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For the second year running, St Ives based Webtec, a specialist manufacturer of hydraulic measurement and control products has teamed up with local school St Ivo to take part in the Engineering Education Scheme (EES). This EDT programme links teams of 16/17 year old pupils and their teacher with local companies to work on real, scientific and technological problems.
Around 1,400 pupils take part throughout the UK and the scheme, which has been running since 1984, provides students with in-depth experience of science, engineering and technology giving them personal development education through work related learning. Webtec’s passion to encourage young people in the local community to follow a career in engineering is the driving force behind its commitment to support this project.
Webtec challenged the team of six from the St Ivo School to focus on the companies’ 180 series of high-pressure aluminium hydraulic rotary shear directional control valves. The team were tasked with collecting engineering data by carrying out systematic and automated testing, which covered many aspects including creation of a project plan, gaining an understanding of hydraulic systems and valves, designing a test jig, electronics interface and test software.
The project lasted for six months during which the team spent time with the engineers and managers on-site at Webtec’s facility. At the end of the project, all of teams took part in a central assessment day where all of the projects were judged. The St Ivo team was one of five that came highly recommended by the EES panel and they also received a ‘CREST Gold Award’.
Martin Cuthbert, Webtec’s Managing Director commented, “We are very pleased to support EES as it encourages young engineers locally and is part of our company vision to inspire others to enjoy the challenges that engineering brings”.
The St Ivo team were very appreciative of the help that their Webtec mentors, Peter Woodford and Diego Cossio had given to them and enjoyed learning and gaining new skills and experiences.
Adam, the St Ivo team leader of the group said, “I believe that the project has been very useful in teaching myself and the team further management skills. Our mentors where brilliant throughout the project, firstly they helped by giving us a chance to partake in this really interesting experience but they also really helped to guide us using their knowledge. Webtec have been really fantastic in allowing us to do this, putting real faith in us and we are all extremely grateful to the company”.