Graduation Ceremonies

New graduate to build wind turbine in Peru

 

Ben Lane graduated with a First Class Honours degree. He initiated a project to build a wind turbine at the University, and is the winner of the 2011 Chancellor's Award.

 

A graduate engineer from the University of Bath is taking his skills to Peru this summer to build a wind turbine that will provide villagers with their first source of electricity.

Ben Lane, 23, from Harrogate, is working with a charity called WindAid to spend five weeks building a wind turbine that will provide villagers with a sustainable source of energy to transform their everyday living.

Ben initiated a project at the University which taught students how to build a wind turbine.

Ben initiated a project at the University which taught students how to build a wind turbine.

Ben, who is graduating on Tuesday 5 July at Bath Abbey with a First Class Honours degree in mechanical engineering, also scooped the Chancellor’s Prize for being the best final year undergraduate, and is using the prize money to help fund his trip.

He was inspired to join the South American scheme having organised a team of 30 engineering students at Bath on a project that taught the theoretical and practical issues involved in building wind turbines.

The student-led project took place over three weekends and built a wind turbine from scratch, culminating with the completion of a one kilowatt, ten metre tall turbine, capable of producing enough power for half a standard UK home.

Ben initiated the scheme at the University, organised by wind turbine specialists V3 Power in conjunction with the international development organisation Engineers Without Borders and is a prototype for a similar scheme planned for the developing world.

Ben said: “The project at Bath not only let us develop our engineering skills but highlighted the need for sustainable energy and how we can go about developing the technology through small-scale, on-the-ground projects.

“It will be exciting to see how our experiences here in Bath help in the running of similar projects in communities in other parts of the world and for me, personally, to put my skills into practice in Peru and make a real difference to people’s lives.

The contacts I made and experience I gained through the course will be invaluable to help me in achieving a leading position

The project involved students from disciplines across the University. Ben will use the skills he learnt to help small village communities in Peru.

The project involved students from disciplines across the University. Ben will use the skills he learnt to help small village communities in Peru.

within industry when I return from Peru. I am looking forward to enhancing my passion for engineering as a mechanism for change.”

During his time at university Ben also completed an International Student Volunteering expedition to the Dominican Republic where he helped with construction and community work in local schools.

He was also picked to work with world-renowned polar explorer Robert Swan as part of the 2041 Inspire Antarctica Expedition in 2010. The trip aimed to raise awareness about the impact of environmental changes on Antarctica and students were trained to develop and enhance their leadership skills.

When Ben returns from his trip he will be joining London-based management consultancy Bain & Company, and has ambitions to complete a Master of Business Administration in the future.

He said “I’ve had an incredible five years here at Bath. The tuition here gives you the chance to excel and I’ve had some amazing opportunities. I feel really privileged to be collecting the Chancellor’s Award and it’s a fantastic end to my time at Bath.”

The graduation award ceremonies, presided over by the University’s Chancellor, Lord Tugendhat, will all be preceded by a public procession of some of the University’s senior officers and academics.

The first ceremony at 10am on Tuesday will also be attended by the Mayor of Bath, Bryan Chalker, and the Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Peter Edwards.

The processions will begin at the Guildhall, go into the High Street, turn right into Cheap Street, and left down Farrs Passage into the Abbey Churchyard. They will return after the ceremonies past Rebecca’s Fountain and into the High Street.

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