UWE events to inspire next generation of student engineers

A week of engineering events organised by UWE Bristol is set to showcase the creativity of current and future engineers in the South West

On 28 June, activities for young people will celebrate women in engineering and inspire schoolgirls interested in the sciences at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). On 29 June, judges will announce winners of the Engineer Leaders Awards, and the following day families can view the schoolchildren’s exhibited designs.  

UWE Bristol’s Engineering Week will involve interactive activities, demonstrations, and events about engineering aimed at school groups, teachers and parents. Taking place at the University’s Exhibition and Conference Centre, the events are linked to the Year of Engineering, a national campaign aiming to increase awareness for young people, parents and teachers about the profession.

On 28 June, a day of activities will celebrate women in engineering. Female pupils from Years 9-11 will have the chance to participate in hands-on activities, which demonstrate how this profession impacts many aspects of society. Each zone will focus on a different contribution to society, with the ultimate challenge of designing and building a city of the future.

The event aims to challenge traditional perceptions that engineering is mainly for men, in order to tackle a lack of diversity in the profession. It follows International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June. UWE Bristol will then host a ceremony on 29 June for the Engineer Leaders Awards, when judges are set to announce the winners. The competition challenged children to answer the question ‘If you were an engineer what would you do?’ by identifying a problem in society that engineering could solve, and devising a solution.

Engineering has an image problem, but in reality it is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline – Laura Fogg-Rogers, Event Co-ordinator

Dr John Lanham, Assistant Vice Chancellor, said: “The standard of the entries has been very high. Our team of engineering judges were also very impressed with the imagination captured by the children across all age groups. I can’t wait to see what the winning design looks like when our students make the children’s visions come to life!”

Visitors of all ages will have the chance, on 30 June, to view the shortlisted and winning designs ideas on display in the exhibition centre, where the University’s engineers will also showcase their latest research and technology. Visiting families can have a go on a drone, take on the role of a city planner in a cardboard version of Bristol, or discover virtual reality (VR) technology.  

Laura Fogg-Rogers, event co-ordinator and Senior Research Fellow at UWE Bristol’s Science Communication Unit, said: “Engineering has an image problem, but in reality it is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline. Engineers can make a real difference to improve the lives of people in the UK and around the world. That’s why it’s so important for UWE Bristol to run events like our Week of Engineering – we want to show all young people that engineering can be a career that helps them make a difference in society.”

UWE Bristol has launched a new blog to highlight ongoing activities in the Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics.

Other events throughout Engineering Week are as follows:

Big Bang Fair at UWE Bristol

27 June

Engineering our Future

28 June 2018   10am – 2pm

Free, aimed at school groups Year 9, 10, 11; girls only

An educational event to broaden the horizons of girls in STEM, including a project to design our city of the future

TeachMeet: Engineering our future

28 June 2018   4.30 – 6pm

Free, aimed at teachers

A chance to meet science teachers from across the West, and hear from experts in engineering about role modelling for girls in STEM.

South West Engineering Leaders Awards

29 June 5.30 – 8pm

South West Engineering Leaders Awards Exhibition

30 June 2018   10am – 4pm

Free, open to the public, family focused

A chance to take part in science and engineering demonstrations, and see the inspiring designs from Primary Engineers’ Leaders Awards