Navy brainbox up for top engineering award

AWARD Officer-in-training Peter Whiteley
AWARD Officer-in-training Peter Whiteley
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A BRAINY Royal Navy officer cadet has been nominated for a top engineering award for his work about wind turbines.

Fareham-based officer-in-training Peter Whiteley has already scooped up the Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Institute Babcock Award for the Best Mechanical Engineering Student of the Year in 2012.

The 22-year-old won that for his work whilst studying for a masters’ degree at Cambridge University with his ground-breaking research into fault detection in wind turbine gearboxes.

And now the talented engineer has been nominated for the prestigious Naval Review Prize from the independent quarterly journal, The Naval Review.

It aims to promote debate in the Royal Navy and gives prizes to the best articles written by service members.

OC Whiteley had already started his training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth back in September.

That meant he needed special dispensation to attend the final challenge to win the SET Institute prize.

Bosses at BRNC gave him 24 hours leave from his 30-week training to give a half-hour presentation in London that secured his victory.

Speaking of the new nomination, he said: ‘I’m proud to be selected for this award.

‘It was a great project to be involved in and hopefully the results will be of real use to the wind industry.’

The SET awards recognise the best science and engineering students in Europe across 14 disciplines each year, with university lecturers nominating students with novel and innovative projects for the awards.

OC Whiteley’s work provided experimental proof that early detection of bearing failures in wind turbine gearboxes is possible through the use of continuous vibration monitoring.

This allows repairs of damage due to bearing defects rather than costly replacements of around £250,000.

Now in his officer training, OC Whiteley has already completed the militarisation section of the training, and is on to the marinisation training, which all takes place in Dartmouth.

He will then move on to the initial fleet time phase, spending time on a warship at sea.