International aid isn’t just about medicine: students from across engineering and science can offer communities in developing countries help to access clean water, reliable power and safe homes. This student society reaches across UCL Engineering disciplines and into science subjects to find motivated young people to go and work on projects like building earthquake-proof houses in Mexico, installing solar panels for a Columbian school, and assessing a flooded village in Mozambique.
Civil engineers at UCL offer advice and feedback on their plans, while UCL Engineering supports Engineers Without Borders with funding, a part-time studentship committee position and hosting for conferences and training sessions on international development.
Visit the EWB UCLU Groupspace
This annual competition draws together students from across UCL to work on creating a genetically engineered solution to a problem. Using and contributing to the library of ‘BioBricks’ – mutually compatible sequences of DNA that can be combined like Lego to create new organisms – students work in the Biochemical Engineering labs over the summer. Helped by staff from UCL Biochemical Engineering, they produce a new genetic sequence, an idea for how it could be used, plans for engaging the public, and any other extensions to the project they can dream up. The UCL team has reached the international finals at MIT for the last 3 years (winning ‘Best Presentation’ in 2012), with projects ranging from reclaiming plastic marine pollution to improving vaccine quality.
Visit the 2012 iGEM website
UCL Mechanical Engineers regularly compete in international races and endurance competitions. Through Formula Student, undergraduates design and build their own racing car to compete at Silverstone; while the SolarFox team produce a solar car designed to race across Australia, powered only by the sun.
Visit the Formula Student website
Visit the Solarfox website
UCL Engineering offers students a taste of life in academia and a chance to enhance their CV over the summer through a paid summer studentship, where they will work with an academic on an independent research project or developing teaching materials. Previous students have created videos explaining microfluidic construction, simulated the flow of light over energy-saving windows based on moth’s eyes, and analysed the trust of users for their phone apps, among other things.
For information on summer studentship eligibility, visit these pages.