Engineering news

Year of Engineering is an 'opportunity to inspire'

Amit Katwala

Schoolchildren meeting engineers at an Inspiring the Future event organised by Year of Engineering partner Education and Employers.
Schoolchildren meeting engineers at an Inspiring the Future event organised by Year of Engineering partner Education and Employers.

​A campaign to transform how young people see engineering has launched today.

The Year of Engineering is a national drive to inspire young people, plug the 20,000-a-year shortfall in engineering graduates, and increase diversity in a sector that is 91% male and 94% white.

Engineers, businesses, schools and universities are marking the launch with events celebrating the positive impact of engineering. Students in Bolton are working with disability charity Remap to use engineering to tackle real life challenges, while in Birmingham food distribution firm Ocado is allowing children a close look at its robots.

Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said engineers were vital to the lifeblood of our economy. “We want to show young people and their parents the immense creativity, opportunity and value of the profession,” he said.

Peter Finegold, head of education policy at the IMechE, said the Year of Engineering was “an exciting and important opportunity to inspire young people to pursue an engineering career”.

He continued: “We face an exciting new technological revolution with all sorts of new opportunities for the next generation of engineers, and it has never been more important to think about how to find, inspire and nurture the engineers of tomorrow.”

Activities planned for the rest of 2018 include a roadshow from Siemens aimed at inspiring women of all backgrounds to go into STEM careers, a children’s book on engineering, and a chance for schools to go behind the scenes with Airbus’s work on the Mars Rover.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has created a list of 200 projects that have changed people’s lives for the better. The first 20, unveiled today, include Joseph Bazalgette’s London sewer system, the Eden project in Cornwall, and the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station. "The chosen projects showcase how civil engineering paved the way to modern life and how it continues to tackle the problems of today, safeguarding the future for generations to come,” said Nathan Baker, engineering knowledge director at ICE.

“With the world facing unprecedented challenges, such as climate change and the pressures from a rapidly growing population, there has never been a greater need for civil engineers and the vital work they do.”

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