The officer who leads the Army’s contribution to the Bloodhound supersonic car project has been named as the Institute of Mechanical Engineers’ 2014 Modern Day Visionary.
Major Oli Morgan, a specialist aircraft engineering officer from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), led an REME detachment in Afghanistan supporting the Apache helicopter force before taking on his role leading the small team of REME expert technicians who are helping to build the supersonic car.
He is also responsible for managing more than 150 Bloodhound educational ambassadors who have given roughly 40,000 children a lesson on the car this year. The project’s goal is for nearly every child in the country to have had a lesson on the project by 2018.
“I’m immensely humbled to be recognised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers for my work with Bloodhound. The project’s goal is to inspire a generation into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) by building a car capable of 1,000mph and I am proud to be a part of it,” said Major Morgan.
“Bloodhound gives kids a unique opportunity to engage with a once-in-a-generation engineering project; it’s science fiction brought to life. We can place kids at the centre of the story by mixing educational workshops with distance learning on the Internet.”
The Bloodhound project aims to build a car that can break the land speed record, using jet engine and rocket technology to reach a speed of over 1,000mph, and REME technical teams under Major Morgan’s supervision are contributing their engineering skills to the project in six-month rotations.
Head of REME personnel, Colonel Dan Scott, said: “Major Morgan exemplifies the title of ‘professional engineer’. His commitment to inspiring the next generation into STEM careers is outstanding and he is making a real difference to the prospects of future British engineers.”
The recognition is part of IMechE’s Vision Awards, which celebrate those who, in their work, training or learning, have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to engineering and its future.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, president of the IMechE Colin Brown said: “I think our 2014 visionaries have a very modern outlook on the fast-moving, dynamic engineering profession. They are already seeking to inspire those that follow them. Without exception, they are a credit to the profession and it is an honour to recognise them.”