Red Arrows inspire budding engineers at Expo 2020’s UK Pavilion
Pilots and engineers of the future have been inspired by an interactive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) event held at the UK Pavilion in partnership with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) aerobatic team the Red Arrows, and Heriot-Watt University Dubai.
Drones, robots, 3-D printing, and Formula One-style car building were featured during the learning session, providing an in-depth look at the field of engineering and the scale of opportunities for new generations.
Tadgh O’Donovan, Professor, Deputy Vice Principle and Head of Engineering, Heriot-Watt University Dubai told Expo News: "Sometimes people think engineering is all about maths and science, but there is so much more to it — and it’s so much fun. Engineers don’t do things twice. I always encourage my classes to play with the technology — it’s not an assignment. If students are not excited to get involved, then we’re doing it wrong! It’s for all ages; you’ll see kids here today (Friday) as young as three years old looking up at the skies and seeing the amazing Red Arrows fly and they’ll wonder ‘how does that happen?’ and ‘how can I be a part of that?’"
O’Donovan added: "We have 60 members of the RAF here today; this entourage includes engineers and technicians - it’s not just one person flying the aircraft. It’s a great example of precision engineering."
Abdulomonem Mohamed, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) student from the British University was on hand to help younger visitors tap into the possibilities: "I’m demonstrating how to drive drones, print 3-D cars and help them to connect the small pieces of the electric cars together."
"I love the robots here," Seth Garrity, an eight-year-old from Australia, told Expo News. "And I can’t wait to see the Red Arrow that’s being 3-D printed. They said it would be finished by 6pm, so we’ll come back later to see it."
O’Donovan hailed Expo 2020 as the best stage in the world to display innovation, predicting that sustainability will be Expo’s most significant outcome: "It’s the biggest challenge that engineers face; it’s also the biggest challenge that society faces, but I believe engineers have a key role to deliver sustainability. We talk about how much energy is used taking a flight, but the question is that if we are to decarbonise, does that mean we fly less? I don’t believe that. I think engineers are going to come up with solutions in a sustainable way. There will be a development in sustainable fuels. The UAE is going to be a leader in hydrogen and how that is going to impact and support aviation in the future. Sustainability is what all aspects of engineering will be addressing in the next few years."