Latest news from the Ove Arup Foundation

Third Ove Arup Foundation Lecture at University of Queensland

Professor Christine Ortiz

The third of three Ove Arup Foundation-funded lectures at the University of Queensland, entitled ‘Reinventing the University’, took place in November 2016.

The three-day workshop discussed the topic of ‘Disruptive Models of Engineering Education’. The public lecture and debate was given by Professor Christine Ortiz and was attended by 130 people.

Professor Ortiz described her frustration with the inflexibility of the existing system in the US and her decision to step away to start take on the challenge of creating something new within a highly regulated environment. She believes her challenge is to change the inequality experienced by minority groups to gain truly equitable access to quality education.

Details of her lecture will appear on the University of Queensland website:

The Anglo Danish Society

button_angdanThe Ove Arup Foundation has extended is agreement with the Anglo Danish Society to provide a grant annually for another five years for a post-graduate student to study in the UK or Denmark.

The most recent recipient of the award was PhD student Nicholas Thomas Lee, whose intention was to work on his PhD thesis ‘Dwellscape: The contemporary dwelling interior as a continuation of architectonic space’ at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

First ICE academic in residence takes up position

Professor Ian Guymer
Professor Ian Guymer

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has appointed its very first academic in residence, with assistance from the Ove Arup Foundation.

Professor Ian Guymer of the University of Warwick takes up the role to focus on projects that trailblaze new civil engineering interventions and work with others to identify and tackle major infrastructure challenges.

The newly-established role springs from ICE’s ‘Shaping the World‘ initiative, which aims to bring together the influential engineers and thinkers to address the key engineering challenges of our time.

Professor Guymer will draw on his experience as joint lead of University of Warwick’s Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority team to engage across the boundaries with other disciplines such as social sciences, economics, planning and computer sciences, and steer the initiative into priority areas such as resilience and innovation.

“It is an honour to be working with ICE to help enhance the impact of our essential global infrastructure,” said Professor Guymer. “While the technology and healthcare sectors have leapt forward into the future – innovating and experimenting – civil engineering has struggled to accelerate its pace of change.

“Climate change and technological innovations are disrupting construction activities around the world, presenting new challenges for civil engineers. To catalyse changes and advancements in the sector, the Shaping the World programme identifies and supports great ideas, nursing them to fruition.”

Design Education CIC Design Camps

The Ove Arup Foundation is providing support for Design Education CIC to run children’s design camps.

Design Education believe that every child in the 21st century should be able to design and make useful products, be they buildings or bicycles. To further that belief, they have been running a range of designing and making educational projects since their founding in 2008.

Consistent with their policy that no child or school should be denied access to these activities, they have always offered reduced rates where finance has been an obstacle to participation.

However, at a typical Design Camp they have to limit the number of assisted places to one or two per workshop in order not to damage the financial viability of the activity. Similarly, to encourage financially challenged schools to run a Design Day, they would like to offer reduced rates to schools with low Pupil Premium budgets.

The outcome of this support will be increased participation in their Design Camps and Design Days by children and schools that might otherwise be unable to join their programmes.

The benefits of engaging in their form of practical designing and hands-on making activities has been demonstrated over a long period of time, with pupils’ attainment raised in a wide range of subjects.

University of Queensland hosts Foundation Lecture

The second of three Ove Arup Foundation-funded lectures at the University of Queensland, entitled ‘The Architect and Engineering Technology’, took place in November 2015.

Video from the lecture has just become available, and are available here.

The lecture focused on the complexity of the relationship between architects and the quickening evolution of engineering technology.

The key speaker was Dr Alan Cheville of the T. Jefferson Miers Chair in Electrical Engineering at Bucknell University. Peter Burnton the Arup Group industry advisor to the Civil Engineering Department of the UofQ introduced The Ove Arup Foundation to the colloquia.

The lecture was part of a series of three held with distinguished speakers. The lectures are the centrepiece of three-day colloquia designed to inform and engage key stakeholders.


Foundation offers support to ‘Dwellscape’ PhD student

Nicholas Thomas Lee

The Ove Arup Foundation has announced its annual academic award for a student either Danish or British studying in Denmark/UK.

The award for 2016-17 goes to PhD student Nicholas Thomas Lee, who will be working on his PhD thesis ‘Dwellscape: The contemporary dwelling interior as a continuation of architectonic space’ at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

The aim of his PhD project is to undertake both a theoretical and practical discourse on how we can re-imagine the contemporary dwelling interior.

Lee says: “The domestic interior has great significance given its universality and intimate relationship with its inhabitants. Despite this, the critical debate within the profession is often focused on the exterior architectural expression and rational construction systems neglecting any discourse on the phenomenological qualities of our interior built environment.”

Lee’s teaching plan for the project includes the organisation of seminars and workshops in Copenhagen involving academics and professionals from the UK as well as the other Nordic countries with the aim of establishing greater dialogue and cultural exchange between the different countries at an academic level.

He adds: “Through my PhD I continue to be committed to the development of professional and academic connections between Denmark and the UK.”

‘Apocalyptic’ new app helps develop engineering skills

060116_makeascape0 060116_makeascape1 060116_makeascape2Engineering consultancy Think Up has released what it calls an “apocalyptic educational engineering app”, designed to inspire young people to develop their interest in engineering.

Make A Scape‘, which was developed with support from the Ove Arup Foundation, the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Useful Simple Trust, is optimised for the iPad, and helps users develop a tacit understanding of structural behaviour through an imaginative interface and future world concept.

The app encourages users to build efficiently in real-time and to test their structures under live loading through an enjoyable and imaginative interface.

It is now available to download from the App Store:

Make A Scape builds on Think Up’s pioneering work in creating real-time structural simulators. Previous apps, including: Push Me Pull Me, Push Me Pull Me (3D) and Catastrophe, have all been successfully used for both Key Stage 5 and undergraduate teaching curriculum.


The Ove Arup Foundation: The Next 25 Years

Some 40 guests of the Ove Arup Foundation met on 30 September 2015 to take part in a strategic discussion about the the Foundation, its direction and focus for the next 25 years.

Foundation Chair Terry Hill described the discussion as “a great session … it gave us much to work on. We now have a challenging set of eight clear actions agreed by the Trustees directly as a result.”

The discussion has been collated into a report, which can be accessed below:

Ove Arup Foundation The Next 25 Years (PDF, 155KB)

RNIB gains Foundation support for Load2Learn project

Load2LearnThe Ove Arup Foundation is providing support for an RNIB initiative aimed at improving the accessibility of teaching materials.

Load2Learn is an innovative and free online resource that allows teaching staff to download key curriculum materials in a range of accessible formats and adapt them to suit the personal reading needs of individual learners.

This enables young people who can’t read standard print, including those with dyslexia, to read the same books as their classmates, giving them the same educational opportunities and an improved sense of belonging.

With the help of the Ove Arup Foundation, the RNIB will be able to add new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) materials, to both textbooks and images. This will fill gaps in their existing collection and allow them to respond to changes in the National Curriculum.