Sutton managing director returns to the classroom to inspire next generation

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Managing director Martin Rigley went back to the classroom as part of a nationwide campaign to inspire youngsters to realise their dreams and aspirations.

The MD of Sutton company Lindhurst Innovation Engineering joined celebrities, business leaders, councillors and a range of other figures across the country taking part in the Every Child Can campaign.

Organised by education charity Teach First, the week-long campaign aimed to shine a light on the inequality in education that exists in the UK and the role that a great teacher can play in supporting every young person to develop a brighter future.

Martin gave a maths lesson to year nine students at The Manor Academy, Mansfield Woodhouse…..focusing on cow pats!

His subject matter was the value of ‘poop power’, since Lindhurst Innovation Engineering is involved in developing pioneering technology which turns cattle waste into energy.

“The maths lesson was based around our microbial fuel cell technology, which is turning waste material from cattle and the food industry into electricity and bio-gas through the process of anaerobic digestion,” said Martin. “We worked out that the poop value of the waste from all the cows in the UK is £2 billion worth of energy every year, if you could release the energy of it all.

“The students seemed very interested in the concept, and all got the correct calculations in the end. I was delighted to be invited to give a lesson as part of the Every Child Can campaign, which highlights how important it is to inspire our young people.”

Martin, who attended Brunts School, Mansfield, before doing a degree at Trent Polytechnic – now Nottingham Trent University – is also vice chairman of the East Midlands Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing and a skills champion for the CBI in the East Midlands.

Lindhurst, based in Midland Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, was founded in 1985 and initially served the UK mining market. The company has continued to innovate and diversify, and offers a range of engineering services. Lindhurst specialises in one-off engineering projects and no request is too off-the-wall – from light-weight lifting platforms for the heavy metal group Iron Maiden’s stage shows to large-scale engineering for landmark projects such as London’s Canary Wharf.

Last year the company was named the Campden BRI Innovation Champion at the Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards 2012 for the development of ground-breaking technology to turn waste into renewable energy.

Manor Academy teacher Matt Sneller said he thought pupils would gain a number of useful things from the experience of Martin giving a lesson.

“Firstly aspiration in terms of taking someone who is from Mansfield themselves and has then gone on to do a number of things, things he’s passionate about and things that have had an impact… The second thing is actually thinking about how what they learn in the classroom will have an impact later down the line, whether it’s the science or the maths, that what they learn in the here and now is important,” he said.

Among those giving a lesson as part of the Every Child Can campaign at schools across the country were London Mayor Boris Johnson, TV presenter and writer Dan Snow, and Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee.