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Natalie at AECOM encourages young people to explore STEM

Natalie at AECOM encourages young people to explore STEM

 July 30, 2018

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Natalie Cheung joined AECOM as a graduate civil engineer in 2015 straight from University and took up work in the Rail team at AECOM’s London office. "With investments in different areas and huge new projects, it's an exciting time to be in the UK Rail industry," comments Natalie. Since then AECOM has supported Natalie to excel in her engineering career and work on projects that have had a huge impact. 

Encouraging young people to explore careers in STEM

While studying at University, Natalie joined a student-led group which used LEGO robots to enthuse school-age children, especially girls, about technology. "There's a huge push to promote opportunities in STEM to young people, and I am really keen to make sure Civil Engineering gets its airtime," says Natalie. "It's a fulfilling and interesting career option but so many young people (and adults) don’t know what it is! Civil Engineering helps us all from the moment we wake up right until our head hits the pillow. Without it we would not have buildings, roads, power or clean water in our homes."

Volunteering opportunities at AECOM

AECOM provides two paid community days a year for all employees in the UK and Ireland. This year, Natalie supported the Institution of Civil Engineers’ (ICE) activity at two Big Bang Fairs, in London Central and London East.

The Big Bang is a UK-wide programme to bring science and engineering to life for young people. Their flagship event, The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, is held in Birmingham every year. They also have a programme of events called “The Big Bang Near Me” which bring science and engineering to regions across the UK to reach more young people.

"We ran a structural engineering activity with rolled up newspaper sheets, which are stronger than you might think! Pupils were free to come and engage with our activity throughout the days. There were over 2000 pupils from 50 different schools on each day so it was extremely hectic but also fulfilling! I shared the importance of civil engineering and handed out learning resources based on the ICE exhibition “Invisible Superheroes” for its 200 years," explains Natalie. "The pupils left the fair with a better understanding of real-life uses of and careers related to STEM subjects."

Natalie strongly encourages her colleagues to get involved in AECOM-supported volunteering opportunities. She says, "It can be really easy to book a one-off volunteering opportunity to support whichever cause you want. If your company offers paid volunteering days, use them! By using mine, I had a great opportunity to volunteer at Big Bang Fairs in London and I hope to volunteer at the main Big Bang Fair in Birmingham soon!"

AECOM - Royal Society - women in STEM

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AECOM is a company that celebrates talented women in its offices around the world. And, they are currently recruiting for a number of exceptional candidates to fill roles including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management professionals, that will serve customers in more than 150 countries. 


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