25 June, 2024

ThrustWSH World Water Speed Record Project Focuses on Skills Gap at SM&E Week 2024 

03 June, 2024

ThrustWSH, the team behind the world water speed record attempt, is attending Smart Manufacturing & Engineering (SM&E) Week 2024 in a bid to tackle the pressing recruitment challenges within the UK manufacturing and engineering sectors.

The team is launching a survey at the event, aimed at engineering and manufacturing businesses, to gather data that will inform and shape the project’s education programme, ensuring it addresses the skills gap and inspires the next generation of engineers and innovators to pursue careers in STEM based disciplines.  

The ThrustWSH project builds on the illustrious history of Richard Noble OBE’s record-breaking endeavours, including Thrust2’s 633 mph land speed record in 1983 and ThrustSSC’s first supersonic land speed record of 763 mph in 1997. The current focus is on conquering the water speed record, but the project is equally committed to education and inspiring future engineers. Through its open Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy, ThrustWSH shares live project data with schools, allowing students to engage with the engineering and physical performance aspects as the project progresses. 

The team chose the World Water Speed Record for two reasons. It has a history of extreme danger which can be mitigated only by developing a new high technology design solution from first principles. This is ideal for education purposes. The record can be challenged in the UK on a Scottish Loch and has stood since 1978 (to the Spirit of Australia team at 317mph). All subsequent attempts have ended in failure. 

Visitors to SM&E Week 2024 will have the opportunity to engage with members of the ThrustWSH team on stand D60 in Hall 4. They can learn more about the project's research programme and future plans, including the anticipated completion of the final ship design by the end of 2024 and the subsequent build and record attempt scheduled for 2025 and 2026 respectively.  

At SM&E Week, taking place at the NEC Birmingham on 5-6 June 2024, ThrustWSH will collaborate with The Manufacturer, Michael Page Recruitment, Bloodhound Education, Leeds University, and the University of Bradford to launch a survey aimed at identifying the recruitment challenges faced by UK manufacturers. The survey results will be analysed at the University of Bradford and are pivotal in developing a ThrustWSH education programme that not only addresses these challenges but also inspires young minds to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 

Richard Noble, Director of Thrust Boat Ltd., emphasised the significance of the survey, stating, “The current generation, many educated by gaming, may represent the best recruitment opportunity the UK has ever had for its engineering and manufacturing sectors. We learned from the Bloodhound Project that record-breaking attempts have extraordinary learning potential. We know there are serious recruitment difficulties in the industry, and we want to help with a new education programme based on the incredibly difficult ThrustWSH project. But first, we all need to understand the current landscape, and this survey will help us do that.” 

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