Green-thinking engineers at the University of Sheffield have been switching-off lights, computers and machinery in a bid to save money and create new scholarships.
The university's Faculty of Engineering plunged its laboratories, workshops and offices into darkness in an ‘Energy Matters Switch-Off’ event aimed to encourage members of staff and students to save energy and reduce costs.
Turning off light switches, computer monitors and unplugging charges over the three days helped the department reduce their average term time consumption by 12.2 per cent, which equates to a saving of £1,500.
The money will be used to create three scholarships for students joining the university this September from under-represented backgrounds.
“We wanted to make people realise how much energy they could save by a few simple steps and show them the impact they could have on the faculty through their actions,” explains graduate intern Jon Gregg. "Turning the lights off in a corridor or stairwell in the daytime can save £147 annually and enough energy to keep on 1,020 light bulbs for 24 hours. If everyone was to do the same this would save enough energy to run all of the computers in the entire faculty.
"It is fantastic that the money we saved through our event will help kick start the careers of three budding engineers of the future. We will award the scholarships to students who focus on sustainability in their applications and who may go on to look to tackle future world sustainability issues with their engineering degree,” he adds.