Students on the Introduction to Engineering programme took inspiration from nature as they learned about bio-engineering―in this field, engineers work with biomedical scientists to solve problems such as diabetic insulin deficiencies and artificial skin grafts. Teachers Rehan and Gladys also led students to draw lessons from nature’s existing engineers, with a deep dive into the mathematical genius of the genus Apis.
Bees build and live in one of the most mathematically and architecturally efficient structures going: the beehive. The hexagonal unit of the hive allows bees to store the maximum amount of honey using the smallest amount of wax to bind the units together to form a comb; wax-production is labour-intensive, and so bees have engineered an efficient way of conserving energy and storing resources. Charles Darwin himself approved of the design: “It is absolutely perfect in economising labour and wax.”
Students then set about designing solutions for medical projects such as bone reconstruction and heart transplants, which are in real life a joint effort between the bright minds of medicine and engineering.
After this hard work for the mind, some students gave their bodies a workout at the punt pole (whilst others lazed in the boat), navigating the winding waterways of Oxford―they negotiated tight turns and the dark underside of a few bridges on the way, narrowly avoiding low-hanging boughs and having their faces pleasantly brushed by protuding foliage. Returning safe and dry to LMH for the evening, students had another opportunity to soak their clothes, and this time took it, as they engaged in a tie-dying session on the lawns before sunset.