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15 July 2011
Forty teenagers from across the UK have had the unique opportunity this month to explore the engineering behind modern mobile communications. The School of Engineering at Cardiff University hosted the event in collaboration with the educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust. Students gained a valuable practical knowledge of the principles, systems and technologies that constitute the expanding world of mobile communications.During the residential course, students attended lectures by Cardiff academics, keynote industry speakers and laboratory sessions which were designed to develop their understanding of the subject. Hands-on workshops included an opportunity to use software to design, develop, explore and prototype communication system components. The programme included an opportunity to see the inside of a BBC Outside Broadcasting Unit and a visit to power management leader International Rectifier.
As part of the course, students spent a day working with engineers from a leading multi-disciplinary engineering company, General Dynamics UK. Projects included designing and building a communication system made from a piece of fruit; intercepting, deciphering and encrypting messages; and designing a cabling solution for a communication systems in a mock-up land vehicle.Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Gemma Murphy commented: "We are delighted to run this with the support of Cardiff University and General Dynamics UK. The technologies behind communications are continually advancing and with opportunities like these, students will be able to see how they could help to revolutionise the way in which such technology improves the quality of our lives now and in the future."Steve Watts, Cardiff School of Engineering said: "The people attending this summer school are exposed to a breadth of lectures to underpin hands-on, practical laboratories to widen their understanding of the engineering within modern mobile communication systems, hopefully encouraging them to appreciate this industry and electronic engineering generally as an exciting, rewarding career path."The Mobile Communications course is run by independent charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is part of an ongoing programme of residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, The Trust has reached out to 17,677 students across the UK in the past year.
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