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Innovative pupils win prize for time saving solution

March 17th, 2015


An engineering duo from Monmouth School won a top prize for their revolutionary project.

Tom, 17, and Jonathan, 16, spent months working on their project brief, set by Renishaw plc, to replace a cumbersome and time consuming method of clamping metal plates that were to be cut by a milling machine.

The clever pair displayed their work and presented to judges, members of the public and a group of award sponsors during the Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) Awards and Assessment Day at Newport’s Celtic Manor Hotel on Monday.

In total, 69 schools from all over South Wales competed in the annual contest.

As well as being nominated for Best Application of Engineering and Technology, Most Effective Presentation of Chosen Solution and Best Application of Science, the boys won the prize for the Most Innovative Solution.

Gareth Dunn, physics teacher at Monmouth School, said: “The current system involved screwing clamps to a metal bed using Allen keys etc.

“In some cases the majority of the time on the job was spent clamping the plates rather than cutting.

“The boys created a magnetic clamping system that turned tens of minutes of clamping into tens of seconds.

“All that was needed was to replace the complicated existing bed with its array of threaded holes with a simple slab of iron so that the clamps could stick to it very firmly.

“Its simplicity was its strength and given a small amount of professional development could be a commercial success.”

Mark Hodge, a vendor assurance engineer at Renishaw, was impressed with the boys’ work.

He said: “Despite only being a team of two, the boys developed a sensible, well thought out and realistic solution to the problem set, as well as manufacturing an effective series of prototype parts using a variety of metalworking techniques.

“They also demonstrated a respectable level of commitment to this project over the last six months, even whilst simultaneously being busy with AS level work.

“We offer our congratulations to Tom and Jonathan on the successful completion of their project, and on winning the Most Innovative Solution to the Project Set category at the EESW awards ceremony.

“Well done!”

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