Hands on time with University of Bradford’s Dr. Carruthers

On Monday, the 9th of November 2015, a representative of Bradford University, Dr. Andrew Carruthers, visited the college and coordinated a workshop for the Engineering students. During this workshop, we were split into groups and given a task to construct two structures; a tower as tall as we could make it and a platform to hold as many house bricks as possible. These all seem very basic, but there was a catch. We were to make both these structures entirely out of 10 sheets of A4 paper.

After ten minutes of planning, the groups got to work. These tasks were challenging because they required us to apply some basic Physics concepts like tensile strength and the pressure to surface area ratio to a real life problem. These tasks were also challenging because we had limited resources. Thirty minutes later, the structures were complete and it was time for evaluation. The tallest tower was 152 cm tall and the sturdiest platform could hold 11 house bricks. Impressive, but 14 less than the record of 25! This task taught us time management, resource management, division of labour, knowledge application and quick thinking and I feel like I emerged a better Engineering student as a result. In the summation of Dr. Carruthers, after the exercise, Engineering is about thinking out solutions to a practical problem. He alluded to the potentials in a country like Nigeria, where there are numerous problems crying for solution. The field is surely ripe for our future engineers to help solve these problems.


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