Engineers advise BAE students to look at nature’s examples when it comes to new defence projects (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Engineers advise BAE students to look at nature’s examples when it comes to new defence projects
STUDENTS are getting hooked on engineering during visits to military aircraft manufacturer BAE Systems — where they learn about fish.
The lessons come courtesy of advanced projects engineer Nick Colosimo, who says nature can often be one of the greatest inspirations for engineering breakthroughs.
Nick, whose job is to look at future trends and technologies in engineering, said: “Inspiration can come from anywhere.
“Often a problem has been solved in nature millions of years before we have to tackle it and fish are a great example of that.”
Nick was among a number of presenters talking to the two groups of 20 students taking part in taster weeks in Samlesbury.
The sessions aim to get more people interested in engineering courses and apprenticeships.
Nick used several examples from the sea which all use bioluminescence — visible light made by living creatures — as defensive aids.
Examples included the hatchet fish, which creates light in its lower body which makes the fish invisible to prey.
This has been used in engineering on stealth aircraft.
Deep sea shrimps excrete brightly glowing bacteria into the face of their attackers to temporarily blind them.
In engineering terms this is similar to an infrared beam used to confuse or blind an incoming missile.
He said: “Stealth and counter measures are important technologies that we have to continue to invest in and be the best in as a nation.
“It can be the difference that wins the war.”
Along with learning about fish, students toured the site and had a go at flying a simulator aircraft.
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