Article - Issue 74, March 2018
YEAR OF ENGINEERING AT THE LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM
To celebrate the Year of Engineering in 2018, London Transport Museum is launching two new permanent galleries alongside a programme of events and activities throughout the year.
On 23 March, the Digging Deeper gallery will launch. It will explore the history of tunnelling, including the Thames Tunnel, the London Underground and Crossrail, and display models, drawings and artefacts from 1840 to the present day.
The interactive exhibits in the London Transport Museum’s new galleries aim to engage more young people with STEM subjects and demonstrate how engineers have contributed to London’s transport system over the past 150 years © London Transport Museum
The gallery will feature a life-size recreation of the tunnelling shield that dug the world’s first electric tube line in 1890, contrasting it with digging machines used to construct the new Elizabeth line (Crossrail).
On 13 July, the Future Engineers interactive gallery will open with the aim of engaging young people, parents and schools with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and challenging their perceptions of engineering. It will showcase the role of modern engineering: highlighting examples of cutting-edge engineering and technological innovations through hands-on exhibits, including a state-of-the-art train-driving simulator. The gallery draws on the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Thinking like an engineer report. It will invite ‘future engineers’ to ask themselves if they are dreamers, planners or fixers, and explore the ‘engineering habits of mind’, identified by the report, through case studies and activities that allow visitors to try to solve engineering challenges.
The museum is also hosting a temporary exhibition on Crossrail, Europe’s biggest engineering project, which opens on 23 March.
It will hold a series of family activities and workshops, where visitors can meet real engineers. An open weekend at its Museum Depot in Acton will explore how engineers have kept London moving for the last 150 years.
London Transport Museum is a partner in the Year of Engineering and is working with Transport for London and the Department for Transport to engage more young people in engineering.
For more information about the galleries and events, visit www.ltmuseum.co.uk
UTCS CREATE WORK-READY STUDENTS
The first evaluation of University Technical College (UTC) approaches to curriculum design and employer engagement has found that project-based learning and employer involvement have helped create more well-rounded, work-ready students. The National Foundation for Educational Research carried out the report on behalf of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Edge Foundation to evaluate the UTC model to inform sector-wide practice.
It found that students at UTCs develop more work-ready skills such as project management and good communication alongside their technical skills, and that students felt more confident about their next steps after UTC education.
Employers involved in UTC education described their students as “young professionals ready for work”
The study team visited 10 UTCs, which all showed evidence of considerable employer awareness and presence. This included: informing the curriculum with current industry skills needs; observation and experience of everyday industry activity; genuine, authentic challenges or problems for young people to solve; ongoing, regular input into projects; provision of visits to employers’ workplaces; employer talks; resources and facilities; and specialist sector expertise.
However, the UTCs acknowledged that they face challenges in recruiting suitable employers and enough numbers of students, as well as in recruiting and keeping high-calibre staff. Despite this, they reported that many students make significant progress – often performing better than expected on arrival.
Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “Every effort should be made to address the engineering skills gap in this country and UTCs are an important avenue into technical careers. There are clear benefits of employer involvement in UTCs for both industry and students alike. All UTCs in this report had an employer presence, but the varying approaches to employer involvement and the challenges of finding the right employers to involve need to be addressed as this type of technical education evolves and matures.”
To read the report in full, please visit www.raeng.org.uk/publications/reports/evaluation-of-university-technical-colleges
EXPLORE SPACE AT INGENIA LIVE!
Ingenia live! will feature talks from engineering innovators in the space industry © ESA-C.Carreau
In April, the latest Ingenia live! event will look at the innovative engineering technologies that are helping to advance space exploration.
Taking place at Prince Philip House in central London, the event will host talks from leading engineers in the space industry, including Shefali Sharma from Oxford Space Systems.
The event will be chaired by Dr Scott Steedman CBE FREng, Editor-in-chief of Ingenia, and will be followed by a Q&A session and a networking reception, which includes food and drink.
Ingenia live! brings to life the stories featured within the magazine, covering a range of engineering disciplines.
Tickets cost £10 and students can attend free of charge. To find out more about the programme and register to attend, please visit www.raeng.org.uk/events
DIGITAL CAMPAIGN AIMS TO TACKLE SKILLS SHORTAGE
Vinita, who works at the European Space Agency, is one of the engineers featured in the This is Engineering campaign
In January, the Royal Academy of Engineering launched the This is Engineering campaign in collaboration with EngineeringUK and a host of industry partners. It aims to give more young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to explore how they could pursue what they love and follow it into a career in engineering in a range of industries, such as film, sports, gaming and music.
This is Engineering aims to reshape young people’s perceptions of careers in engineering, which they often view as narrow, technical and traditional. The campaign launched with online advertising focusing on five young engineers who have turned their passions for sport, design, fashion, technology and space into engineering careers, demonstrating that the profession is diverse, challenging and creative.
Several major engineering companies are backing the campaign, which coincides with the government-led Year of Engineering, in response to significant demand for engineering talent in the UK. Findings from a forthcoming EngineeringUK report identify a need for at least 124,000 engineers and technicians every year.
Nusrat Ghani MP, Minister for the Year of Engineering, said: “Careers in the industry are a chance for young people to shape the future and have a real impact on the lives of those around them. Role models are a vital way of showing this, and it’s fantastic to see This is Engineering celebrating exciting and unexpected stories of modern engineers.”
Mark Titterington, CEO of EngineeringUK, said: “The demand for people with engineering skills continues to outstrip supply … there’s more to be done. I continue to be amazed by the diversity of the opportunities that engineering can provide and the challenges that engineers can overcome. It’s vital that young people are able to see and be inspired by the diversity and the creativity of the profession. That’s where This is Engineering comes in.”