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Crawley College celebrate engineering brilliance during anniversary exhibition

The innovative work of engineering students took centre stage at Crawley College last week.



Engineering Higher Education students, their tutors and support staff and judges.

More than 50 students showcased their talent and hard work at the 10th annual Higher National Engineering Project Exhibition, which was held at the college on Thursday 16 May.

The event is the culmination of the college’s higher education course, and provides an opportunity for visitors to see how the students have found innovative ways of improving engineering performance in their chosen field of study.

This year, there were 51 individual and group projects were on display, covering a broad spectrum of aeronautical, electrical, manufacturing and mechanical engineering. Many of the projects stem from the close relationships that have been developed with employers.

HND student Liam Alexander said: 

“I chose to do an HND at Crawley College because I wanted a more practical education in electrical engineering. I had done an apprenticeship, and an HND seemed like the natural next step, rather than university. I’m studying part-time, while working, and my company sponsors me.”

Vicki Illingworth, Principal at Crawley College, added:

“This is a fantastic celebration of the achievements of our talented engineering students.

“It also is a demonstration of the collaborative relationship between the college and industry, as we welcome the employers and sponsors who support our students throughout the year.

“We are always very proud to see how far our students have come, and the amount of skill and knowledge they have developed while studying here at Crawley.”

The college also welcomed Visiting Professor John Bishop, from the University of Portsmouth, to the exhibition, who also acted as one of the judges and presented certificates.

Crawley College is home to the Advanced Technology Centre, a specialised facility where engineers can study using cutting edge resources which have been developed in partnership with local employers.

For more information about studying engineering at Crawley College, please visit


Crawley pupils reduce local CO2 by Three Tonnes

In just two weeks Crawley school children reduced local air pollution by six kilogrammes of dangerous nitrogen oxide (NOx) and almost three tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) by walking, biking and scootering to school, instead of travelling by car.



Pupils at Waterfield Primary School with Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability and Patrick Alexander, Bike It Officer at Sustrans.

As part of cycling and walking charity Sustrans’ annual Big Pedal challenge, children from eight Crawley schools used human power for an astonishing 18,284 journeys. 

This comes hard on the heels of two important new pieces of research:

  • Sustrans published YouGov data in March which showed that almost two-thirds (63%) of teachers would support a school gate vehicle ban during drop-off and pick-up times and that more than half (59%) want urgent Government action to improve air quality near schools
  • Public Health England called on local authorities in March to limit transport emissions urgently, banning idling car engines around schools and investing in foot and cycle paths.

NOx can cause breathing problems, reduced lung function and damage teeth. CO2 is a major contributor to climate change. In Crawley children travelled 12,655 miles actively during the challenge, which equates to travelling almost half way around the world. The reduction in CO2 and NOx was calculated by comparing this to the amount generated if all these journeys had been taken by car.

Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said:

“It is fantastic to see an increasing number of schools in Crawley taking part in the Sustrans Big Pedal, whilst promoting sustainable travel to young people.”

Children at Waterfield Primary have won special recognition from Sustrans for their Big Pedal achievements, receiving a certificate in a presentation attended by Cllr Geraint Thomas. The Bike It Crew at Waterfield Primary are notoriously competitive. They held a Bike It Breakfast, Bling your Bike and daily assemblies to mass up a total of 4,386 journeys and a total score of 76.91%. 

Justin Moss, the Deputy Head of Waterfield Primary said,

“Our pupils are so motivated when it comes to travelling sustainably; they’re also very competitive. They walk, scoot and cycle regularly so the Big Pedal has been amazing for us over the past few years. We regularly talk about the benefits of exercise with the children in whole school assemblies and because of this the children understand the differences it can make to their moods and their ability to engage in their learning.

“At Waterfield we have an elected Bike It Crew and the Big Pedal is their biggest job during the year. They have worked tirelessly to encourage teachers and children to continue to travel sustainably as well as organising events and judging the Bling your Bike competition. I am extremely proud of them and all of their achievements this year.”

Hot on their heels was Seymour Primary, who organised Bike Days for all children from years three to six. These days provided an opportunity for children to progress their bike skills and have a go on the bike obstacle course. On these days the school was flooded with bicycles, scooters and active children.

Across Crawley eight schools took part, from a potential 35. While we can’t say what the impact would be if it was replicated across Crawley even just for two school terms these findings raise interesting questions.

Sustrans’ Regional Director for the South, James Cleeton, said,

“The children, families and schools of Crawley have shown how individuals can dramatically improve the world around them, by replacing cars with human power for just part of the daily routine.

“These children haven’t just prevented the emission of dangerous, invisible pollutants around their schools, but they’ve improved their mental and physical health, giving all of them a better start to the school day.

“At Sustrans, we’re so grateful to every local authority, school, teacher, parent and child who has helped make this possible. What a great start to summer – and a glimpse of what school mornings in Crawley could be like in future.”

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