Our speaker on Friday 8th August was Matthew Titman who lives in Bodicote and is now, after completing his Bachelor’s degree, intending to stay on at Sheffield University to do a Master’s. He is clearly extremely interested in aeronautical engineering and gave us a most interesting presentation on the development of aircraft allied with advances in structural materials over the past 100 years. He pointed out that the development from the early wood and canvas based structures has now extended to a range of exotic high-strength alloys and composite materials. Part of his recent course-work involved him in a team that was tasked with designing, building and then test-flying a powered model aircraft that they had designed and built. He showed us a film that he had made of the test flight which was quite impressive until the fuel ran out just before landing. Clearly, it had been an excellent learning experience that had given all the members of the team valuable insight into being involved in an engineering project from start to completion. He is currently doing vacation work at Norbar.
Matt was the seventh out of twelve students to whom we have awarded bursaries. Three have gone to each of Cambridge and Loughborough , two to Portsmouth, and one each to Bath, Oxford, Sheffield and Southampton. Most of the funding comes from a legacy left to the Club by Rotarian Ian Brodey, the older brother of Rotarian John Brodey, now Chairman of the Bursary Committee. The original bequest will be used up within the next two or three years, because we had to take the decision to increase the annual payment from £400 to £500 per year, for the three years of formal study for a first degree, after student living costs rose so sharply two years ago. No payments are included for gap, or study years. Another effect of this has been to increase the expenditure a student needs to make when arriving at university for the first time. Matt told us that the bequest contribution had been absolutely essential at that time. Before long we shall need to consider replenishing the Bursary fund, if we are to continue this worthwhile project.