Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers at University of Sheffield

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers at University of Sheffield

 November 02, 2017

The University of Sheffield is paving the way with groundbreaking engineering projects via its world class research and teaching. With 5,600 students and the UK’s second highest research income (being over £77 million per annum), the University’s Faculty of Engineering is one of the largest providers of engineering research and education in the UK.

Developing talented engineers

Helping increase the number of young women entering the engineering professional is key for the University of Sheffield and it actively attracts, retains, develops and promotes exceptional women of high talent and competence who are leaders in their field. It also attracts top students from all over the world.

Engineering students enjoy opportunities to work on exciting projects, for example, the launch of a self-made telescope 25 km into space to capture images of the sun.

Engineering is a great career choice

During Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, the University of Sheffield champions engineering as it works to inspire the next generation to consider and explore exciting career opportunities. Hear what engineers, both employees and students, say about their work at the University.

“The University of Sheffield encourages students to spread their wings, inspires autonomy and instils a real ethos in its students to get stuck in and experience what the engineering community has to offer outside of education,” explains Godwin Okojie, 3rd year mechanical engineering student at the University of Sheffield.

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield holds a number of events throughout the year aimed at introducing students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and encourages them to see it as a realistic option for them and their future. Women are currently underrepresented in engineering, which is something that leads to a loss of talent and innovation, our Women in Engineering Initiative aims to redress this gender imbalance by challenging perceptions of engineering, which can act as a barrier to women entering the field,” says Dr Gwen Reilly, Director of Women in Engineering at Sheffield.

“Education is so important in making a positive impact and I have enjoyed being able to make my contribution through the STEM outreach initiatives offered at the University of Sheffield and I hope to continue this in the future. Having worked extensively with the University’s Women in Engineering team, I am incredibly thankful for their support and guidance in providing workshops and networking opportunities to children and university students. There is a gender gap in engineering and I am proud to have played a part in addressing it," comments Saheela Mohammed, Student Ambassador for the Department of Bioengineering, University of Sheffield

Engineering education outreach is key

To truly engage the attention of the next generation, particularly those who are unaware of the impact engineering will have on society’s future, outreach programmes in schools and colleges are key.

ACSE Research Fellow Dr Jonathan Aitken who works at the University’s research institute, Sheffield Robotics, and teaches robotics modules for the University’s Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, visited his old school to speak with the next generation about life changing opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution, the rapid development of robotics, and how Engineers play a huge part.

“Society should not be scared of robotics but embrace the change and the new opportunities. We are now in the fourth industrial revolution and manufacturing is using big data for the first time, but we are still going to need people. People are our most valuable resource, we provide the creativity whereas robotics should take over the boring, repetitive, mundane, dangerous and dirty tasks,” states Dr Aitken.

The University holds events such as the Exploring STEM for Girls, and Engineering Imagination Day to help introduce younger generations to engineering and STEM careers. As part of its outreach work, the University launched the ‘Engineering Is’ campaign that aims to challenge and improve primary school children’s perceptions about engineering.

The Engineering Is campaign was built on the success of a book called “The Crash Landing” written by members of the University of Sheffield’s Women in Engineering Student Society. The book tells a story about a little girl who rescues an alien by building a new spaceship for him. The book is used as a tool to help engage with schools to talk to children about engineering, science, maths and technology careers and is sometimes given to children to take home.

Engineering Is campaign resources include a cartoon, website and online games that appeal to a broad age range. It is hoped that through accessing the 'Engineering Is' website along with reading the book to their children, parents will also develop deeper understanding about the world of engineering and how they can encourage their children into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Engineering is great career choice for smart women

Recognised as one of the best companies to work for in the UK by the Sunday Times, there are some excellent career opportunities available with The University of Sheffield. Explore their engineering vacancies today.

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