University of Worcester Works with Students from American University on Sustainability Projects

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Sixteen students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) visited the University of Worcester as part of a long-running scheme.

They took part in four sustainability projects, including the Unlocking the Severn project, a river restoration scheme, run by the Severn Rivers Trust, which aims to re-open the River Severn and its major tributaries for all species of fish. Students were tasked with developing recommendations for how to recruit younger volunteers to the project to increase community engagement.

Trinity Tedtsen, 20, a Biomedical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering student from WPI, said: “My time here at the University of Worcester has been great. My project experience was incredible. Working with the Severn Rivers Trust on its Unlocking the Severn project was an amazing opportunity, for which I am thankful.”

This learning will be shared on campus in February for Go Green Week, where many local charities will be speaking to students and are keen to learn how they too can recruit a younger audience of volunteers.

Nicole Mattson, 21, who is majoring in Biomedical Engineering at WPI, said she had also enjoyed working with the Severn Rivers Trust. “They are an excellent environmental charity extremely dedicated to their work and making sure that the community understands the importance of what they are accomplishing,” she said. “The people we worked with from the Trust were understanding and receptive to the ideas that we had and really allowed our group to be creative with our project.”

The other projects students worked on were Woo Bikes, an electric bike share scheme for the City, and the University’s Skills for Tomorrow event, which brings schools and businesses together for young people to explore careers in sustainable living. The final project was Energize Worcester, which sees the University, in collaboration with Worcester Bosch, work with students and landlords to look at boiler controls in shared student housing.

The ongoing collaboration between the two universities was first established by Lord Faulkner of Worcester and students have been coming from WPI to the University of Worcester twice a year for the last five years.

“I am delighted that the relationship between WPI and the University of Worcester has developed so brilliantly,” said Lord Faulkner. “The contribution that WPI students make to life in Worcester goes from strength to strength, and what started as a cautious experiment is now a settled part of our academic life here. In 2018 our university conferred an honorary degree on the Principal of WPI, Professor Laurie Leshin, and I look forward to there being many more examples of collaboration between the two Worcesters in the future.”

Katy Boom, Director of Sustainability at the University of Worcester, added: “It has been wonderful to once again be working alongside students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to make a difference in the Worcester community and to help the University’s sustainability projects. It always helps to have a fresh perspective and the students have worked really hard to provide valuable new data or recommendations.”