In 1969, Apollo 11 was on its way to an historic first landing on the moon, carrying with it the hopes and aspirations of an entire generation. A year earlier, ‘Science magazine’ observed that “the most valuable spin off [of the space programme] would be human rather than technological…” It proved true, project Apollo was a triumph in human endeavour, drive and ingenuity.
45 years on, and the Bloodhound SSC project team – which includes some of the world’s most revered engineers – are building a car designed to go faster than the speed of sound. Bloodhound has carried out a series of ground-breaking tests and research, including the firing of the largest rocket in Britain in the last 25 years. With the project rapidly gaining momentum, this has now become an iconic global engineering adventure, showcasing innovative technology and manufacturing.
Britain, which has given us many great advances that have shaped the modern world, is now struggling to produce enough engineers. Sir Richard Noble, Project Director of Bloodhound SSC, recognises that to help overcome the world’s challenges of sustainability and energy shortages, more engineers and scientists are needed. “It is quite clear that we are at the dawn of a huge new global industrial revolution, with a chronic shortage of engineers…” he said at the start of the project in 2008.
This shortfall has become the driving force behind one of Bloodhound’s main missions; to create a national surge in the popularity of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects – to bring them to life for people of all ages, using real world examples and data from the project. To date, over 5,500 schools have taken part in the Bloodhound Education Program, and the team are continually engaging with young people to help them acquire the skills and talents needed for their future careers.
Bott joined the Bloodhound project as a sponsor of workshop equipment, because of a shared wish to see high quality engineering in the UK thrive. There can be no better way to engage young minds in creative innovation, and to show engineering in its best light than by underpinning and supporting a world-beating mission. If young engineers in the UK can be inspired to move on to greater things through their engagement with this project, it can only be for the good of society in general. They too will hopefully be able to make lasting changes for the good of all.
In 2015, with Wing Commander Andy Green at the helm, Bloodhound will attempt to smash the world land speed record, carrying with it our hopes and aspirations.
The world record is only the starting point of this legacy. Whilst Bloodhound SSC goes on a tour of the world, the education team, army of advocates and Bloodhound ambassadors, will continue to tour schools and colleges championing the importance of STEM subjects. The global education drive will continue for many years to come, to inspire children to push the boundaries of their field to develop the technologies and ideas of tomorrow.
Picture courtesy of Stefan Marjoram.SHARE: