North Devon manufacturer supports F1 in Schools winner

Engineers from TDK-Lambda UK in Ilfracombe, North Devon supported a team of students from the town’s Ilfracombe Academy with its entry to the international STEM competition, F1 in Schools. This is part of an extensive programme that TDK-Lambda engineers are engaged in to help promote, encourage and support STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to young people across the region.

The Ilfracombe Academy Year 9 Team Nebula, winner of their category (Entry Class)

The Ilfracombe Academy Year 9 Team Nebula, winner of their category (Entry Class)

“TDK-Lambda is committed to supporting STEM education. We believe it is vital to address the looming skills gap and our engineers are engaged in a range of activities with local schools in North Devon to foster early enthusiasm and interest in young students,” says Tim Puttick, production manager for TDK-Lambda UK. “We aim to give them an insight into the opportunities that are open to them if they study STEM subjects and support them in developing the necessary skills to pursue these interests.”

Spanning age ranges of 9 to 19, F1 in Schools is a global educational programme designed to raise awareness of STEM among students. Its main objective is to challenge the perception of STEM subjects, using Formula One’s appeal to create a fun and exciting learning environment, helping young people to develop informed views about careers in engineering. Teams of 3-6 students use CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature compressed air powered balsa wood F1 cars. In addition to the engineering elements, each team must also raise sponsorship and manage budgets to fund research, travel and accommodation, as well as create a design portfolio and present their project to judges.

TDK-Lambda provided support and mentoring to the Ilfracombe Academy Year 9 team, Nebula. TDK-Lambda engineer, Stephen Smith, and milling machine operator, Dave Maskrey, shared their engineering knowledge, helping the team to develop its 3D concept design and go on to build two competition race cars.

Working with the TDK-Lambda engineers, and Design Technology teacher and Head of Year 9, Steve Cronin, Nebula competed for the first time at the South West Regional finals in South Devon in February 2017. The team won their category (Entry Class) overall, recording the fastest car, as well as creating a high quality portfolio of supporting work and delivering two presentations to the judges.

Team Nebula’s miniature compressed air-powered balsa wood F1 cars

Team Nebula’s miniature compressed air-powered balsa wood F1 cars

“Nebula was outstanding in all aspects of the competition, winning its class at its first attempt,” says Steve Cronin, Design Technology teacher and Head of Year 9 at the Ilfracombe Academy. “This success simply wouldn’t have been possible without the time and support of TDK-Lambda and its engineers – and the team is already planning on how to improve upon its design and enter the next class in next year’s competition.”

TDK-Lambda UK has manufactured electronic power supplies in Ilfracombe for 50 years and offers a range of STEM-focused career opportunities.

For more information about TDK-Lambda and its power supplies, please call +44 (0)1271 856600 or visit uk.tdk-lambda.com