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The University of Southampton

World land speed record-breaking legend to present RNLI Annual Lecture

Published: 20 November 2009

Richard Noble OBE, former land speed record holder, will be the guest speaker at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Annual Lecture at the University of Southampton on 24 November 2009.

Richard will share his past record-breaking experiences and talk about his exciting new project, another world record attempt with BLOODHOUND SSC (Super Sonic Car), a car powered by a jet engine and hybrid rocket that will aim to exceed 1,000mph in 2011.

The BLOODHOUND Project was conceived to create a supersonic car to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists. The University of Southampton is one of three universities collaborating on the project, which also works with schools across the UK.

The RNLI Annual Lecture celebrates the lifesaving charity's Advanced Technology Partnership with the University of Southampton. Set up in 2001, the partnership aims to develop research and education in subjects of common interest to the two institutions, and to raise the profile of engineering sciences as an essential function in the design, build and operation of high-performance marine craft. The partnership involves research into lifeboat design, construction and operation. The knowledge and good practice developed through the partnership is shared with audiences both inside and outside the RNLI and the University.

Steve Austen, RNLI Head of Engineering Support, says: "We are honoured that Richard Noble will be speaking at the 2009 RNLI Annual Lecture - his remarkable achievements and outstanding engineering experience will make this a really excellent lecture, which will be both informative and inspiring. His attendance this year is made all the more exciting because of his latest project, developing the BLOODHOUND SSC, which is aiming to exceed 1,000 mph - we're very much looking forward to hearing about it!

"The RNLI charity's lifeboats are crewed by volunteers who go to sea in potentially very difficult conditions to save the lives of others, and we do our best to ensure they have the very best lifeboats and equipment to do that. Although this environment is very different to that in which Richard is used to operating, high-performance and risk are two key factors the RNLI considers in its lifeboat development process, so I'm sure we will find some interesting links made in his talk.

"We are now in the ninth year of the technology partnership between the RNLI and the University of Southampton. The partnership is immensely valuable to both organisations and the Annual Lecture is an ideal opportunity to acknowledge that."

Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, says: "We are very excited to be part of the BLOODHOUND SSC team, helping to inspire the next generation of engineers, a mission that the University of Southampton is deeply committed to. Richard's passion for science and technology is limitless, so this lecture promises to be an exciting adventure for all of us."

The RNLI's 9th Annual Lecture takes place on Tuesday 24 November 2009 at 7pm in the main lecture theatre in Building 32 on the University's Highfield campus. A map is available at:

Refreshments will be served from 6.30pm in the foyer. Tickets are free-of-charge and everyone is welcome.

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