Stories

Female Engineering Students Inspired By HMS Ledbury Visit In Bahrain

Twelve engineering students from Bahrain Polytechnic seized the opportunity to learn more about marine engineering when they visited the...

Engineering students from Bahrain Polytechnic seized the opportunity to learn more about marine engineering when they visited the British Naval Support Facility (UKNSF) and toured Royal Navy minehunter HMS Ledbury.

The students were shown how the ship navigates, using state of the art electronic chart systems and how the ship finds, identifies and then destroys mines by using either the remote control submersible Seafox or sending mine clearance divers down with explosives.

Forces Radio BFBS Ops Breakfast presenter Chris Keen joined the students on the tour to get a feel for the day

Seafox remote control mine clearance submersible unit
A specialist mine warfare sailor from HMS Ledbury explains how the Seafox remote control mine clearance submersible unit works

Next on the tour was a trip to the Forward Support Unit, a huge warehouse containing engineering facilities to carry out repairs and maintenance, where a team of Royal Navy engineers can make almost anything required for the ships from steel, wood or glass reinforced plastic.

30mm cannon on board HMS Ledbury
HMS Ledbury’s Deputy Weapons Engineering Officer explains the mechanics of a 30mm cannon to a Bahrain Polytechnic engineering student

Petty Officer (PO) Beth Burton showed the students around and talked about her time as an engineer in the Royal Navy.

"It’s nice to see that there are more female engineers coming through, definitely.

"When I first joined nearly 13 years ago, you didn't see many, I was probably the only girl on the ship compared to what you see now, there'll be two, three maybe four girls per ME department.

"It's definitely coming through and I think it's not just a mans world, it's for everybody to do."

Royal Navy’s Forward Support Unit
PO Beth Burton briefs Bahrain Polytechnic students in the Royal Navy’s Forward Support Unit

Abrar Saeed was one of the female Mechanical Engineering students on the trip.

“I've actually been to a lot of meetings where I’ve seen powerful women in powerful positions as engineers.

"I’ve been very inspired to be one of those women because we lack the vision of engineers in that specific range like when you picture and engineer you picture a man and you don’t picture a woman."

Sub-Lieutenant Chris Lewis with engineering students from Bahrain Polytechnic
Sub-Lieutenant Chris Lewis with engineering students from Bahrain Polytechnic

His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa, the Business Liaison manager for Bahrain Polytechnic, said:

“We would really like to thank the team here at the British Navy Base for having us today.

"This visit is very much in line with the direction of the Polytechnic given that we are integrating and engaging with the engineering industry as much as possible to ensure that what we teach our students is in line with what industry is looking for."