Year 10 engineering students
visit Volvo Construction Equipment GB headquarters
On 23 June students from Swavesey Village College visited Volvo Construction Equipment in Duxford as
the final part of the project set by the company for the students to design and build a model articulated hauler.
Adrian Collen, Technical Support Manager for Excavators at Volvo CE arranged the joint venture and comments: “I first visited the school in November 2015 where I set the students the task of building their models. The brief was that the models had to perform in terms of turning ability, load carrying, and tipping movement and to incorporate some form of safety features such as lights, handrails etc.”Adrian visited the students again in February to see how they were getting on with their models and was pleased with the progress they had made. “The students had made real progress and the machines were starting to take shape. I was pleased to see that the students were getting stuck into the project and it was great to see some of the ideas they were coming up with.”
The project culminated with a visit to Volvo Constructions Equipment’s headquarters in GB where they brought their models along for judging. In addition to this the students were given a tour of the facility which included the training centre, workshop, warehouse and were also able to explore one of the largest articulated haulers, the Volvo A40G. The students also took part in a career session, facilitated by Hannah Wild Education Manager for Cambridge as part of Business in the Community.
All 19 students received careers advice before several ‘Volvo ambassadors’ from different departments including Health and Safety, Marketing, Part Sales and Engineering spent time with each group talking about their roles, what they do day to day and how they developed their careers. Hannah comments: “What was great about the day was how students began to learn how very big the business was and how many different career roles there are; career roles they did not know existed before today and with the help of the Volvo ambassadors, they started to understand how much possibility there is in the world of work.”
While this was taking place the models were judged by Adrian Collen, Matt Game (Sales Support Manager) and George Eustace (Apprentice Engineer.) The models were tested for their movement, safety features, overall build quality and were loaded with sand to test load carrying and tipping ability.
Harry Mills and Joe McKimmie were crowned the winners and were presented with a Lego Technic model each by Nick Allen, Managing Director and Paul Fennessy, Business Solutions Director at Volvo CE. All of the students were then presented with a goody bag packed with Volvo merchandise before they headed back to school. The winning model is now on display in the main reception at Volvo CE.
Brendan Scally, Head of Engineering at Swavesey Village College comments: “It has been great to see this partnership between Swavesey Village College and Volvo Construction Equipment develop over the past few months. We have put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make this day happen from designing and running the project with the students to organising the event at Duxford. The students have had a great experience at Volvo, especially getting a chance to sit in and explore the 40 ton hauler. I would like to thank Volvo, and especially Adrian, for organising all the tours and talks that took place. The students learnt a lot and it has opened their eyes to the practical and business side of engineering. Congratulations to Harry and Joe, and to all the other students who so proudly presented their projects to the Volvo representatives”
Hannah adds: “I may have facilitated the partnership, however it was Brendan at Swavesey and Adrian at Volvo who planned this project together and the result was a wealth of learning, not just in construction and engineering but business, the world of work and development of transferable work skills. It was wonderful to see many business people at Volvo come together to meet the students during the site visit. This is how a real Business Class partnership starts and who knows where this innovative partnership will take us.”
Volvo Construction Equipment markets wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed customer support centres and a network of utility equipment dealers to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.