teaching in all secondary schools and colleges in the town, as well as nominated primary schools. The project will also provide summer internships in the local energy industry in association with Waveney District Council, and set up a partnership of educators and representatives from local engineering employers to highlight the range of local career opportunities available to students.

There is expected to be a demand for 1.8 million new engineers and technicians in the UK by 2022. However, there is a lack of people taking up training in the industry and a shortfall of over 550,000 is expected. To help address this demand and create a long-term sustainable skills supply in Suffolk, the Royal Academy of Engineering is setting up the Lowestoft Engineering Project to encourage more young people from a more diverse range of backgrounds to become engineers and technicians.

Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The Academy is delighted to launch another regional engineering project. Our award-winning work in London, Wales, Cumbria and Staffordshire shows that there are brilliant young engineering minds in schools and colleges around the UK. It is exciting to see who we will find in Lowestoft as they could be the inspiration and force for a transformation in the town. Engineering is vital to society and the economy - locally, regionally and nationally – and we are proud to help Lowestoft produce more of its own engineering heroes, like Sir Christopher Cockerell, who invented the hovercraft.”

Perry Linsley, Headteacher at Pakefield High School said: “I am delighted that Pakefield High School has been given the opportunity to work with the Royal Academy of Engineering and has been chosen to take a lead role in promoting STEM education in Lowestoft. Pakefield was founded on the specialisms of Engineering and Performing Arts, which together are helping us to raise expectations and aspirations and this forward-thinking engineering project will help us drive up standards in STEM.”

Event details
Students at the Lowestoft Engineering Project launch (Lowestoft Sixth Form College)

Lowestoft Sixth Form College, Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 2PJ

Wednesday 25 November 2015, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

1:00               Event Opens

1:00 – 2:00    Networking & opportunity to discuss STEM challenge with students

2:00 – 2:30    Presentations

  • Yolanda Botham, Principal, Lowestoft Sixth Form College – Welcome
  • Jo Pretty, Principal, Lowestoft College
  • Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering & Education, Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Dominic Nolan – Presentation of Student Certificates
  • Judith Masters, Project Coordinator, Royal Academy of Engineering – Project Overview
  • Helen Cavill, Process and Improvement Manager, M&H Plastics
  • Mark Bee, on behalf of Peter Aldous MP

To attend the event, contact Lynda Mann at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0686
E: Lynda Mann

Notes for editors

  1. Dr Rhys Morgan is available for interviews. Please contact the Royal Academy of Engineering press office to make arrangements.
  2. The schools and colleges already signed up to take part in the Lowestoft Engineering Project are: Benjamin Britten High School, East Point Academy, Lowestoft College, Lowestoft Sixth Form College, Ormiston Denes Academy, Pakefield High School. Primary schools will join shortly.
  3. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655
Aaron Boardley