Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Young engineers take on disaster relief challenge for British science week

17 March 2017
HMS Sultan welcomed youngsters from across England recently to take part in the Royal Navy University Training College Young Engineers Challenge – Operation Amphibious Angel 2017.

Held in partnership with University Technical Colleges (UTCs), Young Engineers and BAE Systems, the challenge encourages young people to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

A total of 70 teams competed in the Challenge, with several of the teams enjoying the opportunity to experience 24 hours of naval life, including a night on board HMS Bristol.

Themed around the Royal Navy’s role of providing disaster relief, the students were tasked with designing a remote controlled vehicle capable of operating on land and water, negotiating dangerous debris and retrieving vital supplies from a safe location and deliver them to the affected island.

With the event falling in British Science Week, 10 – 19 March it gave everyone involved the chance to demonstrate how organisations such as the Royal Navy, UTC, Young Engineers and BAE Systems across the engineering industry are encouraging young people into STEM careers.

The Challenge was hosted within an aircraft hangar normally used by Air Engineering Technicians from the Defence College of Technical Training’s Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School (RNAESS) and in between competing, the students were given the opportunity to look at a number of aircraft and enjoy a number of interactive displays around the arena.

In addition youngsters were given tours of marine engineering training facilities used by the Defence School of Marine Engineering (DSMarE) including Diesel Engines and thunderous Gas Turbines.

Within a display of industry apprentices up to the age of 25, Royal Navy students from the RNAESS and DSMarE and the Weapons Engineering Training Group (WETG),HMS Collingwood were put up against teams from RAF Cosford and competition sponsor BAE Systems with Cosford’s team ‘Lateral Thinking’ proving the most efficient model.

A total of 11 prizes were presented across three categories to the teams taking part, with Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) Rear Admiral John Clink OBE presenting the overall winners awards.

Team ‘HMS Saviour 2.0’ from The Leigh UTC, was declared overall winners in the 16-18 category and the students were absolutely delighted with their award. Justin Chapman(17) said::”Our boat was made up in two stages, it was a boat vehicle and a land vehicle.”

“We actually entered the competition last year with a design that focussed on having two hulls and this year we decided to evolve our old design and include dual thrust which we think helped it what manoeuvres.”

“After all that effort to actually get something out it and win feels amazing.”

Sukhdeep Bhambra(17) Said: “We made sure that our design was amphibious but could also be used on the land and that made it easier to capture all the obstacles.”

“We had two runs with the vehicle throughout the day and made a few changes in the second to try it without the claw, which didn’t work quite as well, but the vehicle still had lots of power.”

“It feels really good to accomplish something.”

Charles Parker,CEO of UTCs Said: “It is great to see 18 UTCs sending 212 students to this event and I know they have been working really hard to get ready for it.

The RN UTC Engineering Challenge is an excellent example of the practical application of the theoretical learning they have done in school. We are very grateful for all the support the Royal Navy provides, running this programme for so many UTCs and local schools.”

Assistant Chief Of Staff Training, Commodore Andy Cree Royal Navy said: “The Royal Navy is proud to support the UTC Engineering challenge at HMS Sultan. The event is about inspiring the engineers and scientists of tomorrow and encouraging innovation.

"It enables the Royal Navy to highlight the variety of exciting roles and opportunities available to engineers, not just within the Royal Navy, but across the whole engineering and scientific community, which in turn, is helping to build a better future for the United Kingdom.”

RN UTC Young Engineers Challenge – Operation Amphibious Angel 2017 Awards

Best Presentation presented by Brig Richard Bennett, Commandant DCTT

14-16 yr olds: Team Axcel, Scarborough UTC
16-18 yr olds: Trident Tested, Lincoln UTC

Best Design presented by Caroline Dinenage MP for Gosport

14-16 yr olds: HMS Bismark, Reading UTC Team
16-18 yr olds: Hybrid, South Devon UTC

Valiant Effort presented by Capt Tim Neild RN, CO HMS Albion

14-16 yr olds: Team Archimedes, Humber UTC
16-18 yr olds: HMS Danger, UTC Reading

Runner up presented by BAE Snr Representative, Brooke Hoskins, Transformation Director

14-16 yr olds: Turtle Power, South Wiltshire UTC
16-18 yr olds: Trident Tested, Lincoln UTC

Overall Winners presented by Flag Officer Sea Training RAdm John Clink OBE

14-16 yr olds: HMS Dumper, UTC Reading
16-18 yr olds: HMS Saviour 2.0, The Leigh UTC
Industry Apprentices: Lateral Thinking, RAF Cosford

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.