A group of pupils from Bishop Gore Comprehensive School worked with staff from the School of Engineering at The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to develop an energy-generating bio-digester system suitable for use in Kibera in Kenya – one of the world’s largest slums.

Their efforts were recognised when they won an Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) award in the South Wales Big Bang Fair.

The team of year 12 and 13 pupils from Bishop Gore Comprehensive School investigated ways to improve the living conditions of the communities in the region settling on a bespoke bio-digester system which, when used with a steam turbine, converted waste products into a useful electrical charge.

The team fought off competition from over 70 other entries to clinch the award for the “Best Appreciation of Environmental Factors”.

Richard Morgan, a senior lecturer in Engineering at UWTSD said: “My colleagues and I were delighted to see the group meet with such success. Industrially relevant engineering solutions are at the core of what we do here at UWTSD. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to support the team with the technical resources on offer within the School of Engineering. This project touched on a number of areas in which we are actively involved. These included Energy and Environmental Engineering as well as Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.  As we move forward, the need for inventive problem solvers will only grow and it’s reassuring to see that the future of engineering is in such capable hands.”

Tawsif Sohail was one of the students involved in the project. He said: “Overall the project was really good. We found it challenging but it really tested our abilities. It’s been a great pleasure working with the university as well, we’re really grateful for the opportunity.”

Tomos Orvillen, another student on the project, said: “It was a really good project, it’s something great to put on our UCAS forms.”

Their science teacher, Robert Young, said: “I think projects like this are vitally important for lots of pupils as it gives them access to resources they wouldn’t necessarily have within schools, to give them opportunities they wouldn’t necessarily have within the school setting either. To be able to work with professionals and with professional institutions is incredibly valuable for these young people, especially if they have careers in engineering or science, it gives them a wealth of opportunity and experience that they might not expect to get otherwise. I think it’s an amazing opportunity.”

Pam Berry, the West Wales Co-Ordinator for EESW, said: “This year’s competition has been very interesting indeed. We’ve had several successful projects in West Wales, and UWTSD were supporting two of the winning projects. Both completely different projects that were very successful.”

EESW along with UWTSD’s School of Engineering are running a free 3-day residential programme at their brand new Swansea Waterfront Campus between the 12th and 14th of September. The action-packed ‘Headstart’ programme is aimed at anyone considering Engineering as a subject choice for Higher Education study. If you are interested in finding out more, please email engineering@uwtsd.ac.uk or visit www.stemcymru.org.

The School of Engineering is part of UWTSD’s Faculty of Architecture, Computing, and Engineering, a multidisciplinary, STEM-based faculty situated in Swansea. It covers architecture, automotive and motorsport engineering, construction, computing, electronics, environmental management, logistics, mechanical and manufacturing engineering.

The Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) is a non-profit, educational charity which has been in existence since 1989. EESW run schemes across Wales to inspire and motivate young people to choose a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

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