Young engineers win prize on Fast Track to success

A group of Stoke on Trent College students has won an award in a competition to design a new Euston rail station for high speed rail as part of a ‘Fast Trackers’ residential careers scheme for young engineers.

Eighteen students, who study engineering, construction or building services at Stoke on Trent College, set off for a 3-day trip to London as part of the Higher Horizons+ Fast Trackers project to inspire more young people into high level engineering roles and university study.

The group caught a specially commissioned train at Stoke Station on Monday and were the only Staffordshire students to take part in the visit, alongside others from Crewe, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

As well as undertaking a behind-the-scenes tour of the new London Bridge Station, the students worked with a team of 40 Network Rail and Mott McDonald engineers to design a new Euston rail station and a high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham.

The competition, which took place at University College London, saw students present their work to senior engineering leaders and a panel of experts.

Stoke on Trent College students won the students’ choice award from their peers, for their proposals on the redesign of Euston Station. Their work was accredited by the Engineering Development Trust, receiving an Industrial Cadets Gold Award.

During the visit students also visited the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In the coming months, the same students will undertake employer visits including ALSTOM, Unipart Rail and Siemens to discover what graduate employment is available and the roles that graduates perform in major engineering and IT companies.

Pete Walters, Head of faculty for Construction, Engineering and Motor Vehicle at Stoke on Trent College, commented: “This residential has been a fantastic experience for all the students involved and we are very proud of their achievements.”

He adds: “The trip was made possible by funding from Higher Horizons+, part of the aspiration-raising National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP).

It was particularly useful for students who study practical subjects such as construction and engineering, to help them see how the skills they learn are used in such high profile projects as Euston Station. It also shows them the high level jobs available if they go on to study these subjects at university – which is something that this particular group of students might not otherwise have considered doing.”

Higher Horizons+ encourages young people from underrepresented groups in higher education.

The Fast Trackers project will enable 140 young people from across Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire who are studying STEM subjects, to visit employers and educational institutions to help inspire their education at a higher level. The project is part funded by NCOP branches Higher Horizons+, FutureU and Greater Manchester Higher, along with Network Rail and Mott MacDonald.

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