Engineering the future

Pictured are, from left: Susan Sharkey, Darren Canon and Dee Kehoe, organisers of Engineers Week outside Engineering Ireland.

Pictured are, from left: Susan Sharkey, Darren Canon and Dee Kehoe, organisers of Engineers Week outside Engineering Ireland.

Engineers Week is a week-long series of activities co-ordinated by Engineers Ireland in strategic partnership with Science Foundation Ireland, with the goal of promoting engineering to students at primary and post-primary school level.

Engineers Week ran from February 28th to March 5th with over 500 events taking place nationwide, engaging over 37, 500 participants in a campaign which involved school visits, engineering shows, and industry open days with 200 engineering organisations in the private and public sector.

The week kicked off with a forum on flooding on Monday, featuring engineering solutions about how to deal with extreme floods in Ireland.

This year, local organisations including ARUP, EIR, The National Print Museum, The National Wax Museum Plus, IADT, Trinity College Dublin, Imaginosity, South Dublin County Council, Dublin County Council and many more participated in Engineers Week.

NewsFour got a distinct flavour of the week’s events when attending the Friday family show in Engineers Ireland, Clyde Road presented by Dr Ian Johnston of the Open University, whose inventions include the world’s most ‘flippable’ drinks mat and the world’s least embarrassing bath towel!

Dr Johnston took those present on an informative journey through Ireland’s historical contribution to the realm of engineering, discussing pivotal pioneering minds such as John Boyd Dunlop, Bindon Blood Stoney, Lilian Bland to name but a few.

The students came to grips with the knowledge that residents of the Emerald Isle were indeed responsible for the creation of the Transformer, the diving bell and the submarine!

“Engineers Week is getting bigger and better every year,” said Dee Keogh, Continuing Professional Development Director of Engineers Ireland. “What we want students to take away from these events is what an exciting and diverse career engineering can be and that everything we do in our daily life is touched by engineers.”

When attending the Friday show NewsFour narrowly missed out on catching students from Scoil Mhuire, Sandymount, who checked in to a Doctor Math event entitled, ‘Secrets, Lies & Maths.’

The students at Engineers Ireland events generally range from seven year olds up to third level, but they also provide educational events for adults. Students are encouraged to take up engineering but university level is not always a requisite for a career in the profession.

People are also able to organise their own events by availing of resources on the Engineers Week website, including workshop ideas, quizzes, trails and other activity suggestions. Most of Engineers Ireland’s events are free and operate on a first come-first serve basis.

“Engineering Week has gone on for ten years,” Dee Keogh continued. “We couldn’t do it without the support of of all these volunteers and engineers out there, and it shows the passion that engineers have for what they do.”

By Craig Kinsella