Research from UCL Engineering features prominently in the newly launched ‘Engineer Your Future’ exhibition at the Science Museum, a 3-year interactive exhibition encouraging 11-15 year-olds to think like engineers and explore how engineers shape the world around them.
Among the compelling stories of the women and men working in engineering today, the exhibition features tsunami engineering work by Professor Tiziana Rossetto, Professor of Earthquake Engineering in UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) and Director of the Earthquake and People Interaction Centre (EPICentre), and vaccine manufacture work by Dr Tarit Mukhopadhyay, Lecturer in UCL Biochemical Engineering.
Accompanying a display of items at the exhibition’s entrance, which includes a 1:50 scale model building with internal load cells, is a short film of Professor Rossetto and Joshua Macabuag, Research Engineer with EPICentre, explaining how the model building and tsunami simulation inform the safer design of onshore structures.
Professor Rossetto has been researching tsunami behaviour and their effects on buildings since 2004, and the experiments shown in the Science Museum exhibition are part of a long-term collaboration with HR Wallingford, UK leaders in hydraulic research and consultancy.
The first-generation tsunami simulator featured in the video was used to pioneer the concept of using a pneumatic device to generate realistic trough-led tsunami-like waves.
The second-generation tsunami generator is being developed as part of the ERC-funded project Urban Waves, discussed by Professor Rossetto in a recent TEDx Brussels talk, and will operate in a 75m long 4m wide flume (also featured in the film), making it the largest tsunami testing facility in Europe.
Dr Mukhopadhyay’s work is featured in the ‘FutureVille’ part of the exhibition, which asks young visitors to explore engineering in the not-too-distant future. Dr Mukhopadhyay’s involvement shows how biochemical engineers play an important role in the development and manufacture of vaccines, and is highlighted in FutureVille’s ‘We cure you’ area.
As part of continued cooperation between the two institutions, the Science Museum Contemporary Science team and UCL Engineering Education are working on a series of exciting interactive displays, demos and hands-on activities for school-aged children to run alongside the 3-year exhibition.
Science Museum Director Ian Blatchford said: “The aim of Engineer Your Future is to surprise, intrigue and tempt the vast numbers of young people who visit the Science Museum to think seriously about becoming engineers.”
“We hope this exhibition will inspire the next generation of engineers by showing how diverse the field of engineering is, and how it contributes to so many aspects of our lives.” commented Professor Rossetto.