Navy put on challenge to encourage young scientists

TEAM EFFORT The team which hosted Operation Antarctica at HMS Sultan ''           Picture: Jason Kay
TEAM EFFORT The team which hosted Operation Antarctica at HMS Sultan '' Picture: Jason Kay
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ASPIRING engineers visited HMS Sultan to take part in the Royal Navy challenge to design a small boat capable of negotiating ice flows in Antarctica.

Thirty-four teams took part in the Royal Navy’s University Training College Young Engineers Challenge – Operation Antarctica 2016 – at HMS Sultan in Gosport.

With the event falling just before National Science Week, it gave everyone involved the chance to show how organisations such as the Royal Navy, University Technical Colleges (UTCs), Young Engineers, Babcock and BAE Systems across the engineering industry are allowing young people into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

Royal Navy students from HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood were against teams from RAF Cosford and competition sponsor BAE Systems.

After the competition finished, 11 awards were presented by VIP guests for the most effective harbour clearance, best design and construction, best presentation, best valiant effort and best theme.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, said: ‘Engineers from around the UK are designing, building and operating a new generation of ships, aircraft and submarines for the Royal Navy.

‘These are bristling with world-beating technology, to protect our nation’s interests against the most advanced threats. As we consider exciting developments in areas such as autonomous systems and artificial intelligence, it is even more clear that the Royal Navy’s future is bound tightly to Britain’s strength in science, technology and engineering.’

Former Education Secretary, Lord Kenneth Baker, said: ‘The competition offers a wonderful opportunity for students to apply the skills and expertise they learn every day at their UTC. Our country needs considerably more engineers and we welcome the support that the Royal Navy is giving to the UTC programme in helping to inspire the next generation.’

Portsmouth will be opening its own UTC in September 2017. Admissions will be opening in September this year.