7th November 2019
York College, supported by NCOP, is participating in the national ‘Tomorrow's Engineers' initiative. Over two days, the College provided opportunities in a range of engineering applications aimed at enhancing the learning of motor vehicle and engineering students.
Motor Vehicle students took part in an interactive workshop, looking around a JACKAL armoured vehicle. The vehicle, supplied by the British Army, is used for battlespace reconnaissance, rapid assault and fire support, as well as convoy protection. Students climbed aboard the JACKAL, asking questions of the Army’s technical support team who ran through the technical specifications, servicing and maintenance of the vehicle. It was the first time students had experienced getting close to army kit and technology.
Former York College engineering student and STEM ambassador, Richard Hallas, who founded SGC, spoke to students about projects his company is working on around the world, especially Africa, to harness solar power, using innovative water supply technology to bring cheap and sustainable water and energy to under-developed areas.
Finally, engineering students were involved in a presentation and workshop based on construction engineering, design briefs, cost and materials management with the analysis of real examples, followed by a competition between teams that had students building a structure out of spaghetti and jelly beans!
Freddie Hopkins, NCOP Outreach Assistant said: “'Tomorrow's Engineers' gets students looking at future applications of engineering. Key learning points are the importance of collaboration, management skills and dealing with people, especially for larger projects that might even involve co-ordinating teams in different areas (or countries!) or from different cultures and usually different companies, as well as maximising opportunities for training and getting qualifications. Richard’s session highlighted the challenges of providing food, water and power to a growing population and core areas of engineering activity in the future, with issues like the environment and sustainability being crucial parts of future engineering briefs. The Army demonstrated how cutting-edge technology is being used in combat situations to keep soldiers as protected as possible and it was fantastic for motor vehicle students to get hands on with things they do not normally get to see. Kier, who provide project management and consultancy on major civil engineering projects like Crossrail and the Trans Pennine rail upgrade, gave an insight into real world project delivery, cost control and contract provision, which are key for profitable business management and successful project delivery. The emphasis all the way through has been on how understanding non-technical skills is as important as the technical skills and the qualifications.”
Students are the 'engineers of tomorrow' and it is vital they understand how engineering is changing and what the future holds in terms of engineering challenges and the skills needed to operate in a global engineering job market.