5 Canadian undergraduates, Natalie Parks of Dalhousie U, David Rancourt of Sherbrooke U, Kathryn Klement of U Toronto, Vittorio Spoldi of U Calgary, and Michael Burgess of UBC were the first recipients of a new British Council Canada award for Young Canadian Ambassadors in S&T (YCAST). They were awarded a journey to the UK to explore UK research in the area of renewable and new energy sources. Three British universities and one Research Council laboratory had been identified as having programmes at the forefront of energy research and state of the art equipment, one of them being the University of Southampton with its Sustainable Energy Research Group. The students have recorded their experiences on a daily basis on a web blog.
Vittorio Spoldi commented: “The University of Southampton, about an hour and a half drive from London, proved to be one of the most hospitable of all the places we visited. I felt very relaxed and welcomed at Southampton, and I think the rest of the group will agree. The biscuits they served were even shaped like dolphins (the logo of Southampton University), which I found to be thoughtful of them. The research presentations had mainly to do with turbines for wind and marine applications, as well as photovoltaic cells, and bacteria that were magnetized. All the presentations were easy to follow and went into enough detail to keep you interested, but not so much as to confuse you. We also had the chance to have lunch with some 3rd year engineering students in the school cafeteria, it was neat to hear their opinions on the University.”