David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, today opened the new BLOODHOUND Technical Centre in Avonmouth, Bristol, where the iconic 1,000 mph jet and rocket powered racing car is now being assembled.
As recognition of the Project's success in inspiring children about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Mr Willetts announced a £1m grant for BLOODHOUND to support its education and outreach mission. This is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a founder sponsor of the BLOODHOUND programme. A uniquely 'open source' high technology programme, 5,340 UK schools, including primaries, secondaries and special educational needs colleges are already using BLOODHOUND materials in class. The funding will help the Project's education team and 500 ambassadors extend this work and inspire more children about STEM subjects.
During his visit, Mr Willetts helped BLOODHOUND's engineers join the carbon composite front section, driver Andy Green's 1,000 mph 'office', to the metal rear chassis which will house the car's custom-designed rocket. This marked a major milestone for BLOODHOUND which will be the most powerful land vehicle ever created.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said "BLOODHOUND is British science and engineering at its visionary best. The project's success will not only be measured in miles per hour, but also in how it inspires future generations. This new investment will help show even more young people how rewarding science and engineering careers can be. It's been an honour to be part of the BLOODHOUND journey so far and I wish the team the best of luck for the world land speed record attempt."
Professor David Delpy, EPSRC Chief Executive, said: "EPSRC has supported the BLOODHOUND Project since 2008. It's an exciting example of Science and Engineering which has already inspired young people. We want that educational work to progress beyond the actual land speed record attempt and this funding will help the team achieve even more by firing the imagination of tomorrow's research leaders."
Richard Noble OBE, BLOODHOUND Project Director said: "It is significant that EPSRC was one of our original sponsors, for they recognised in the early days that this was an education project with a difference. This grant is an endorsement of all the work done by our team and ambassadors since then, and it will help us work with more schools and inspire even more children as the car rolls out and we share the images and data from record breaking runs with them."
Three years of independent evaluation by the National Foundation for Educational Research found BLOODHOUND is having a positive effect, with key findings;
"The programme has increased young people's understanding of engineering and the importance of STEM subjects. The Bloodhound education team's work makes engineering accessible and relevant to young people's lives and gives a real example of an engineering project in the UK."
"The team have been very effective at engaging with, and inspiring, a large number of young people in schools and colleges and tackling gender stereotypes."
Jess Herbert, 16, an engineering apprentice at Rolls-Royce Plc spoke about the impact The BLOODHOUND Project has had on her:
"I first heard about the Project when I was 13 and thought it was incredibly ambitious and exciting. It really showed what engineering is all about: the challenge, the creativity, the teamwork and the problem solving. It helped me realise that this is the career path I wanted to follow. So here I am today, one of 12 Rolls-Royce apprentices, thanks to BLOODHOUND."
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Notes to Editors
- The world land speed record of 763 mph is held by Thrust SSC, a UK team lead by BLOODHOUND's Project Director Richard Noble and driven by Andy Green.
- The BLOODHOUND team scoured the globe to find the perfect desert to run the car on, it needed to be at least 12 miles long, two miles wide and perfectly flat. The Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa was selected.
- At full speed BLOODHOUND SSC will cover a mile in 3.6 seconds, that's 4.5 football pitches laid end to end per second.
- BLOODHOUND has three power plants, a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet from a Eurofighter Typhoon, a custom designed hybrid rocket and a 750 bhp Cosworth F1 engine that drives the rocket oxidiser pump. Between them they generate 135,000 equivalent hp, equal to 180 F1 cars.
- Previous EPSRC investment in the BLOODHOUND Project includes: A £740K grant in 2008 for computational modelling of the aerodynamics research for BLOODHOUND SSC, carried out at the Civil and Computational Engineering Centre, School of Engineering at Swansea University. A £1 million grant in 2012 for the Bloodhound Knowledge Base to stimulate engagement and use of the data and information from the project by the UK education community, at all levels - primary to university. This will help realise its objective to provide unique and unprecedented access to real details and data on the car, its design and running.
- Over 200 UK companies, 180 of them SMEs, are involved in the Project, which has become a showcase for UK science and engineering capability being followed in 218 countries.
- Over 5,340 UK primary and secondary schools have signed up to use the free BLOODHOUND Education resources in their classrooms
- The educational outreach programme also runs in South Africa with more than 200 schools already participating and more than 100 BLOODHOUND ambassadors signed up to help use the project to inspire young people about studying maths and science. The programme reaches out to schools across the country, but particularly in the Northern Cape Province, home to the track where the BLOODHOUND SSC will run.