Speedy learning curve for future engineers

Future engineers from local primary and secondary schools learned about the science and technology behind a 1,000 mph record attempt during a visit to Reaseheath College in Nantwich.

Twelve schools from Nantwich, Crewe, Sandbach, Haslington, Stoke and Cannock were invited to take part in activities involving the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), the vehicle which will attempt the 1,000mph land speed record in South Africa in 2016.

Georgina Hardy and Adam Caunt, both 13, from Brine Leas School with their Kinex car

Georgina Hardy and Adam Caunt, both 13, from Brine Leas School with their Kinex car

A replica of Bloodhound SSC, along with its education team, was a key attraction at Reaseheath’s Family Festival in May and remained on campus for a week to allow local pupils to learn more about the exciting project.

The event was run in support of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths), a national education initiative to inspire young people to consider engineering as a career. The UK needs to attract 100,000 new engineers into the industry each year and currently recruits just 30,000 annually.

Up to 120 pupils at Key Stages 2 and 3 visited Reaseheath each day to learn about Bloodhound SSC’s development, which is being supported by some of the world’s leading engineering companies including Rolls Royce.

Braden Jones, Ben Jackson and Bloodhound ambassador Claire Stewart watch Joshua Malkin on simulator

The young people had a chance to look at the car and those who asked the best questions were rewarded with a drive on a simulator. Other activities included constructing and testing an air driven Kinex car, 3D printing and planning a specially prepared desert base for the car and its support teams.

Brine Leas School, Nantwich, Year 8 pupil Georgina Hardy, 13, who had just tested the aerodynamics of her Kinex car, said: “I don’t know what I’m going to do for a career but this has definitely given me an insight into engineering. The whole day has been very interesting and a lot of fun.”

Reaseheath FE Marketing Officer Stephanie Owen explained: “We invited our local schools into college so they could make the most of the wonderful opportunity offered by Bloodhound and its team. Reaseheath totally supports STEM projects and we hope that some of our young visitors will be inspired to become the engineers of the future.”

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Speed car pioneer inspires Reaseheath College’s engineers

The second fastest men on earth has urged Reaseheath College’s motor vehicle and engineering students to reach for the stars by focusing on careers as professional engineers and scientists.

Richard Noble OBE, former holder of the world land speed record and director of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) Project, described the tremendous opportunities which exist in research, design and build as he launched the Nantwich, Cheshire, college’s upgraded motor vehicle technology department.

The state-of-the-art automotive workshops have undergone over one million pounds of investment and are fitted out with the latest diagnostic equipment. During his tour, Richard chatted to students working on a range of modern vehicles including the college’s own hybrid car. He also admired an eco challenge car, built as a competition project by visiting school pupils, which achieves 350 miles per gallon.

Congratulating Reaseheath on its drive to encourage young people to develop technical knowledge, he said: “The facilities and training here are exactly what the future is all about. Britain’s car fleet is getting increasingly more complex and Reaseheath College is consistently raising the bar for next generation engineers.

“It’s been fascinating to meet so many students who are confidently looking towards their future careers and are keen to learn. There’s a nice buzz about the place and the workshops are superb. What’s notable is that these young people already have many of the technical skills they require to get on in the industry.”

After his tour, Richard gave an inspirational talk to the college’s 250 motor vehicle and agricultural engineering students about the advanced technology which will support his attempt on a new land speed record with BloodhoundSSC.

The complex racing car, built by a multi-national team and sponsored by blue chip companies including Rolls Royce, will attempt to reach 800mph in Northern Cape, South Africa in 2015 and a landmark 1,000 mph in 2016. It will be driven by former RAF fighter pilot Wing Comander Andy Green.

Video and data from the exciting project will be streamed live on internet and accessible for colleges and schools.

Richard, a qualified pilot and entrepreneur, held the world land speed record of 633mph from 1983 to 1997 driving Thrust2. He was also project director of ThrustSSC, the vehicle which set the current land speed record of 763mph in 1997.

IMIAL Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair students Debra Bligh-Wall, Corey Walton, Will Blackshaw and Cody Brookes meet Richard Noble in Reaseheath’s automotive workshops

IMIAL Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair students Debra Bligh-Wall, Corey Walton, Will Blackshaw and Cody Brookes meet Richard Noble in Reaseheath’s automotive workshops

Cody Brookes, 17, an IMIAL Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair student said: “Listening to Richard was amazing and so inspiring. When we hear that Bloodhound has exceeded 1,000 mph we’ll remember this day as the time we met him at Reaseheath.”

Richard’s audience also included representatives from the Blue Bell Group, Car Transplants, Smiths Autoparts, Auto-mobile, Swansway Garages and the Institute of Advanced Motorists, all of whom support the motor vehicle department.

  • A replica of BloodhoundSSC, along with its education team, will be one of the leading attractions at the Reaseheath Family Festival on Sunday May 18.


The car will remain at the college for the following week, when it will be visited by 120 pupils from local schools each day. On Saturday 24th May the car will feature in the launch of the Cheshire Science Festival, which runs until June 1st and aims to encourage more pupils into science, technology, engineering and maths.