A group of students from Old Swinford Hospital are through to the final of the National Science + Engineering Competition and will be showcasing their project to over 7,500 people at the The Big Bang Fair, to be held at the NEC Birmingham on 16th and 17th March 2016.
Rogan McGilp, Ethan Dunbar-Baker and Stuart Chau are building a full size hot rod designed to be accessible for the disabled. Rogan is the driving force behind the project having already built a ½ scale teen rod and is in the process of completing a 1939 Lanchester Hot Rod. The creative inspiration for the build is his brother David, who has Down’s Syndrome and is wheelchair bound. The completed car will give David the freedom to get involved in the hot rod community. By building a fully operational and accessible vehicle, Rogan also hopes to change the perception of what a ‘disability’ car can be.
The car is 14 feet long and 7 feet wide at the rear tyres, it has a 4.0 litre Lexus LS400 quad cam, fuel injected V8 engine and an automatic transmission. It has a Jaguar limited slip rear axle and drag racing wheels to the rear. Rogan has also designed and built a unique and specialist set of electric gull wing doors so the disabled user has maximum access to the vehicle. It will also have custom hand controls so a person with limited or no use of their legs will be able to drive it. The vehicle will weigh around 750kg when finished, with about 300 horsepower and 300 lb feet of torque.
The team has nearly completed the hot rod whilst also concentrating on their studies and mock exams and dealing with the business elements such as marketing and finances. They have managed to obtain sponsorship from Makita Power Tools; SNG Barratt UK (Jaguar parts specialists) who have offered technical support; NSRA; Steel City Cruisers, Miller’s, Copart and DC Speed Shop. Significant support has also been received from Hereford companies ACL Sheetmetal, Hereford Fasteners and JMG Sheetmetal. Any additional sponsorship to assist the team in completing the project would be very welcome.
Rogan aged 16 from Herefordshire is a boarder at OSH spent his work experience last summer at Morgan Motor Company as well as his brother’s school. When he leaves OSH he hopes to go join Morgan as an apprentice and then move to the USA to run his own Hot Rod and Custom car business.
Fellow team mates Ethan Dunbar-Baker is aged 14 and lives in Stourbridge and 17 year old Stuart Chau is a full boarder from Hong Kong.
The National Science + Engineering Competition is open to all 11-18 year olds living in the UK and in full-time education. The Competition aims to recognise and reward young people’s achievements in all areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).