Automotive Engineering Department: Project Focus
This month we caught up with the Automotive Engineering team, to find out more about the current student projects. These projects, and the facilities available at Perth College UHI, allow students to gain hands on experience that is invaluable when they enter the workforce.
Green power project
Students on Automotive Engineering courses at Perth College UHI are currently involved with an exciting project to build, and race, a socially responsible and sustainable Go-Kart, sponsored by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) – Perth and Energy Skills Partnership.
So far, the students have successfully built the skeleton, added wheels and the electric motor. Down the line, it will be lined with aluminium sheeting and Styrofoam, before the bodywork is finalised and the paintwork conceptualised and completed.
Once built, the car will continually be enhanced to inform the learning of future groups of students. Groups of local school pupils will also have the opportunity to be involved, and it is hoped that this will spark more interest in automotive careers.
Ricky Neil, Automotive Lecturer, said:
“Involvement in the project has enhanced the learning experience of our students and pupils from the wider community. We are grateful to DYW (Perth) for their invaluable support to make this cutting edge project happen.”
The bodywork of this vehicle was constructed by students in in 2017. Originally a Peugeot 206, this project car is now used for students to practice more advanced paintwork techniques.
In 2017, this project won the ‘Best Student Led Event’ at the annual HISA (Perth) OBI Awards.
Monocoque chassis project
This project allows students to gain experience constructing an old style vehicle using modern techniques. A monocoque chassis traditionally involves a body and chassis that are integrated, usually in order to create a weight advantage.
Working on this project enables students to understand how the panels are constructed and the benefits of this method. The end product of this project will be a replica of a 1920’s car, watch this space!
Student perspective: Natasha Bazeley
Former student, Natasha Bazeley, told us more about her experience:
“Before coming to Perth College UHI, I had been to College twice before, but worked in various jobs. I have always been interested in cars, but never thought I could go anywhere with it.
“The course was insightful and very hands on showing all the different aspects I would be facing in the workplace. The tutors have been very caring, friendly and supportive.”
These projects are not only benefiting students and pupils with automotive insight, they enhance and inform a skillset that is invaluable for employment, including: communication; teamwork; fund raising; problem solving and confidence. Younger learners to buddy up with more mature learners, thereby encouraging collaboration and discussion throughout the groups. Furthermore, learning about sustainable technology is crucial for the future of the automotive industry, green energy is a top priority in today’s vehicle marketplace and economy.
David Stewart, Sector Manager for Automotive Engineering, adds:
“For anyone thinking of a career in the Automotive Industry, please get in touch to arrange a visit or a discussion with myself or one of the team. We have an Open Day coming up on Saturday 16 March and will be inviting visitors to look round our facilities and see some of our fantastic projects.”