UCEM awarded research funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering

Posted on: 21 May, 2024

UCEM is proud to announce that it has received £29,880 funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering, as part of its commitment to Widening Participation to Higher Education and the built environment.

UCEM’s project, known as ‘Eerie Engineering’, is part of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious public engagement award. This scheme looks for projects ‘that will reach diverse and underrepresented communities across the whole of the UK’.

The Project Team for Eerie Engineering comprises Professor Angela Lee, Dr Muhammad Rana, Sharon Youngson-Baines and Charlotte Thackeray. The team will be looking to capitalise on the popular ‘Horrible Histories’ by Scholastic format, by providing interest in the engineering of sustainable buildings, including the ‘long drop toilet’ and the stealth window tax.

UCEM graduate engineers will be recruited and supported to engage with young people (school years 5-7) across the UK through a series of outreach activities to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Feats from across the world will be purposely selected (such as the Indian Hawa Mahal – the ‘Palace of Winds’ – which is constructed in a manner that alleviated the need for foundations and mechanical ventilation) to inspire and engage a diverse group of children.

As Charlotte Thackeray, Outreach and Inclusion Lead at UCEM, commented:

“Raising awareness of the built environment is so important, especially when it comes to working in schools, but learning about the history of structures is a great way of establishing what has been done in the past and how we can adapt them for the future.”

Prof Angela Lee, Associate Dean – Research said:

This project is of huge importance to me, inspiring the next generation of girls and diverse ethnic backgrounds. I was the first in my family to study buildings – my parents at the time never understood what career would come from a Chinese girl in a male dominated industry – needless to say, they’ve eaten their words!”