Lottie Tour is a project co-ordinated by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to show the huge range of careers available in engineering. Over 150 engineers, female and male from all over the world, have been involved in taking photos using Lottie Dolls and sharing Lottie at work during Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (5-9 November 2018) to help present images of what a career in engineering might look like and help capture the imagination of young girls and boys.
This year, Lottie Dolls produced bespoke PPE for WES including hard hats, high vis jackets, safety glasses and lab coats, so Lottie was ready to go on to site or into a lab. She visited a number of engineering companies in the UK, several universities and has been to Finland, USA and Dubai. Of course, she has particularly enjoyed finding out just what the Eagle Labs Engineers do.
Eagle Lab Lottie started her visit with a health and safety induction. After learning about the history of Eagle Labs and what to do if she has an accident or there is a fire she was ready to find out more about rapid prototyping. First she needed to tie her hair back to avoid entanglement, then she was ready to explore the 3d printers and find out more about additive manufacturing. The Ultimaker printers use fused deposition modelling to build up layers of filament. During her visit Lottie saw several other printers which use this process.
In Salford, Lottie found out how the high resolution printer is being used to help the NHS Trust in planning for procedures and even positioning a patient during surgery. These prints are taken from CT scan data, and need cleaning once they are printed and set. Lottie got involved with removing any excess powder.
She also discovered that additive manufacturing is being used in many industries, and can be used to build products from new materials, some of which are made from food waste.
Lottie asked to find out more about where new materials are being developed, and joined Charlie and Sharon at the Open Cell biohackspace in Shepherds Bush as part of the Biodesign Here Now exhibition for London Design Festival. She was amazed to discover materials research including crystals made from perspiration and an eco-friendly alternative to chipboard and MDF made using potato waste. Having checked this would not damage the machine, Lottie laser cut a squirrel puzzle from the chip(s)board.
While she was visiting Eagle Labs Lottie also found out about resident businesses and the fourth industrial revolution. After playing with electronics in a technical session, she began to explore prototyping Internet of Things devices, working with a lab engineer to develop her dashboard display. Of course, it took several attempts to get everything working properly.
As a lab engineer, Lottie’s favourite part of the week was supporting businesses to grow through sharing her knowledge. During the week she met very interesting people, and was able to inspire many young people through events and showcases. She was quickly able to use her new found knowledge of additive manufacturing, smart and sustainable materials and internet of things to create early stage prototypes. Lottie’s visit was part of the Government Year of Engineering, but everyone is welcome to visit and find out how Eagle Lab Engineers can help.