200 local school pupils took part in activities in the University’s engineering laboratories.

Aeronautical engineering takes off for South West teens

Having already successfully hosted three Future Engineers’ events, Flybe and the University of Exeter were again the centre of attention for the aviation-themed event on Thursday 13 September.

The event brought together 200 teenagers from 20 schools across the region to become aeronautical engineers for the day.

Future Engineers was jointly organised by Flybe, the University of Exeter, Exeter College and the Royal Navy, and students divided their day between Flybe's Engineering Headquarters both at its Training Academy and the New Walker Hangar at Exeter International Airport, and the University's Streatham Campus. 

The combined drive to highlight the opportunities open to young people within engineering was the original brainchild of Stephen Payne, QM2 and the Carnival Corporation architect. It has been designed to give students aged 14 to 17 the opportunity to get up-close to aircraft and their various components and inspire them with hands-on practical learning experiences in encouraging them to consider an engineering career.

Students visiting the University of Exeter discovered more about the science behind aeronautics and aviation, and enjoyed a taste of the range of engineering studies available. They had the opportunity to undertake activities in the University’s engineering laboratories and enjoyed a viewing in the 3D visualisation suite.

Professor Ken Evans, Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter, commented: “Engineering can lead to a very exciting future: our engineering graduates go on to careers in a whole range of industries ranging from manufacturing, construction and aerospace  to communications, education, finance and health. We are committed to encouraging young people to consider a future in engineering, and hope that this event has opened local students’ eyes to the exciting places an engineering degree could take them.”

The visit to Flybe’s state-of-the-art engineering hangar allowed students to meet engineers at work, view the airline’s Apprentice Workshops and see Fleet Air Arm displays from the Royal Navy that enabled them to witness first-hand engineering in action and its varied career applications. During their time at Flybe, students were tested on their ability to identify various aircraft components and battle it out to win Flybe’s Future Engineers’ trophy that has been made by Flybe engineers in the hangar workshops.

Jacqui Hepburn, Director of the Flybe Training Academy, said: “Flybe understands the importance of attracting and retaining a skilled and qualified workforce and is committed to supporting young people, especially those from our local region. This event showcased the apprenticeship opportunities we can to offer enthusiastic and talented young people in this exciting field of work.

“The overall aim of Future Engineers is to inspire young people and encourage them to view engineering as an attractive career option, particularly within the aviation sector. It offers solid, well-paid career progression to sought-after engineering graduates. We are all looking forward to inspiring their imagination and their future studies - and to sending their engineering ambitions soaring!”

A careers’ pack provided students with hands-on information about the various engineering opportunities available.

Exeter College Assistant Principal, Iain Hatt, added: “Engineering has, and always will, play a pivotal role in shaping the local and global economy. As technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, it is a subject which never fails to excite those who work in the industry. Exeter College has an outstanding Aerospace division of Engineering and continues to work closely with Flybe to inspire the next generation of engineers.”

Date: 15 September 2012