The Bloodhound Project John Lanham

John Lanham

University of the West of England

I was born in 1962 and can vividly recall sitting in school in the late 60’s and early 70’s watching the grainy black and white images broadcast of the Americans flying to the moon.  I was one of those influenced by the Apollo project, it’s one of the reasons I became an engineer and then a lecturer.
After school in Croydon I studied Electrical Engineering at Swansea University, long before youngsters like Ben Evans and Bjorn Rodde ever went there !  On graduation I worked in industry in the electronics and computer industry before moving in to teaching at Bristol Polytechnic in the late 1980’s.
The move into teaching was a key change for me as although I thoroughly enjoyed life as a professional engineer I come from a family of teachers and realised that for me inspiring and educating the next generation of engineers was where I really wanted to be working.  I’ve been in Bristol ever since working as a lecturer, researcher,  project manager and in more recent times managing an academic department.
Life as an academic is never dull and my current role has many facets- a key one is working with external industrial partners. It was in this way that I met John Piper and Richard Noble in December 2007 when Richard first came to UWE looking for a base for the design team.
The idea for Bloodhound@University arose when we saw that the project offered a unique opportunity to enrich the way in which we academics teach STEM subjects at university.  Our plan is to develop teaching materials, case studies, projects and competitions that will bring the excitement and challenge of Bloodhound into our lecture theatres and laboratories so that students can learn from and also contribute to the project as it progresses.  Web technology means that the grainy black and white images of my youth have been superseded by a world wide network that now enables us to distribute, share and exchange information about the project as it happens. 
I, as with many others, was grabbed by both the excitement of building a car to push the boundaries and the enormity of the challenge.  It’s great to be part of the project and contributing to the educational focus that is the heart of Bloodhound.  Opportunities like this don’t come along very often and I am enjoying being part of such a great and vibrant project.
The educational ethos of the project will provide academics up and down the UK with access to the problems, the designs and also the designs that didn’t work or were rejected. It’s these latter features that are educationally the most exciting as we learn more from our failures than our successes.  Why a design was adopted – why another possible solution was rejected, what was the criteria used to select between options.

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Education in the Fast Lane

Sunday, 17 November, 2013 - 09:03

When: 28 November 2013 18:00 to 20:00
Where: Walker Lecture Theatre, Harrison Hughes Building, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3GH

Speaker Details
Dr John Lanham, Associate Dean, Faculty of Environment & Technology, UWE
John has been in demand by the media since UWE started to run the Higher Education Engagement programme for BLOODHOUND SSC.

Come along and learn about the challenges of designing and building a car to raise the world land speed record to 1,000 mph. Bloodhound though is not just about the car – its real “drive” is education.

The lecture will describe some of the technology but also the innovative education approaches that are being used to engage schools, colleges or university students – so you can be a part of this project.

Members and Non-Members welcome. Registration is preferred, for catering purposes (prior to the lecture).

To register or more information please contact: Chetan Lakhanpal, C.Lakhanpal@liverpool.ac.uk or Nikki Barker on 07767 477171

For more information, click here or download the flyer.