September 27 2016

Festival Countdown

The clock is ticking down to the Festival of Engineering which takes place tomorrow on the 28th of September 2016 in the Olympiad Leisure Centre in Chippenham.

Aimed at local school pupils in Years 6, 7, 8 and 9, there are over one-thousand local young people attending and hopefully they will be inspired by some of the fantastic businesses that we have locally.

The Festival will also be open between 3.30pm-5pm for students where their school didn’t get the chance to visit and also other young people with an enthusiasm for engineering.

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September 1 2016

Mars Rover model at Wiltshire Festival of Engineering

Airbus Defence and Space’s Mars rover model features to be one of the star attractions at an event aimed at inspiring school children’s interest in science, engineering and technology.

ExoMars Rover

Launched by Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan, the Wiltshire Festival of Engineering aims to open new doors into the world of manufacturing and engineering, paving the way for a new skilled workforce in Wiltshire.

Key event supporter Airbus Defence and Space Group, Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise and the second largest space business worldwide, has confirmed that a full scale model of their ExoMars Rover, will take centre stage on their stand at Festival of Engineering at Chippenham’s Olympiad Leisure Centre on 28th September.

ExoMars, as it is known, will be a six-wheeled robot tasked with finding signs of past or present life, with the mission set to be launched to the Red Planet in 2020. The UK division of Airbus Defence and Space will assemble the rover from parts built across member states of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Earlier this year British ESA astronaut Tim Peake successfully drove the prototype ExoMars Rover “Bridget” live from the International Space Station in an experiment to look at how humans and robotics can work together.

Paul Kahn, President of Airbus Group UK: “We are very pleased to have been able to support the Wiltshire Festival of Engineering.  Events like this play a vital role in showcasing the world leading technologies and products that are being developed here in the UK and encouraging young people to pursue a career in STEM.”

Michelle Donelan said: “Airbus are one of the world’s leading defence and space companies and are a huge global and local employer of high-tech, creative design and manufacturing jobs. Like me, they are incredibly committed to inspiring the next generation of engineers and I know that the model Mars rover will be a spectacular sight for all those who attend.

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space, a division of Airbus Group, is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise and the second largest space business worldwide. Its activities include space, military aircraft and related systems and services. It employs more than 38,000 people, including hundreds at their site near Chippenham, and in 2015 generated revenues of over 13 billion Euros.

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January 7 2016

I’m organising an Engineering Festival – one step to help plug the skills gap

My latest column in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times – “My engineering festival will help plug the skills gap”

2016-01-07_GH_Column_Engineering_Festival Continue reading

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January 4 2016

Speaking with the BBC about my plans for a Wiltshire Festival of Engineering

This morning I spoke about my plans for a Wiltshire festival of Engineering with BBC Wiltshire and the importance of addressing the engineering skills shortage.

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