Land speed record breaker and UK entrepreneur Richard Noble (OBE) visited Truro School’s Burrell Theatre on Thursday 26 March to share a special science lecture with students from across the county and supported by The Ogden Trust.
Mr Noble, who hopes to set a new land speed record of 1000mph in 2016, visited Cornwall to inspire the next generation of budding engineers and physicists.
Students of all ages attended the talk from nearby schools including, Helston Community College, Falmouth School, Richard Lander and Newquay Tretherras.
The presentation showcased Mr Noble’s latest invention, the Bloodhound, a supersonic vehicle that is currently under construction with the backing of major sponsors including Rolls Royce, Castrol and Jaguar.
Mr Noble gave students an overview of the physics behind reaching enormous speeds such as computational fluid dynamics and the science behind modelling the best shape for the vehicle to achieve the best aerodynamics.
After the event Charlie Frost, Sixth Form student at Falmouth School said:
“I’m mind blown. I’m really glad I have chosen to do my engineering degree.”
The event was supported and funded by The Ogden Trust, a body that seeks to raise awareness and participation in physics, who donated £5,000 to The Cornwall Physics Partnership in order to run a series of events over the coming year.
Nick Fisher, Deputy Headmaster and Physics teacher at Truro School said:
“It was an honour to have Richard Noble visit our school and it was great to have so many students from schools across the county come together for his lecture.”
Apart from breaking the land speed record, the Bloodhound project also seeks to provide a shop window to the world of engineering for students, helping to plug the UK’s engineering skills deficit.
Richard introduced the concept of ‘The ‘Apollo Effect’, a term used to describe the heightened increase in science and engineering during the 1960’s space race which led to a major increase in skilled engineers graduating through universities.
This year Engineering UK reported that over 250,000 new vacancies will be created in the engineering industry over the next seven years and that the UK does not have the education or growth rate in place to meet the demand for skilled workers.
Mr Noble hopes that the ‘Apollo Effect’ can be recreated with Bloodhound helping to fix the UK’s skills shortage.
Tyler Madison, a student at Newquay Tretherras School, said:
“This event has opened my eyes to what this country can do.”
The Bloodhound project previously visited Camborne College back March 2012 for the National Science and Engineering Week when the idea was in its infancy, having spent approximately £6.3 million pounds.
The cost of the venture now stands at £41 million with Bloodhound on track to break the world record in 2016.
Richard next returns to Cornwall in August this year when Bloodhound will be tested at Newquay Airport.
The team will then fly out to South Africa in September where they hope to reach 800mph, a speed that will break the existing land speed record of 763mph despite still being 200mph off their ambitious final target.
Mr Noble finished by saying:
“A 30% leap in the land speed record will be very difficult to achieve, but we’re going to give it a good go!”