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World record attempt project aims to inspire future engineers


Four people are stood looking at a model of a small speed boat

The University of Bradford is helping to inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators as part of a world water speed record attempt project.

The university has joined forces with ThrustWSH, the team behind the future world record attempt, to encourage youngsters into careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

Partnering with The Manufacturer, Michael Page Recruitment, Bloodhound Education and the University of Leeds, staff in the University of Bradford’s School of Engineering have created The ThrustWSH: STEM Education Survey to get the industry's perspective on subjects including the STEM skills gap, recruitment challenges, emerging trends and what skills youngsters will need to have to fulfil future roles.

Sent to engineering and manufacturing companies across the UK, the survey findings will help to inform an inspirational education programme linked to the science and technology used for ThrustWSH in the water speed record challenge. The survey aims to create a legacy around the project and help inspire the next generation of engineers, manufacturers, designers and record breakers.

The University of Bradford will analyse the survey’s results and produce a final report later this year, helping to guide the creation of the ThrustWSH Education Programme.

Close up photo of a person wearing a blue bomber type jacket smiling at the camera

The ThrustWSH project, including the education survey, will be showcased by entrepreneur Richard Noble OBE, pictured above, Director of Thrust Boats, and his team at Smart Manufacturing and Engineering Week, held at NEC Birmingham on 5 and 6 June.
No date has been set for the water speed record attempt, which is in its early stages, with testing of scale models still taking place.

Dr David Bryant, Professor Tim Gough and Dr Elaine Brown, from the University of Bradford’s School of Engineering, said: “The School of Engineering is delighted to collaborate on this project. 

Providing the younger generation with enthusiasm, inspiration and opportunities to follow a career in engineering is crucial to ensure continuing strength in the sector 

“It is vital to identify the new and emerging knowledge and skills gaps within industry to help shape and inform future STEM education, ensuring a stream of new engineers with the right foundations to drive industry forwards.”

The project features Alan Banks, Chair of Composites UK, an award-winning engineer from Ford Motor Company, who studied for a Master’s at the University of Bradford. He was awarded a Doctorate of Engineering at the University of Bradford in July 2023 in recognition of his leadership and innovation within the engineering industry.