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UCL Engineering Exchange wins RAEng Ingenious public engagement grant

16 April 2015
Dr Sarah Bell at the launch of the Engineering Exchange

Dr Sarah Bell at the launch of the Engineering Exchange

​Engineers now have the opportunity to engage with the public in innovative new ways thanks to 22 new projects funded through the Royal Academy of Engineering’s public engagement grant scheme, Ingenious.

Ingenious supports projects across the UK that creatively engage the public with engineering. Among the projects that successfully competed for Ingenious support this year is the UCL Engineering Exchange which aims to provide local communities with access to engineering expertise. Run by Dr Sarah Bell, the project will develop and deliver a training programme for engineers before supporting them to work on three engineering projects requested by their local community.

Dr Sarah Bell, Senior Lecturer in UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering and Director of UCL Engineering Exchange, says: “The UCL Engineering Exchange will bring engineers together with the public to better align their work with local community needs. We’re hoping that the UCL Engineering Exchange will become a beacon for community engaged engineering in the UK, that can be rolled out elsewhere.”

Also funded this year is Guerilla Science, an organisation that works with engineers and scientists to produce live experiences that aim to “amaze, challenge and inspire” audiences. Together with musicians, construction and acoustic engineers Guerilla Science will design, prototype and build a Fire Organ. A precision engineered, multi-pipe version of the Ruben’s Tube, the Fire Organ will visualise sound as flames, allowing the public to explore music, motion and engineering principles in a dramatic way.

Other projects funded this year include artist-engineer collaborations, watch-making workshops for schools and a project run by Jodrell Bank to engage the public with the Square Kilometre Array.

Professor Sarah Spurgeon FREng, Chair of the Ingenious funding panel and Professor of Control Engineering and Head of School, University of Kent, said: “The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious projects are finding new and innovative ways to get the public – whether student, family, or adult audiences – engaged with engineering. Our projects don’t just showcase the diversity of engineering, they also give the public a meaningful opportunity to interact with engineers, ask questions and share their views.”

Ingenious is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. A full list of projects funded by the scheme this year can be found on the RAEng website.

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