Charlotte – Week Two

Monday – We kicked off the second week with a trip to British Engines where we visited Bel Valves; who are best known for supplying high pressure valves to the oil and gas industry. Prior to this experience I had ruled out the possibility of an apprenticeship as I am still not 100% sure on what I want to do as a career. However after speaking to one of the female apprentices at Bel Valves I was surprised to find out that she herself still hadn’t fully decided what she wanted to do despite being 2 years into her apprenticeship! Therefore I now know you don’t necessarily need to have an end goal insight in order to do an apprenticeship. We were then given a tour of the factory which was curiously split up into a series of workshops in a series of different buildings. I was particularly interested in their testing facility. It was interesting to see how they can stimulate subsea conditions such as water depths of 4500m and temperatures of -2°c in the factory.

Tuesday – On Tuesday we visited The Reece Group at their new premises along Scotswood road. The Reece group is made up of five different companies; we visited Pearson Engineering on our trip as five is too many to get through in a day! After an introductory presentation in a make-shift conference room on site (which gave us all an insight to what Pearson Engineering does) we were given a tour of the factory where they explained how the different machines work and what they’re used for. It was particularly interesting to talk to Simone from Reece Innovation. She explained how Reece Innovation develops new products that solve clients’ problems. This interested me more than welding we had previously seen on shop floor as its more design based.

Wednesday – we began Wednesday with a presentation on how to make a successful academic poster. As part of the Nepal project we have all been asked to make an academic poster summarising our research. This was particularly as the closest thing to an academic poster I’d ever come to was a lab safety poster from Year  7 chemistry.

Thursday – We were back at the Think Physics Lab on Thursday continuing to work on the Nepal project. We had two visitors (a lecturer from Durham University and Geologist from New Zealand) come to speak to us as well. They explained the science behind earthquakes in further detail and demonstrated using a brick; sandpaper and talc powder how the geology of an area can affect the intensity of an earthquake. I was surprised to find out that the bigger the build-up of friction the less intense the earthquake.

Friday – On Friday the Think Physics team planned something a little different for us. We were each given a Bratz doll and were asked to give her a make-under. This make-under involved removing the ‘glamorous’ make-up and repainting their faces in a more natural style to better represent ourselves. My doll stands for girls in engineering; and wears a Hi Vis jacket as a visual representation of this.

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