Students win Royal Navy Engineering Challenge

Tuesday 3rd January 2023

UTC Derby Key Stage 4 students with their model vessel for the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge

Young engineers at UTC Derby Pride Park have won a national skills competition.

The Royal Navy Engineering Challenge 2022 aims to inspire young people to engage further with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The competition is organised by the Royal Navy for young people studying at University Technical Colleges (UTCs), which are government funded technical schools for 13 to 19-year-olds.

There are two competition categories: Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. UTC Derby Pride Park students won the Key Stage 4 category.

UTCs provide students with the opportunity to study academic as well as technical qualifications that match the skills needs of regional employers, supporting economic growth and employment.

Kerry Warburton, Curriculum Director for Engineering, UTC Derby Pride Park, said: “It is fantastic to see our students successfully put their technical, teamworking, problem solving, leadership and communication skills to the test.”

She added: “UTCs are focused on ensuing that students get the skills and qualifications to succeed in their future careers and this competition win is testament to that.”

The Royal Navy Engineering Challenge brief involved students designing and building a compact remotely operated floating vessel.

The vessel needed to be suitable for deployment from a ship. Its purpose was to recover valuable objects from the seabed lost from a capsized boat.

The vessel was also required to be capable of maneuvering in a tightly confined space and to have enough control to avoid colliding with obstructions and the coastline.

Once they made their vessel, the students had to sail it around a tank and recover several objects positioned by the judges around the bottom of the tank.

Four UTCs – UTC Derby Pride Park, UTC Energy Coast, UTC Swindon and UTC South Devon – made it through to the national finals, held at UTC Leeds on November 23rd, 2022.

Students at UTC Derby Pride Park, on Locomotive Way, complete specialist courses designed with employers in engineering or health and life sciences.

They study GCSEs and A Levels alongside their chosen technical specialism and learn from industry experts in specialist high tech facilities.

Employers supporting the UTC include Alstom, Rolls-Royce, Toyota, the University of Derby and Joined Up Care Derbyshire, which comprises health and social care organisations in the region.