Industrial Cadets – EDT – Gold Award

13th May 2022

Five year 12 students volunteered to participate in an extra-curricular investigation set up by Engineering Development Trust (EDT) for aspiring young Industrial Engineers.  This was a 20-week programme which started in November, which gave them an experience of problem solving as engineers; and they were given links to a mentor from BAE Systems, who aided them to discuss a planned challenge.  They met up via Teams, on a weekly basis and face to face at a 2-day event, which was coordinated for them to plan the next steps and learn new skills; aided by the mentor.  These sessions were held in the University of Kent’s Engineering Department building in January, allowing the group to suggest possible developments of the idea and move on from any issues.
 
This was the remit plan for the team of industrial cadets - 
 
“What we chose and why...
 
We decided to develop a pair of glasses/visor to attach to helmet, to help a soldier on a battlefield. This was to be developed to provide a soldier with information that would help them to remain as safe as possible and to help the squad or unit they belong to. 
Our initial research was into the Royal Air Force and the American military so we could see what kind of technology is already being used and possible technology that maybe used soon. Once we had gathered this, we began to consider what kind of technology and the use for it in our one design. 
We used the knowledge we already had on the kinds of problems foot soldiers in the Army may find as well as what we had looked at in the Air Force. We then went into researching what the best kind of technology that would be to use, this led us to decide on:
 
1. A sensor that we programmed to alert the wearer of any movement on a given distance. 
 
We did this by using Arduino when we did the workshop at the University of Kent. We learnt how to program properly and how to build a sensor that is fully functioning for our needs, understanding the wiring and circuit boards. 
 
2. Thermal imaging to help see movement and enemy target when camouflaged and at night, would have allowed for tracking/identifying the enemy in darkness as well. 
 
This was researched and compared with night vision to see what more cost was would be effective but would give the best results. We came to this conclusion that although it was more expensive, it worked in all weather and terrain types. However, night vision was limited and only works at night and is not good in all types of weather. 
 
3. Look into materials that we would use if we were to manufacture this product properly.
 
Since we are only doing a prototype, we wouldn’t be able to order and make our product out of the material of choice, however we did investigate getting materials such as Kevlar to make our product out of, as it would be good for protection and quality.”
 
The students wrote a report of what they did and the learning curve that was achieved from the development of the idea.  Sometimes the process was changed and developed by the mentor meetings, which were held weekly. They also completed webinars and a logbook online. This was a very comprehensive and well-planned training programme, giving the students experience into engineering, and contacts at the university and in business.
 
The final process was to present their product and discuss the process to a panel of other mentors in May.  And produced a final group write up. They then answered questions, just like a Dragon’s Den scenario in a presentation about decisions made and the final product produced, with reasons for actions and changes in direction on ideas and lessons learned.
 
Congratulations to:
Sophie Law
Emily Burne
Elliot Glover
Oliver Emery
Marley Adams
 
We would like to also thank EDT and BAE System mentor – Harry for all his hard work with the our school and the team.
 

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