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The Society of Sri Lankan Engineers and Scientists in the United Kingdom (SSLES) organises various events to enhance scientific and engineering knowledge of its members, throughout the year. Recently they visited both the Rolls Royce Aero engine plant and the Bombardier Rail Engineering plant in Derby.

Members of the society, their spouses and invited guests gathered in Derby on Monday 2nd September 2013 and visited the Rolls Royce Aero Engine manufacturing facility in the morning. Here the visitors were able to learn about the latest cutting edge technology used at Rolls Royce in manufacturing engines for a vast range of civil and military aircraft, power generation, ships and submarines built around the world.

Dr. Keerthi Devendra, who is one of the senior Engineers / Scientists attached to Rolls Royce and the current President of The Society of Sri Lankan Engineers and Scientists in the UK himself led the tour and a question and answer session followed.

Rolls Royce is the largest employer in Derby and has over eleven thousand employees including engineers, scientists and other professionals. Rolls-Royce designs, manufactures and supports a wide range of Power Systems for air, sea and land applications throughout the world. Rolls-Royce, famous for its cars and excellence in quality, is one of the largest aero-engine manufacturers in the world and leads the development of aero engine technology in the UK, with factories in many different countries including Germany, USA and Singapore.

The visitors spent the second half of the day visiting Bombardier rail engineering plant which is one of the leading manufacturers within the rail industry and also the world's only manufacturer of planes and trains. Bombardier currently operates in 26 countries and there are 64 production and engineering sites across the world. Bombardier Transportation is a global leader in the rail industry. They cover the full spectrum of rail solutions ranging from complete trains to sub systems, maintenance services, system integration and signalling.

The tour began with a very interesting and informative presentation by Bombardier's head of engineering design. The visitors were then taken to the Bombardier's design centre where they were given an insight of the processes associated with the train being designed from free hand sketch to a complex engineering product delivered to the customer. This was then followed by a visit to the Bombardier's manufacturing facility where the visitors saw all the stages of manufacturing a train and the collaborative efforts of a highly skilled workforce working round the clock to deliver high quality trains on time. It was also interesting to see that Bombardier carried out only those operations which added a significant value to the final product, whilst all other activities were subcontracted. There were two different types of trains being built at the time of the visit, over ground and underground. It was a truly wonderful experience to see a train being built right in front our eyes.

This visit helped our members to appreciate some aspects of the Aero Engine Industry and Rail Industry. It also helped members, to understand how program management and design principles are applied, to come up with cost efficient design solutions for day to day industrial issues. The visit would enable SSLES members to apply newly learned information in their own fields, to improve technical quality, efficiency and professionalism.

By Asiri Bamunuarachchi (Assistant Secretary - SSLES) |  Courtesy of

Sri Express
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