Engineering problem solved for international power company image

Engineering problem solved for international power company

Four budding engineers at a Newcastle school could see a school project they designed put into action to help one of the world’s biggest engineering companies speed up the process for fixing 60 tonne electricity rotor turbines found in power stations.

The four lads at St Cuthbert’s High School in Benwell - Martyn Dixon, Adam Field, Yuriy Grabovsky and James Fishwick – have spent more than 18 months developing a solution to help Siemens Power, based in Byker, speed up the time it takes to service the massive rotor turbines the plant is sent from coal power stations around the world.

The youngsters have scooped a series of awards for their project – the latest was the Shell Innovation Award at the Big Bang school engineering festival in March. But their biggest achievement could be just around the corner.

Dave Burton, training and development manager at Siemens Power, said the process the boys had developed was being investigated by the company’s research and development department in Germany.

He said: “The boys have really excelled themselves and come up with a brilliant idea to speed up the servicing for the rotors. Their calculations all stack up, their process is watertight and our R&D department is looking at whether we could put the process into action.

“Obviously there are other details to look into but at the moment, there is a real opportunity that we could soon be using their process in our factory,” he said.

As part of a scheme set up so youngsters can gain real life work experience, Siemens Power set a challenge to pupils to reduce the time it takes to remove the end cap– a process which can take 18 shifts.

Martyn, one of the young engineers said: “When they set us the challenge we hit on our idea pretty quickly. And the more we thought about it the more it looked possible, so we spent ages as a team researching the project,” he added.

During the project, Newcastle Science City which promotes science and engineering in Newcastle schools, helped the boys travel to awards and conferences.

To find out more about Newcastle Science City’s education and community projects, visit www.newcastlesciencecity.com

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