One of the most frequent questions I was asked was “what inspired you to do engineering?” I was an anomaly, as I don’t think I knew anything about engineering at the time I started. But having found it, I was fortunate enough to have a great set of lecturers and co-workers that got me engaged and keep me loving the discipline to this day.
Now, I will let you in to a little secret, when I signed up for my first year 6 class chat, I did it because I thought the fact they were younger would make it easier – I was wrong! Instead I was amazed by the things they knew and the difficulty of the questions posed. This, along with the pace and variety of the questions made it a tough but enjoyable experience.
I think I can speak for all the engineers who took part when I say it was a lot of fun and that the most important part of it was trying to get students engaged in engineering, which judging from the participation they all were. Two of the most frequent questions asked were “what inspired me to become an engineer?” and “when did I decide to become an engineer?” Well, I am only still an engineer because I enjoyed my education, which is thanks to the people I work with now. In a sense I was late to the ‘engineering party’ but now I am here I feel like it’s part of my job to tell people about it and the amazing things you can do with engineering – hence my participation in this competition.
I hope to be able to use the prize to further spread the word about bioprocessing and general engineering by the creation of lesson plans and teaching aids, along with a bioreactor to teach elements of the discipline in schools. I will keep trying to be an ambassador for engineering and, in doing so, help improve the number, and diversity, of students taking the subject.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the staff at ‘I’m and engineer get me out of here’ for organising this event, for answering my silly questions and for just being there in the staffroom so we had sounding boards to help us de-stress after the hectic 30 minute sessions! I’d also like to thank all the other engineers; I felt a strong sense of community with you guys, so Mark, Holly, Lyd and Chris thanks for taking part! I learnt a lot about what you do through your kind, patient, enthusiastic and informative interactions with the students, so well done one and all.
One regret I have is not having been able to see what was going on in the other zones, but well done Stevie and all the engineers in the Energy zone.
Finally, thanks! I actually can’t believe I won! Students – stay inquisitive, you will learn so much that way. Engineers, stay enthusiastic, you’ll keep engaging others with what you do, and everyone DO WHAT YOU LOVE! If you keep doing what you are doing, you will all do well! Look out for me on a TV near you soon!