Engineering and Science advances can be traced back to ancient times – just look at the feats of the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks (far ahead of their times!).
We may not go that far back, but, Engineering and Science have long played a part in the curriculum of City College Norwich.
We can trace our departmental history for these subjects all the way back to 1902. At that time, the subjects fell under the remit of The Department of Science.
Engineering training in many forms
In the modern era it consists of Aerospace, Chemical, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical and Motor just to name a few!
Interestingly, in 1916 we introduced a course for Mechanical and Aircraft Engineering – just as aviation was really taking off (sorry!) in importance in both the civil and military spheres.
Co-incidentally, nearly a 100 years after the Aircraft course was on our curriculum, we introduced a very popular Aviation Engineering course at the college in 2014 which is now in its 2nd year.
We are also proud to be partners in the new Norwich International Aviation Academy, which is due to open in September 2017 – very exciting, as building work commences on Friday 20th May!
You may expect Science to be just Biology, Chemistry and Physics but, as with Engineering, it takes on many forms and is instrumental in all of our everyday lives.
Some of our early (1930’s) Science courses included Botany and Pharmacy. The engineering courses of that time were aimed at trades in telegraphy, telephony and wireless technology (don’t think it would have included Bluetooth technology though!).
Additionally, what was then known as the Pure Science Department, offered the Ordinary National Certificate in Chemistry. From a more unusual perspective there were Science courses specifically for, Rural Pupil Teachers and Launderers (hopefully the washing kind)!
We’re not quite sure why the differentiations would have been required for a city or a rural teacher……
Moving with the times!
The college is proud of its links with employers, enabling it to move with the times.
Evidence of keeping abreast with changes can be traced back by looking at the variations in courses on offer over the years.
In keeping with the growing popularity of TV, in 1955 we offered the Radio and Television Servicing Course, whilst in 1979, due to growing concerns for the environment, we were offering an Institute of Water Pollution Control Diploma.
Innovation in the making………..
We’ve had some very innovative Engineers and Scientists through our doors achieving remarkable things.
Phil Hampton, who in 1993, won a prize for his design of a new Lotus sports car component, which was fitted to a prototype Lotus Excel and featured on BBC’s Tomorrow’s World!
Richard Kirk invented and built a device back in 1988 ensuring that baby monitors worked properly. His design was implemented in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.
Potentially life saving!
New Laboratories through the ages…………..
The college has continually invested in its facilities over the years. This has provided students access to modern and up-to-date equipment for their studies to help them keep abreast of current technology .
In 1973, a new laboratory was opened at the college, which at that time was the most modern in East Anglia.
Who better to design it, than the people who were going to work in it!
The senior Chemistry lecturer, Gerald Matthews, together with Richard Soanes, the senior technician, drafted a plan which would allow up to 36 students to work on small self contained benches.
The new laboratory cost £5000, which even in today’s money would be very reasonable to set up and install a new lab!
Leap forward 20 years, and another new laboratory was opened!
This lab was installed with Civil Engineering students in mind, to allow soil structural testing and experiments in hydraulics.
The new lab took two years to build costing £50,000 to complete!
Local and national companies contributed to the value of £6000 with funds and equipment – testament once more to great employer partnerships!
And just another 20+years later……….
In 2014, as part of the ongoing work to improve the college campus, all of the science laboratories in the main Norwich Building were completely refurbished.
The new science laboratories feature teacher-centred spaces which allow students to further enhance their 21st Century learning in a more modern environment.
City College is very proud of our ongoing history of promoting gender equality, encouraging women in careers which have been traditionally male-dominated such as engineering.
In 1963, Mabel Golder was the only girl on her HND course in electrical engineering. We are delighted to say she passed with flying colours!
In 1988, to further crack the male-dominated world of motor engineering, ten teenage girls started on a new positive discrimination course in Engineering at the college!
We have received some wonderful stories and memories from past engineering and science students of the college, including and not limited to:
OND Mechanical Engineering, Stuart Mackay who started out as a technician with Laurence and Scott, lived all over the world and is now working back here as a course leader in Aviation Engineering.
Stephen Campling, Electrical and Electronic Engineering who is continually grateful to the Head of Department who failed him in his first year!
David Nobbs, C&G Electronics Technicians Course who laughed at the electronic themed jokes and loved the high voltage labs where they created ‘flashes of lightning’.
Watch this space for the full stories of the above mentioned and more………………..