Northgate students visit Ipswich manufacturer Ransomes Jacobsen as part of Greenpower contest

Students from Northgate School in Ipswich during their visit to the European headquarters of Ransome

Students from Northgate School in Ipswich during their visit to the European headquarters of Ransomes Jacobsen. - Credit: Archant

Eleven students from Northgate High School in Ipswich visited the town’s European headquarters of turf care machinery maker Ransomes Jacobsen as part of their involvement in the Greenpower IET Formula 24 competition.

The contest is run by the Greenpower Education Trust charity with the aim of inspiring more young people to become engineers by presenting the engineering industry as an interesting and relevant career choice.

Teams of students between the ages of nine and 25 build and race their own electric-powered race cars on top racing circuits such as Goodwood.

The Northgate students have constructed a 24-volt electric vehicle with support and guidance from teachers Jim Jenner and Steve Burgoyne and have successfully competed in the regional competition.

Jason King, a former apprentice at Ransomes Jacobsen and now customer care director, invited the Northgate students to visit the company’s European head office to see how the long established manufacturing company introduces a new vehicle into the market.


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After an introduction to the business, the students spent time with senior engineer Rob Johns, who explained how a product is conceived – from the initial concept through to the design and manufacture of the completed product. The students were taken on a factory tour, where Stephen Foster explained how engineering drawings are used to turn theory into reality.

Following lunch the students met with Matthew Went, HR director, who discussed the Ransomes Jacobsen apprentice scheme and the opportunities that were available to them within a manufacturing environment. Richard Comely, director of product development, explained how listening to customers wants and needs is crucial when designing new equipment and how those needs are satisfied through good design.

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The students also had the opportunity to spend some time with international customer support manager Glen Forsdike who explained the technology behind E-Z-GO electric golf cars and how to recapture energy from regenerative braking systems to prolong the run time of the vehicle.

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