Hands-On Engineering at Oundle School
15th October 2014

The first day of the new academic year saw Engineer-in-Residence, Dr Ben Evans, come back to Oundle to initiate Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) research using the School’s wind tunnel, housed in the Physics Department.

Three Lower Sixth Form pupils, Rafe Trundell (16), Jemima Burgess (16) and William Sly (16), all of whom are working on an EPQ, enjoyed hands-on experience with the wind tunnel, making the most of their time with Dr Evans to discuss the mathematics behind drag, thrust and lift.

Dr Evans will be returning to the School in May for the EPQ presentation evening. In the meantime, he will be advising and guiding the pupils via email or Twitter throughout the year from his base at Swansea University where he is a lecturer in Aerospace Engineering.

The Engineer in Residence scheme, initiated by Sanderson Fellow and Chemistry teacher, Dr James Bessent, is aimed at educating and inspiring the pupils about the role of a modern day engineer.


James commented, “Oundle has a rich history in engineering and it is hoped that the visits will inspire the next generation of Oundle pupils into considering engineering as a career path.


Engineering courses have moved well beyond the confines of the manufacturing industry and involve greater blurring of disciplines, especially across the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. One of the aims of the visits is to showcase the range of careers and skill sets within engineering and to open pupils’ eyes to the diversity – and the future - of the industry as a whole.”

Dr Evans is also a lead aerodynamicist on the Bloodhound SSC car, a supersonic car which Bloodhound hope will exceed 1000mph come 2016.

For more information about the Bloodhound SSC project or Dr Evans visit:



About Oundle School’s new SciTec Campus


Since the days of the celebrated Headmaster F. W. Sanderson, arguably the greatest educationalist of his age, Oundle has been recognised as one of the foremost schools for science and engineering in the country. In 2007, SciTec, a major and ground-breaking new science complex, opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. Oundle is now undertaking a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department built adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. 


Due for completion by September 2016, this development will position Oundle at the heart of applying science and embrace developments in new fields such as nanotechnology and mechatronics. It will enable pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology.  All STEM disciplines will be united both philosophically and physically, enabling pupils to understand fully how all the different stages interact.

The current Patrick Centre will be extended and exhaustively refurbished, re-launching as the Patrick Engineering Centre. The current ‘large projects’ space for which Oundle is famous will be retained but relocated, and a design laboratory for prototyping and design work will be created, acoustically segregated from the practical facilities.  A ‘clean laboratory’ will be provided adjacent to the design laboratory, enabling high-tech processes such as 3D printing and robotics to be deployed.  In addition to the large projects space, there will be four open-plan workshop bays that will enable pupils to be taught in small groups whilst sharing fixed machinery, as well as two new dedicated classrooms for design and theory that will be easily accessible from the workshops. 

The new Mathematics department will form the major part of an extension to the current SciTec building, which was envisaged as a future development of the original design. It will thereby complete the original architectural aspiration of a grand entrance to the whole SciTec Campus. An internal quadrangle will be created, giving equal status to all disciplines as well as a proper regard to the newly-refurbished Adamson Centre opposite, encouraging an interplay between Modern Languages and SciTec.  

The extension will also provide two new science project rooms adjacent to the current Biology and Chemistry laboratories, enabling experiments and projects to be carried out over a longer time-frame than is currently possible. This will bring particular benefits for pupils working on Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs). 

The School offers two Scholarships for Design and Technology, one at 13+ and one at 16+. Entry forms and further details are available on the admissions section of the School website:



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