Renishaw races ahead in ‘International Women in Engineering Day’ celebrations

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Renishaw was the official sponsor of the 2019 Castle Combe heat of the national Greenpower electric car racing competition. This year, the event fell on International Women in Engineering Day, on 23 June.

During the event at the Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire, Renishaw ran a stand to encourage competitors to consider a career in engineering and highlight that diversity in the engineering industry is fundamental to its long-term success and sustainability.

On the day, competitors in the F24 (ages 11-16) and F24+ (ages 16-25) category raced electric cars that they had built, completing as many laps of the track as possible within an hour. The aim was to use the 12 V batteries and standard motors as efficiently as possible, so that the cars travelled the furthest distance in the allocated time.

As sponsor of the event, Renishaw also ran hands-on engineering activities to encourage young people to get excited about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, and consider engineering as a career. Racers were able to use Renishaw’s energy bike to see how much energy they could generate, trying to light up LED and incandescent light bulbs. Renishaw also ran a homopolar motor activity where visitors could create paperclip spinners.

“Engineering is often perceived as a male-only industry,” explains Rebecca Bound, education outreach officer at Renishaw. “As sponsor of a competition on International Women in Engineering Day, we wanted to demonstrate to the female competitors that the skills they’ve developed in building their cars can be utilised for an exciting and rewarding career in engineering.”

Renishaw runs an extensive education outreach programme for school students across Gloucestershire, Bristol and South Wales to encourage more young people to consider engineering as a career. As a part of the programme, Renishaw has a team of over 150 STEM ambassadors, who run events and workshops across the area. Approximately 33% of Renishaw’s STEM ambassadors are female.

Greenpower Education Trust is a UK-based charity that runs competitions across the UK, USA, Poland and China to spark enthusiasm in STEM subjects through the excitement of motorsport.