Graham Vincent

Member Article

Lancashire engineering firm launches the Star in a Jar Fund

A Lancashire engineering company has launched a fund of £10,000 available to local students who want to do their own engineering experiments.

This follows R&B Switchgear Group’s partnership with Jamie Edwards, the youngest person in the world to build a nuclear fusion reactor.

Jamie approached the firm, based in Heywood, in his search for help, support and equipment.

Providing parts, funding and their expertise in power engineering, the team at R&B helped Jamie break the record when he made two hydrogen atoms smash together to make helium; a nuclear fusion.

Managing director, Mark Beswick was immediately impressed by Jamie’s knowledge and enthusiasm. He said: “We could tell this young man had a vision and were keen to help him.

“It’s fantastic to see the next generation of talent pushing the boundaries and setting new standards for the engineering industry.”

“We feel it’s important that students get the help and the opportunities to explore science and be inspired to take up a career in engineering. This needs to be the responsibility of businesses as well as schools, and is something we’ll continue to support as a company.”

Jamie’s achievement has brought the record to the UK from across the Atlantic where it was previously held by American, Taylor Wilson, who was 14 when he became the youngest ‘fusioneer’ in 2008.

Speaking of the experiment, Jamie said: “One day I came across Taylor Wilson and his reactor on the internet. I thought that’s cool and decided to have a go. Basically I made a star in a jar.”

Based on Jamie’s example, R&B Switchgear now wish to actively encourage more young people to consider science and engineering as career options.

The company has decided to implement a new scheme to bring schools and industry closer together. It has launched a fund of £10,000 available for local students who want to do their own engineering experiments. This can be claimed in financial support or expertise.

Named the Star Jar, the fund can be applied for via a letter to the company.

Mark continued: “We’re immensely proud to have been able to support Jamie – it’s been a great project for the team and we’re looking forward to seeing what challenges he sets us in the future!”

As Mark explains: “The ‘star in a jar’ project captured the imagination of everyone in Jamie’s school, as well as everyone else who got involved.

“We want to work with more people like Jamie, supporting them and promoting science and engineering to young people.”

R&B Switchgear Group operates across the marine, offshore, power and industrial sectors. With offices in the UK and USA, the company boasts a portfolio of blue-chip customers including Shell, BP, P&O, MOL and Talisman.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Graham Vincent .

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