UWTSD help students to represent Wales at Big Bang Competition 2017


Sixth formers at a Swansea school who are being mentored by staff and students at UWTSD’s Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering in partnership with local business Glass Tech have been selected to represent Wales at Big Bang Competition 2017.

bishop vaughan students

The Bishop Vaughan Comprehensive pupils are one of 10 teams of Year 12 youngsters who will be competing at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK, at The NEC, Birmingham from March 15-18.

It is the latest stage in a unique partnership between UWTSD, A-Level students, the Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) and local businesses, to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.

Last summer, the Bishop Vaughan sixth formers won a top engineering and science award for designing a glass bottle sorting device. The team of eight pupils competed against 75 other teams from across South Wales, and won the “Best Application of Engineering and Technology” award, and were also nominated for “Best Working Prototype” at the Engineering Education Scheme for Wales linked with STEM.

GlassTech, a local recycling company based in Neath, challenged the students to create a device to recognise different coloured glass bottles and then sort them into relevant containers. Working closely with UWTSD, the team used everyday technology to solve the problem in the form of a Web Cam.

The team had to prepare a technical report and present their solution to senior engineers and academics at the ‘Big Bang’ awards day, who were so impressed they selected the pupils to represent Wales in the next stage of the competition for their ‘Glass Recognition Environmental Engineering Nucleation project’.

The students Phoebe Hughes, Morgan Thomas, Keefe Montebon, Joseph Robinson, Rhys Brannan, Baptin Syriac, Joel Baiju and Eloisa Maristela were also awarded the Gold Crest award, for their hard work and excellent technical report, receiving an extra 70 UCAS entry points for getting into university.

Pam Berry – EESW West Wales Coordinator said: “The team have worked incredibly hard and received excellent support from UWTSD lecturers Richard Morgan and Dr Arnaud Marotin. UWTSD has been an excellent supporter of EESW, hosting workshops to enable students to develop prototypes.”

Karen John from Glass Tech added:  “These are a remarkable group of youngsters and engineers of the future. I am absolutely impressed at how professional they are.”

Bishop Vaughan Comprehensive teacher Andrew Smith said: “This was a difficult challenge, and pushed the students to above their individual capabilities, but combined as a group and with their varied talents: Maths, Physics, Engineering and Technology they excelled all expectations. These students have gained more than just STEM knowledge form this competition, they have a skill set that will see them though University."

UWTSD lecturer Richard Morgan said: “the team really stepped up to the challenge laid before them. In order to develop an effective solution, the group needed to develop expertise in: image processing, automation and modelling, mechanical design and physical prototyping. This is typical of the innovative, technically challenging ‘real-word’ projects which our Engineering students get involved with at UWTSD. Engineering is all about making a positive difference to the world around you. We are passionate about helping the next generation of Engineers to develop the skills, knowledge and the enthusiasm to take on these sorts of challenges. It was an absolute pleasure to work with such enthusiastic and capable pupils. Working with groups like this really does fill you with optimism that the future will be safe hands.”  

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Further Information

For further information, please email: press@uwtsd.ac.uk