Posted on / in Meet an Engineer

Inspiring the next generation of engineers – from space

Broadcasting direct from NASA Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, and next year from the International Space Station, Sunita L. Williams, who holds a degree in engineering management, highlighted how exciting a career in engineering is. The interview marked the formal launch of Primary Engineer’s ‘Interview an Engineer’ series – which runs themes throughout the academic year focussing on various aspects of engineering. It also marks the launch of the 2019 Primary & Secondary Leaders’ Awards, a competition which encourages engineers to get involved with their local schools to help stimulate interest in engineering as a career.

Dr. Susan Scurlock, founder of Primary Engineer said: “We feel privileged that Sunita gave up her time from her training for the first human spaceflight programme aboard the Boeing CST-100 Starliner as part of the US space agency’s Commercial Crew programme to send humans to the International Space Station on private US spacecraft. I am sure she inspired the many pupils (and engineers) who tuned in via a specially arranged link”

The event, which lasted over an hour, consisted of a short introduction, a presentation from Sunita and then a questions and answer session during which pupils, some as young as 3 posed questions.

The event was to mark the launch of two of Primary Engineers core programmes; the Primary & Secondary Engineer Leaders’ Awards and the Interview and Engineer series, both designed to create curiosity and interest in engineering among school children. In the last academic year, the Primary & Secondary Engineer Leaders’ Awards tapped into 37,000 children from the age of three an up. Primary Engineer UK Director, Chris Rochester said: “The question ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’ was posed and the entries into the awards competition were varied, inspiring and above all showed fantastic pool of future talent which, if nurtured correctly can be grown into the engineers of the future”.

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