What Mark Greaves did with his prize money

Mark won the Cities Zone in June 2014. We asked him to tell us what he’s got up to with his £500 prize and this is what he said…


I’m an Engineer — What a brilliant experience! It started as a bit of fun with the added benefit of speaking to a wide audience of young people. As the two weeks went on, I began thinking more about the skills required to be an engineer and it struck me… Communication skills are of the utmost importance! I had never thought of that before I had done I’m an Engineer. It’s great to see more and more I’m an Engineer events being run, the regular updates and twitter feed do genuinely bring a smile to my face 🙂

I wanted to use the prize money to design and build a demonstration rig which exhibits some aspects of mechanical engineering in the water industry. The demonstration rig can be used in classroom sessions with pupils between Year 9 -13 and at university career fairs.

Me and the rig ready for a careers fair

Mark and the demonstration pumping station rig get pumped for a careers fair.

The demonstration rig gives the pupils a scaled down view of the work performed by mechanical engineers in the water industry. As well as introducing the idea of head and flow rates, the equipment helps demonstrate how these can be optimised. In addition to these more abstract ideas, the rig also demonstrates the more practical aspects of pumping station design, especially the choice between submersible and non-submersible pumps, and the special requirements of pump installations.

By using a manometer to measure the water pressure in the kinked pipe the pupils can see exactly how much lower it is than in the straighter pipe.

By using a manometer to measure the water pressure in the kinked pipe the pupils can see exactly how much lower it is than in the straighter pipe.

To construct the rig I bought six pumps in total, a couple of which were fully submersible in water, a power supply for the pumps, a tank to hold a water supply and lots of flexible transparent piping so that the water could be seen easily.

In July I took the rig to Altrincham Grammar School for Boys Careers Fair where it was a great success. The new rig proved to be very useful to show students how my work as a mechanical engineer translates into real life – being able to see the impacts of friction in action really does help explain it and how that translates into the field. Next up I am taking the rig to the Lymm High School Careers Fair in November.

The prize money helped to make this design a reality!

The prize money helped to make this design a reality!

Posted on August 12, 2015 by modantony in Winner Reports. Leave a comment

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