We were thrilled to hear about our ERA Arkright Scholar – Mridhula – winning last years Schools’ Aerospace Challenge.
The ‘Born to Engineer’ campaign covers all outreach work by the ERA Foundation. Our website is designed to promote engineering and support the UK’s next generation of engineers but we also support a wide range of Engineering and STEM scholarships and attempts to raising the profile of the engineering and manufacturing industry through supporting lectures, seminars and conferences, including a number of fantastic Arkright Scholarships each year.
Mridhula was part of Team Cascade from Kendrick school. They decided to enter the Schools’s Aerospace Challenge 2020 and after completing their project during lockdown one last year. Their project was then shortlisted, and the team was grilled by the judges before they eventually clinched the £1000 prize.
The teams’ enthusiasm for engineering really shines through with their dynamic exploration of the various types of Hybrid Power alternatives that are possible in aviation.
Their team researched everything from the most suitable in a new tactical airlift capability for the RAF (tactical airlifting transports people, supplies and equipment through the air within an area where important military events are taking place, or in locations of emergencies) to turboprop engines and the main environmental impacts of the power system currently in use in aircraft, before starting on their own design.
The final submission entailed converting mechanical power produced from burning biofuel in an engine into electrical power and showed how it could be dissipated across the propellers and the rest of the aircraft systems to allow for higher efficiency and reduced fuel consumption (while removing harmful emissions such as sulphur dioxide and carbon particulates).
The team used batteries their design alongside a charging method that harnessed wind energy through the tilt-rotor propellers and a combined motor-generator.
From their 5-page research report, they were selected as one of 12 teams for the final round – an online presentation of the design to the judges with a Q&A.
Over the summer they were told that we were one of the 6 winning teams and had won £1000.
Mridhula explained that they had “thoroughly enjoyed the process, having joined this competition with little to no knowledge on aircraft power systems. We all learnt an incredible amount about the aerospace industry and were absolutely thrilled to have this exposure. Working in lockdown was also quite different, as we were not able to meet face-to-face until school opened this year, resulting in spending hours together on Google Meets coordinating our research”.
The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Programme is open to all Year 11 students in England and Wales, S4 students in Scotland and Year 12 students in Northern Ireland. If you are a school or student who would like apply visit The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Programme for information on key dates for the programme.