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24 October 2007 PR 07/133

Acoustics and vibration project wins Loughborough student national SET award

A Loughborough student has been presented with a prestigious national Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Award.

Ewan Porteous, who was based in the University’s Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering before graduating in July with first class honours, won the award in the category ‘Best Maritime Technology Student’, sponsored by The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust. It was in recognition of his final year project developing new ideas in acoustics and vibration that could be applied to maritime technology.

The award is one of 17 Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Awards presented annually. Organised by the World Leadership Forum, the SET awards are Britain and Ireland’s most important awards for science, engineering and technology undergraduates. They provide a showcase for educational excellence by publicly recognising the exceptional achievements of both students and universities. For this year’s awards record numbers of entries were received from every major university in the UK and Ireland.

Ewan’s project, entitled ‘Wave-like propulsion of small marine craft’, involved the designing and building of an entirely autonomous and robotically controlled model boat with wave-like aquatic propulsion. Provided by localised elastic wave propagation in the boat’s keel, this novel type of aquatic propulsion is similar to that used by stingrays and is characterised by very low underwater noise and improved safety for people and marine animals. The boat achieved impressive speeds in open water, demonstrating that this type of propulsion is a viable alternative to a traditional screw propeller.

Professor Victor Krylov, leader of the Department’s Acoustics and Vibration Research Group and Ewan’s project supervisor, said: “Ewan’s work on his final year project was truly outstanding. He worked very enthusiastically, demonstrating remarkable skills and ingenuity. As Ewan’s supervisor, I can say that it was a privilege to work with him.”

Before coming to Loughborough Ewan attended Cults Academy in Aberdeen. In addition to his academic achievements, he represented Scotland for swimming in 2001/2002 and obtained his Private Pilots Licence in 2002, being an active member of the Loughborough Students Flying Club for five years. After graduating from Loughborough Ewan travelled through Europe for two months, before beginning work with Goodrich Engine Control Systems in Birmingham in September.

The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust SET Award for the Best Maritime Technology Student was judged by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA).

IMarEST Chief Executive, Keith Read CBE said: “It is always a delight to host the judging for this important Award. We congratulate Ewan, wish him well for the future and are sure that he will be playing an active role in IMarEST in the future. He typifies the young men and women we are eager to attract to this vitally important global industry.”

The award was presented to Ewan at the prestigious SET Awards ceremony in London’s Alexandra Palace. The event was attended by hundreds of science and technology students and academics, as well as senior figures from industry, government, science and the media.

ENDS

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Notes for editors:

  1. The SET awards are sponsored by Airbus, AstraZeneca, AWE, Balfour Beatty, Bentley Motors, Cadbury Schweppes, e2v Technologies, GKN, GlaxoSmithKline, The Institution of Engineering & Technology, Laing O’Rourke, Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust, Microsoft Research, Morgan Crucible, The National Physical Laboratory and SAGE.
  2. They are supported and judged by The British Computer Society, The British Pharmacological Society, The Institute of Biology, The Institute of Food Research, The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, The Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, The Institute of Physics, The Institution of Chemical Engineers, The Institution of Civil Engineers, The Institution of Engineering & Technology, The Institution of Mathematics and its Applications, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, The London Mathematical Society, The Royal Aeronautical Society, The Royal Institution of Naval Architects and The Royal Society of Chemistry.
  3. For further information about the SET Awards visit www.setawards.org
  4. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top five of UK universities in national league tables and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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