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Page last updated at 08:38 GMT, Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Young engineers onboard Queen Mary 2 in Southampton
Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2 was built for transatlantic crossings

The chief designer of the Queen Mary 2 has been passing on his expertise to what he hopes is a new generation of naval engineers.

Stephen Payne gave a special lecture to groups of teenagers onboard the Cunard liner.

They were also given a tour of the Southampton-based ship and an insight into its unique design.

Mr Payne said: "I'm hoping it will enthuse them to consider a career in engineering."


During the event, organised by Future Engineers, Mr Payne revealed how his own interest in shipbuilding began.

Stephen Payne
Stephen Payne's interest in shipbuilding started at a young age

He had watched the first Queen Mary on Blue Peter as a child and seen the QE2 in Bournemouth.

Three decades aftrer being "awe-struck" by the legendary Cunard liners, he talked about how the new Queen Mary 2 was built with "an immense amount of engineering on board".

As chief designer, Mr Payne oversaw the design and building of the liner.

A 10m-long (33ft) test model weighing 10 tonnes was trialled in the Netherlands, before the ship itself was built in France.

It was assembled from 98 separate blocks dropped into place - "It is absolutely incredible engineering," added Mr Payne.

During a tour of the ship, he showed the 180 visitors how the propellers are designed to maximise efficiency and how the funnel was devised to keep fumes away from passengers on the decks.

Career choice

Mr Payne said the idea behind the event was to create a "spark" to inspire today's students.

Posing with propellers
The students discovered more about the ship's propellers

He said: "These days when job opportunities are so difficult - engineering offers a huge range of different careers and well-paid jobs."

Among the students being shown around the liner, Louise said: "People always say its only for guys, but there are so many different options, you aren't restricted to doing one thing."

Yasmin said: "I've never been on a ship like this in my life. This trip has inspired me to do as well as I can and get as many possibilities as I can."

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