We worked in partnership with Thames Tideway Tunnel in the pilot year for Behind the Scenes of British Science, for British Science Week 2016.

Behind the Scenes is a new initiative, in 2015 we piloted a series of events that throws open the doors of Britain’s most fascinating science, technology, engineering locations, operation sites, laboratories; and in places where you might not expect it. An ‘open house’ style opportunity for the public and schools to get up close to science and STEM employees in action.

Thames Tideway Tunnel will be a new utility company that will design, construct and finance the 25 kilometre sewer tunnel needed to prevent an average 39 million tonnes each year of untreated sewage discharging into the tidal River Thames in London.

As part of British Science Week students from South Bank University visited the Lee Tunnel on 18 March 2015. The Lee Tunnel, London’s deepest-ever tunnel, together with Thames Tideway Tunnel, will collectively capture sewage from the 35 most polluting combined sewer overflows, built by the Victorians as part of a sewerage network that still serves London 150 years on.

After the visit students met the staff behind the project and were challenged to overcome a real-life engineering problem; to finish the current tunnel works task with specific time and logistic constraints.

Thames Tideway Tunnel also organise a series of events as part of the STEM on the Thames series that offer London students an opportunity to explore their creativity and knowledge of science or maths to conduct experiments and to solve problems that the project has experienced.

A student from South Bank University said 'I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the day. Not only was it interesting from the engineering point of view, but it was so beautifully organised. We did so much and yet it didn’t feel rushed and there was a nice atmosphere which made it easy to have discussions and ask questions.’