Many of us older Engineers think that the present system of training and educating the next generation is fundamentally wrong! You may disagree, but in the main there is an ever widening gap between Graduates, Technicians and Craftsmen. In the old days when we were young, all engineers had at least some practical hands on experience of the nuts and bolts of our profession, whereas today many Chartered Engineers have little or no practical skills.
Worry not friends, there is a glimmer of hope in the form of the Formula Student Race Car Competition. This was originally conceived by the American Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). However, the first team in Europe was our very own University of Leeds some fifteen years ago.
The rules state that the teams should design, build, and race a small car which is intended to be a prototype of a weekend racer. Not only theoretical then, but hands on stuff! The resulting cars are put head to head with entries from up to a hundred universities across the globe.
Leeds has one of the smallest budgets and generally lacks much vital support. They have won several prestigious awards in the best traditions of “doing it on a shoe string”. We have presented the team with a cheque for £500.00 during several seasons, to help their efforts, and some of our members, particularly Chris Burgess, contributed time and manufacturing facilities and expertise.
We have been proud to support this very worthwhile cause in past years. However, following a change of policy by the University of Leeds, which has since chosen to impose considerable costs for the hire of lecture room facilities, the association has withdrawn from regular sponsorship from the Formula Student competition.
The association will still follow their activities closely and wish them well for the future.
B. J. Yates.
Table of contents
President’s Report 2010
Officers of the Leeds Association of Engineers
Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Association 1865 to 2010
Secretaries of the Association
In office 2004 to 2010
Young Engineer Award or Project Scheme
Anniversary Dinners 2005 to 2010
Extract from the “Rules of the Leeds Association of Engineers”