Imperial College London

Practical education continues during the pandemic


Student Vinzenz using the "Automotive Design and Motorsport activities" kit

Student Vinzenz using the "Automotive Design and Motorsport activities" kit

Mechanical Engineering students at Imperial received a package of hands-on activities to do at home as part of their curriculum.

Over 300 packages were provided, including over 100 delivered to homes around the world.

First year students received weekly activities for the design work, including gear, shaft, and bearing mechanisms. One of the activities involved changing a gear box arrangement until a small motor successfully lifted a bottle of water up to table-height. 

"The gear box bottle challenge was really fun because it allowed us to put into practice the theory that we learnt in the lectures." Hudson First year student
"The gear box challenge really helped me visualise the practical effect of different gear ratios." Hamza First year student

Third year students on some optional modules received packages, including electronics and a robot car for the module "Embedded C for microcontrollers"; a construction kit for a brushless motor and sensor for the module "Automotive design and motorsport technology"; and craft tools and materials for "Design, art, and creativity".

In the spring term, second year students will receive kits for various hands-on activities.

Many thanks are due to Graham Gosling, Hawys Tomos, Alexis Ihracska, Ravi Vaidyanathan, Paul Hooper, Mankela Lamaj, Julia Easton, Vim Patel, and many other staff members who have made these packages happen.

Principal Teaching Fellow Peter Johnson, who is coordinating the initiative, said: “The teachers have been really innovative and not only enabled students to meet the original learning objectives despite lockdown, but in many cases they have turned the crisis into opportunity and improved the learning experience for the students”.


Nadia Barbu

Nadia Barbu
Department of Mechanical Engineering