Meeting The Next Generation of Engineers

It was ‘cranes, camera, action’ as Bureau Veritas took the opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of engineering career opportunities at the Big Bang North West event in Liverpool in July.

Open to schools across the region, the Big Bang Fair North West is run by All About STEM, which aims to inspire young people from all backgrounds to study science, technology, engineering and maths.

Visitors to the Bureau Veritas stand tried their hand at operating a crane, using a thermocamera and looking for items through an endoscope camera – demonstrating the importance of ‘checking’ things to ensure that they are safe to use, as well as the different technologies available to inspection engineers.

As the only inspection company at the event, our team joining a ‘STEM-sational’ list of exhibitors and performers, all offering hands-on experiments and experiences for pupils. Rachel Rawlings is accreditation manager for Bureau Veritas and works as a STEM ambassador, liaising with schools to promote engineering.

She said: “It was brilliant to be part of the event and to experience the enthusiasm of the children that visited our stand. As a leading provider of testing, inspection and certification services, we believe we have a vital role to play in promoting the engineering sectors to young people and if we have inspired a handful to take maths and science subjects then we have achieved a lot.”

Cranes, camera, action

As part of the fun on the stand, visitors were given the opportunity to operate a model crane. Whilst using the crane to pick up and move a tub of sweets from one location to another, they saw what a crane is, what it can do, and what checks have to take place to ensure it is safe to use.

There was also a chance to explore and operate a thermocamera and an endoscope camera, both essential tools when inspecting various plant and equipment.

Rachel adds “Children were given the opportunity to look at each other, the floor, the ceiling lights and their phones with the thermocamera to show that different things emit different temperatures and how the camera displays this.

“We related it to what our inspection engineers do, like inspecting electrical cables to see if they are hot and going to cause damage, and also to other uses, like search and rescue for example.

“We also showcased what our teams do with an endoscope camera by setting a challenge to find nine items, demonstrating how we look inside items that we can’t get in, such as small air receivers.”

Developing future talent

Bureau Vertias’s attendance at the event was part of a wider initiative to promote engineering careers to young people.

Rachel adds “All engineering companies need to engage with young people and it is important that they understand there is more to engineering than cars and bridges. Everything around us will have had an engineer involved so the opportunities are endless, but if we don’t invest in science and maths disciplines and don’t encourage young people to pursue an engineering career then the UK will suffer.

“My role as a STEM ambassador gives me a unique opportunity to work with young people and demonstrate the excitement of engineering. It’s great to see their faces when they make something that works, when they learn from things going wrong or when they realise why they are being taught the things they are in maths.

“Science and maths give people the opportunity to be creative and inventive. I love being able to share my love for the subjects with them and encourage them to try something new – it’s also a fantastic reminder why I became an engineer.”

Bureau Veritas will be back at Big Bang North West next year with more exciting opportunities and experiments.