This May, members of the NSA team got out and about on a visit to Druck, local pressure measurement experts and part of the global Baker Hughes company, in support of their Engineering Week.

Engineering Week is run by Baker Hughes every year to bring together its staff; connecting and celebrating them and their incredible technologies. This year’s theme was ‘Creating the Future’. In keeping with this, our manager, David Wilkinson, delivered his talk ‘Mission Hope’ – which focuses on the issues which need to be addressed to recreate our future: “From securing food supplies to prosecuting war crimes. From tackling climate change to fighting socio-economic inequality. Space can and will play a part in finding our path through the challenges we face. Even the path to peace.”

Peter Wesson, our physics expert, got the Druck engineers thinking and creating with his re-entry challenge, which asked: “can you design thermal shields from a variety of materials to protect your mission from the fierce 1500-degree flames of re-entry into the lab?” 

The Druck staff certainly proved themselves up to the task, as you can see from the images below, producing some spectacular results and all beating the thirty second minimum goal (shout out to the team whose shield would probably still be functioning to this day if we hadn’t eventually had to leave!).

The NSA group also enjoyed a tour of Druck’s world-leading pressure sensor production facility and learned all about the incredible technologies which go into these deceptively small pieces of kit. The sensors are used in a wide range of applications across various industries – including, of course, the space industry! Pressure sensors are measurement tools which enable the monitoring, detection and reading of changes in applied pressure from a volume of liquid or gas. As you can imagine, this capability is vitally important in space settings, and sensors made by the company are used on board various spacecraft and in other space-related capacities.

We’d like to say a big thank you to the team at Druck for inviting us to be part of Engineering Week. It’s wonderful to see local examples of engineering innovation – and we even got to meet a Druck staff member who was a former NSA Space Engineering student! We’re excited to work together further to share real industry examples and career insights from the team with our current and future Space Engineers.

You can learn more about Druck and Baker Hughes on their websites.