Today (5th Nov 2009) over 80 students from across Oxfordshire and beyond attended a careers day that focused on the wide range of exciting opportunities that exist for engineers in the UK. The young people, who came from a variety of schools including Didcot Sixth Form, King Alfred’s School in Wantage and Lord William’s School in Thame, spent the day at Diamond, the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) supported the event.
During the day, students were able to participate in hands on activities and see around the giant X-ray machine, which enables scientists to study things at the molecular and atomic level and has a team of 50 engineers working to make this cutting edge research happen.
Chris Balshaw, who is studying all three sciences and maths at Didcot Sixth Form, found the day extremely useful. Chris comments, “It’s been really interesting to learn about the different projects that you could find yourself involved with by pursuing a career in engineering. Meeting engineers is a great way to develop your knowledge and get inspired so I would definitely recommend opportunities like this to anyone who is considering a career in engineering”.
Different aspects of engineering were explored during the Engineering Your Future day and practical, interactive sessions were led by enthusiastic engineers. Students were able to investigate the workings of a model solar-powered car, brought by Oxford University’s Dept of Engineering; come up with their own solutions to flooding using a model coastline with flood defences, built by local engineering and environmental hydraulics company HR Wallingford; try out the latest in motion control mechanisms under the watchful eye of engineers from Diamond; and carry out analysis on soil samples from deep under the sea, courtesy of another Wallingford company, Fugro GeoConsulting Ltd who provide consulting for the offshore oil and gas industry in areas like Geophysics and Geotechnical Engineering.
Jonathan Pink, a maths teacher from Lord William’s School in Thame, adds, “Students tend to picture roads and bridges when they think of engineering, focusing on civil engineering as it is the most visible. Today has really opened their eyes to a whole range of other engineering possibilities and I think it will be incredibly valuable to them as they start to consider higher education options and what a career in engineering is really like”.
Commenting on the day, Stewart Scott, a Senior Mechanical Project Engineer at Diamond who helped to organise the day’s events, said, “The students and their teachers have given us some really positive feedback on this event. Engineering is an exciting career option and by giving students the chance to spend a day with professionals who work on different aspects of engineering we have been able to pass on a practical understanding of what is possible when it comes to a career in this exciting field. At Diamond, we have over 20 different engineering related professions, and by having a look at our research laboratories, the youngsters were able to see for themselves how vital engineering is to the UK’s largest scientific project for over 40 years.”
John Laverty, ICE South East of England Regional Director, said, “A career in engineering is an important and rewarding one, and the Engineering Your Future events have inspired many talented young people to make a difference in the world through becoming an engineer.
“We remain committed to ensuring that the best students are attracted into these essential professions and I congratulate all the participating organisations and companies for delivering such a successful event and giving more young people the opportunity to consider the exciting realities of joining this vibrant industry.”
For more information or further images from Diamond, contact:
Oxford University Department of Engineering is the only unified department in the UK which offers accredited courses in all the major branches of engineering - our students develop a broad view of the subject much appreciated by employers, but can also choose from a very wide range of specialist options. Every year the Department of Engineering Science, produces around 160 new engineering graduates. They go off to a huge variety of occupations - into designing cars, building roads and bridges, developing new electronic devices, manufacturing pharmaceuticals, into healthcare and aerospace, into further study for higher degrees and in many other directions.
HR Wallingford provides world leading analysis, advice and support in engineering and environmental hydraulics, and in the management of water and the water environment. Created as the Hydraulics Research Station of the UK Government in 1947, we became a private entity in 1982, and have since operated as an independent, non profit distributing organisation committed to building knowledge and solving problems, expertly and appropriately.
Fugro GeoConsulting Limited is a consultancy company within the global Fugro Group, the world's largest integrated geotechnical, survey and geosciences company. Our primary aim is to provide a complete service for the offshore oil and gas industry in the areas of Geophysics, Geology, Geohazard Assessment and Geotechnical Engineering.
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was founded in 1818 to ensure professionalism in civil engineering. It represents 80,000 qualified and student civil engineers in the UK and across the globe. The ICE has long worked with the government of the day to help it to achieve its objectives, and has worked with industry to ensure that construction and civil engineering remain major contributors to the UK economy and UK exports.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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