Wednesday, 25 November 2020

What does the future of civil engineering look like? A sustainability perspective

Carys Aspden, SELA Cohort 2019

Skyine photo with sky scrapers against sunset sky
You don’t need to look far to find news on the new tallest building, longest bridge, or thinnest skyscraper (I would highly recommend the B1M YouTube channel). Even though I marvel at these exciting new construction projects being carried out all over the world, this competition between countries and corporations to build the next best thing is unsustainable. After a certain number of storeys, the building of skyscrapers becomes economically unviable, and so whilst these feats of engineering are very impressive, they may be deemed as essentially just boastful displays of wealth.

Perhaps the most prominent consequence of this issue is the impact on the environment. Josh Gabbatiss (2020) explores how the construction and demolition of buildings in China in 2015 accounted for 20% of the country’s carbon emissions. The severity of the so-called “construction fever” (Xinyi Shen, Greenpeace Asia) in China has been clearly demonstrated earlier this year by the country’s ban on building skyscrapers taller than 500m.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Finding and Managing Opportunity

Matthew Bate, SELA Cohort 2018

Hands together around single buttercup flower on stem
If I were to give you one piece of advice, I’d say remember this: opportunity doesn’t just come to you, it’s something you’ve got to find.

In September 2019, myself and a team of five began work on a new form of Assistive Technology: we called it U Calm.

As we began the year, we were coming off the back of our success at Workwise’s Get Up to Speed Event and we had the drive to make a difference.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Project 2050: What can we do today to change the fate of our world? - Food Shortage

Jaimini Solanki, Jordan Walsh, Samuel Rhodes and Thomas Thomas, Cohort 2019

As part of Project 2050, SELA Cohort 2019 wished to demonstrate how engineering could have an impact in tackling the myriad sustainability issues which plague our society before irreparable damage is done. The exhibition is now live, in Festival of the Mind 2020 – both as an in person event, and a digital interactivity.

As our population rapidly grows, we need to find new ways of farming food to meet the demand. If this is not done, it is very likely that humans will not be able to produce enough food for this ever-growing population, regardless of any efforts made. Our SELA Food Shortages Team had the challenge of applying engineering solutions to solve future food shortages.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Project 2050: What can we do today to change the fate of our world? - Antibiotic Resistance

Nadine Shawkey, SELA Cohort 2019

As part of Project 2050, SELA Cohort 2019 wished to demonstrate how engineering could have an impact in tackling the myriad sustainability issues which plague our society before irreparable damage is done. The exhibition is now live, in Festival of the Mind 2020 – both as an in person event, and a digital interactivity.

As a group we identified that one of the areas which are predicted to be a huge problem in 2050 in regards to the biomedical engineering field is Antibiotic resistance. 300 million people are predicted to have died because of antibiotic resistance by then.

Friday, 21 August 2020

Lockdown Blues – Getting Your Mojo Back for the Next Academic Year

Jack Trethewey, Cohort 2018

As we rattle our way briskly through August, the start of the next academic year looms ever closer, mired with a complex feeling of uncertainty and excitement. I personally have found myself so engrossed in my new lockdown life, that I find it hard to imagine a time where I didn’t wile away the hours baking bread, ferociously cleaning my kitchen and rearranging my sock drawer. In fact, as June approached, I managed to get myself into a slump. I had recently learned that three placement offers I had secured had been cancelled. In an instant, my summer plans were blown wide open. At the time, I felt this loathsome feeling of self-pity, as if I was being personally targeted by this pandemic and that COVID-19 had made it its mission to derail my life.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Three Skills We Developed Through Working WIth Industry

Rob Bowland & Sam Maxwell, Cohort 2018

Throughout this year, members of SELA conducted year long projects revolving around the central theme of Big Data, and its increasing prevalence in all aspects of the modern world. Our group worked with industry partners at Tinsley Bridge on a project exploring data-driven manufacturing. Part of this, that we both worked in, was the analysis of existing data sets, with the intention of providing insights into company operations and potential opportunities for improvement, as well as to highlight the value of a data-driven approach to decision making.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

SELA Success in Collaboration Awards and Six Tips for Online Collaboration

SELA is proud to announce that members Grace Faulkner, Kristel Bedregal Portugal, and Jaimini Solanki are members of the second place winning team of the Neil Rackham Foundation Award, for their project Anyone Can Engineer (ACE). This award recognises and celebrates the success of University of Sheffield students working on group projects during the COVID-19 lockdown. The award recognises the ACE Team’s project, inspired by SELA, to create an accessible introduction to the diversity of engineering roles, to inspire young people to recognise engineering as an opportunity for their future.