Engineers lay on a 'green' Christmas

Christmas Lights
03 Dec 2010 12:00:00.000


Hundreds of school pupils will get an entertaining insight into the future of energy at a Christmas lecture laid on at The University of Nottingham.

From the explosive power of hydrogen to sound waves that can keep food cold, from solar power to electric cars, they will find out how new ways to generate, store, convert and use energy can help to protect the environment and fight global warming.

More than 400 pupils will hear how the latest research is helping the world to meet increasing demands for energy, as conventional sources such as oil and coal become scarcer.

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Pupils will see a variety of demonstrations of energy technologies — from pedal-powered Christmas lights to a Segway and an electric go-kart.

A team of researchers from the Faculty of Engineering are laying on a fascinating festive lecture on December 8 in one of the University’s new large lecture theatres, promising opportunities for audience participation, lots of flashes, a few bangs and maybe the odd screech…

This event is being part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Jill Minter, Marketing Manager for the Faculty of Engineering, said: “This is a great opportunity for the engineers of the future to see how today’s engineers are really making a difference, by developing the technologies that will help to tackle some of the biggest energy challenges of the 21st century.”

Children and teachers from 25 schools are coming to campus for the lecture. Demonstrations will be provided by various members of the University using examples drawn from their own research, including:

- Solar Power — the ability to generate cheap, green energy from sunlight

- Explosive power — with the help of a hydrogen balloon — to show how we can get ‘rapid’ release of energy in the form of heat, light & sound

- An electric car being built in Nottingham, which shows how we can use stored energy to produce emission-free vehicles

- Food energy and food waste, including cyclists and rowers showing how food is converted into energy, as well as using the byproduct biogas

- Sound energy — how sound can drive a speaker which in turn generates electricity

- How hydrogen & oxygen can be used to power cars

Demonstrations will be given by Mark Sumner, Marion Unwin, Noah Russell, Sarah Jewitt, Arthur Williams, Paul Riley and James Bonnyman.

For more stories about engineering in Nottingham, and the academics behind the science, check out the films on the award-winning Test-Tube website:

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at: 

Facts and figures at:

Story credits

More information is available from Jill Minter, Engineering Marketing Manager, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 3629,
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park


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