It's Only Rocket Science!
Robot Wars judge Dr Lucy Rogers’ lucrative portfolio career in engineering began at Lancaster University where she did an undergraduate course in Engineering (1995) and a PhD in 2001.
When she isn’t watching formidable mechanical creations go toe-to-toe, Lucy says: “I make things, I turn science into plain English and I hack robot dinosaurs.”
Lucy’s highly successful and varied portfolio career includes having written ‘It’s ONLY Rocket Science: An Introduction in Plain English’ – a book which explains the key concepts of rocket propulsion systems in terms that those without extensive technical knowledge can understand. Other examples of her work include programming animatronic dinosaurs at Blackgang Chine Theme Park on the Isle of Wight, calculating the probability of spacecraft being hit by debris, and delivering talks regarding space on television and radio. She was also an Associate Lecturer in Foundation Electronics at Oxford Brookes University and is a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Interplanetary Society.
Lucy studied a BEng in Mechanical Engineering at Lancaster, and stayed on to complete a PhD studying how bubbles are formed in equipment used to fight petrochemical fires. This set the precedent for the work with robotic systems that she would later pursue.
“I liked the fact that Lancaster was a campus, had a swimming pool, accredited engineering degrees, and was by the sea,” Lucy recalls, highlighting the fantastic location, facilities and degree programmes that the University possesses. Lucy also found the excellent computing facilities invaluable to her studies. “I made extensive use of the computer rooms, which had 24 hour access. This was especially useful during the days before everyone owned one!”
Lucy has found the skills and experience that she gained while studying at Lancaster particularly useful to her career, and highly values the industrial placement that she was able to undertake. “I did a placement at Rolls Royce Industrial Power Group, working there during my holidays and for a year between my second and third year,” she explains. “If you can get sponsored by industry, I would advise you to do so!”
Lucy feels that the skills in project management that she learned during her studies have prepared her most for her career. “I use it all the time in every project, from DIY to time management.”