We care about the future of engineering and we invest in a web of connected activities aimed at making links between young people, industry and high-quality education. By setting out the power and potential of engineering science to diverse audiences through our public engagement and outreach, we aim to spark a passion for discovery and inspire a lifelong interest in engineering.

But this isn’t a one-way process. Working with partners in schools, colleges, charities and industry brings fantastic benefits to our students and helps shape our evolving curriculum.

The Design Show has become an annual opportunity to celebrate our work with engineers of the future. Firstly, young people from Wildern School (a state secondary on the outskirts of the city) form a judging panel and present the Inspiring Engineering Award to the project they find most likely to benefit the world. Secondly, the winning entries for the Primary and Secondary Leaders Award in the South are presented and displayed alongside our own students’ work. We are the regional sponsor for this extraordinary programme where pupils are invited to interview engineers from academia and/or industry about their creative engineering problem solving and then respond to the question: If you were an engineer, what would YOU do?

Through projects such as these, we aim to seek out, engage and support the best possible future engineering talent irrespective of background. Our Design Triathlon Residential is run specifically for school pupils from areas of deprivation, who are first generation university applicants, who are in care, or who are themselves carers. Through Dragonfly Day we offer year 9 girls a series of hands-on engineering workshops run by our female engineering researchers and we have recently expanded the programme to include local Guide units (via STEM Badge Day) and to the parents and guardians of school pupils through St. Anne’s inner city state school. In a creative discipline such as engineering, our diversity is our strength.

Dr Steve Dorney
Principal Public Engagement Fellow