What a Bursary can do

by Mick Backhouse

“To encourage and recognise educational activities in the youth of the county”

One of the Society’s published aims and objectives, each year we make several bursaries of £350.00 per year available to young students embarking on University courses. The award isn’t a great amount in the grand scheme of tuition fees etc, but is enough to purchase a laptop, text books or to travel to further studies and it is in this spirit that the Bursary can open doors for these young students.

Here, two of our students keep us abreast of how our awards have helped them to further their education.

Dear Mr Backhouse,

I would like to say thank you for allocating me the bursary funds, it is greatly appreciated. The university has given us the itinerary for the fieldtrip; we are staying in youth hostels and move around the different towns to see the diversity of South Africa.

When we land we go straight to Table Mountain, so fingers crossed for a clear day. Also we get to go wine tasting in one of the oldest vineyards in South Africa, as the lecture said, it is tasting the produce as to see how the climate affects the taste of the wine! Also we are going on an eight hour bush hike to view the changing topography of the area, which I am really looking forward, my walking boots are already broken in.

On the last couple of days we will be undertaking our group projects within Knysna. Our group is investigating food security within the informal settlements; this will be really interesting as this is a major issue within South Africa. At the moment we are busy reading for this project; one of the aims is to make a documentary of this issue, hopefully we will be the next David Attenboroughs or Dan Snows!

As Sir Trevor McDonald stated a couple of weeks ago when he came to deliver a lecture at our university: Travel is one of the greatest things you can do, as it involves experiences that you will not necessarily get from reading alone.

Once again I would like to say many thanks and look forward to doing an article for the Kent magazine.

Best wishes

Emily Stickler

Greetings all, my name is Sam Blackwell and this academic year I am moving into my final year at The University of Cambridge studying for an MEng in Manufacturing Engineering. Last year I managed to achieve a 2.1 again, giving me my final grade when I graduate in 2014.

During the year I conducted many visits to various manufacturing sites to enrich my learning, which varied from aerospace companies such as Rolls-Royce to food companies such as Hain-Daniels. It was interesting to see how different industries operated and how Britain is staying at the cutting edge of manufacturing.

A particular highlight was the visit to Jaguar Land Rover, which could produce new Range Rovers at a rate of around one every 45 seconds. The efficiency of the production line was really quite remarkable, as many Japanese lean manufacturing principles had been incorporated to minimise all types of wastage.

A substantial part of the year was dedicated to the Major Project, in which teams of three or four are tasked with creating an innovative product and a business and financial plan around this product. This was an interesting part of the course, as our team managed to create both looks like and works like prototypes for a new wireless utility device which enables people to connect multiple devices together through just an audio jack socket. The team scored very well in this project, being successful in the end of year presentations to industry experts.

My summer was spent in a materials scientist role at Rolls-Royce, working on process improvements for compressor blades. During the internship I did a lot of practical engineering work, which culminated in an academic report which was circulated internally throughout the company. This was a welcome addition to my academic studies, as I study materials in great detail during the year at University. I’d like to thank The Men of Kent and Kentish Men for their continued support and wish everyone a fantastic Christmas and New Year 2014.

Sam Blackwell

Picture Credits: Lalibela Game Reserve, Jaguar Land Rover Left to righ: Part of South Africa’s famed ‘Garden Route’ Knysna is where Emily’s group projects will take place. Lessons learnt from Japan have boosted production line times for Jaguar Land Rover.

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